New look. New feel. New Canada. Slam-dunk.

    How do you know when you've hit on a great idea? When someone takes it,
    runs with it, makes it his own. Fireworks!

    TORONTO, June 29 /CNW/ - That's what happened when we told Canuck slam
poets Shane Koyczan and Ivan Bielinski about Canada's new brand identity. A
brief phone chat, emailed examples of the new look and feel - that was it.
    These award-winning artists took our concept and turned it into two
gut-punch, rap love poems to Canada, first try. They're called "We are more"
and "La Première Fois."
    We get choked up every time we hear 'em (and we've heard them a lot). In
fact, we liked the rhyme masters' jams so much, we hired Koyczan and Bielinski
to perform their pieces for the Canadian public for the first time together at
our nation's capital Canada Day fest.
    No, it's not the usual press conference or media kit. But that's what our
brand is about - celebrating originality, following imagination, showing the
world our Canada. We hope Koyczan's "We are More" and Bielinski's "La Première
Fois" will give Canadian travel cachet, and spread the word about our
mind-blowing wonders and hidden gems. The message is unique and we think it'll
encourage Canadians to go deeper and experience their native land.
    "We want Canadians to feel free to explore, be themselves and experience
our country in their own, personal way," says Greg Klassen, CTC vice president
of Marketing.
    Koyczan, one of the world's premier spoken-word artists, is a Canadian
Spoken Word Olympics and CBC Poetry Face-Off winner. Canada's Globe and Mail
and The Guardian (UK) hailed his 2005 book of poems, Visiting Hours, as a
"Book of the Year." Bielinski, known as "Ivy" in his work as part of the duo
Ivy et Reggie, is a seasoned performer with two albums, Feux-Fuyants sur fond
d'amour noir (1999) and Ivy et Reggie (2002), and a book, A Gardener of Words,
to his credit. Bielinski dived into the world of rhyme and verse in 2004 and
has emerged as a leader of Montréal's slam poetry scene.
    "There are a lot of images of what Canada is and should be," Klassen
says. "Many of them - the great outdoors, our fascination with hockey, the
weather - undeniably make up part of the Canadian experience. But there's so
much more to who we are as a country. This art form is a great way to showcase
our shared identity as Canadians."
    That's the story behind the poem. Read and download the poems on our
website, or tell us what inspires you about Canada for a chance to win an
explore-the-country-by-rail trip. The message: inspiring Canadians to get out
and discover Canada,
    For the story behind the CTC's Brand Canada strategy, visit Have fun!

    About the CTC

    The CTC is a national marketing organization. Our vision is compelling
the world to explore Canada.
    With our partners in the tourism industry and all levels of government,
    Advertise and market Canada in 10 countries around the world; conduct
industry research and studies; and promote product and industry development.

    For travel information, media resources, meetings and conference planning
details, research and news or to create extra-ordinary stories all your own,

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Pamela Singh, DDB Public Relations, (416)
972-7743,; Penny Savoie, DDB Public Relations,
(416) 963-4532,

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Canadian Tourism Commission

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