Volunteers in 24 Canadian cities want you to help make Canada well read

    4,000 hit the streets for CanWest Raise-a-Reader Day

    WINNIPEG, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - Wednesday, October 3rd marks the sixth annual
CanWest Raise-a-Reader Day. Volunteers from St. John's to Victoria will ask
Canadians who can read for donations to help those who cannot.
    CanWest Raise-a-Reader is a national campaign which has raised
7.45 million dollars to date; funds directly support local literacy
initiatives and increase awareness of the importance of family and children's
    Bright and early tomorrow morning, commuters will be greeted on street
corners, in coffee houses and at bus stops in 24 cities by volunteers
'hawking' special edition newspapers in exchange for donations. All of the
money raised locally stays in the community where it is collected, to benefit
local literacy organizations.
    Joining veteran newspaper "hawkers" in Toronto will be special guest
Colin Mochrie, the new host of "Are You Smarter Than a Canadian 5th Grader?",
premiering on Global Television later this month.
    "I am very proud of our success with CanWest Raise-a-Reader", said
Leonard Asper, president and CEO of CanWest Global Communications Corp. "The
program is now a highly-regarded literacy initiative with significant momentum
and presence in all ten provinces. The gift of literacy empowers people and
enhances our communities."
    In 'concert' with the highly successful Raise-a-Reader Day, CanWest has
just launched a new initiative - the CanWest Raise-a-Reader Concert Series.
Well-known entertainer Michael Bublé is the first Canadian artist to lend his
voice to the literacy cause. Partial ticket proceeds from his nationwide tour
in early 2008 will go to CanWest Raise-a-Reader, supporting family literacy
programs in 25 communities.
    The national campaign for this year's CanWest Raise-a-Reader Day has also
featured hockey legend and Stanley Cup champion coach, Jacques Demers, who
knows first-hand the incredible hardships of trying to function in today's
society without being able to read.
    CanWest Raise-a-Reader is supported in part by generous donations from
Assante Wealth Management, Microsoft, 7-Eleven Canada Inc., Scholastic Books
and many local sponsors.
    CanWest Raise-a-Reader Day takes place tomorrow in the following cities:
St. John's, Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Summerside,
Halifax, Sydney, Ottawa, Hamilton, Windsor, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon,
Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Penticton, Prince George, Vancouver,
Victoria, Nanaimo and Port Alberni. Volunteers in Montreal hit the streets
early and held their event on September 27, raising over $75,000 locally.

    CanWest Global Communications Corp. (TSX: CGS and CGS.A,
www.canwestglobal.com) is an international media company. In addition to
owning the Global Television Network, CanWest is Canada's largest publisher of
English language daily newspapers and owns, operates and/or holds substantial
interests in conventional television, out-of-home advertising, specialty cable
channels, web sites and radio stations and networks in Canada, New Zealand,
Australia, Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United

For further information:

For further information: Lynne Munro, CanWest Literacy Initiatives,
lmunro@canwest.com, Tel: (204) 953-7765

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