CBC/Radio-Canada, Via Rail and Community Foundations of Canada present

January 28, 2013, Ottawa

Today, CBC/Radio-Canada, VIA Rail Canada and Community Foundations of Canada, in collaboration with a number of leading organizations across the country, announced cities and dates for its CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW initiative, a conference series that will spark a national conversation about Canada’s upcoming 150th anniversary.

The CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW conferences will inform, inspire and incubate local and regional projects to mark this important milestone, and will leverage new ways to connect Canadians to national initiatives. The events will be accessible to participants in both official languages and will bring together citizens and leaders from communities across every region of the country, representing many facets of our diverse society.

The CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW conference series will roll out across the country from April through June 2013, with a conference in each province, an event in Yellowknife that will connect other communities in Northern Canada through technology, and a summary event in Ottawa, where the organizers will present highlights of the entire series.

CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW cities and dates*:

Vancouver - Friday, April 5
Calgary - Friday, April 12
Toronto - Friday, April 26
Saskatoon - Wednesday, May 1
Winnipeg - Friday, May 3
Montreal - Wednesday, May 8
Charlottetown - Tuesday, May 21
Moncton - Thursday, May 23
St. John’s - Monday, June 3
Halifax - Tuesday, June 4
Yellowknife & the North - Thursday, June 20
Ottawa - Summary Event - Thursday, June 27

(*Dates subject to change.)

An interactive digital platform is in development that will allow Canadians, irrespective of where they live, to join the CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW conversation. It will be launched soon, along with venue and programming details. Information is currently available at

“Canadians have lots stories to tell and no shortage of ideas to share as we head towards Canada’s 150th. We want to start hearing about them now,” said Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada. “We’re proud that we can work together with a huge number of community partners and organizations to play a key role in instigating projects, much like we did in 1967 for the Centennial.”

“We are proud to partner with CBC/Radio-Canada and Community Foundations of Canada on this important initiative, along with our national collaborators,” says Marc Laliberté, President and Chief Executive Officer, VIA Rail Canada. “One thing that we all have in common is our ability to connect Canadians in one way or another, and our country’s 150th birthday presents us with a promising opportunity.”

“Together we can harness this moment in time to make a significant contribution to our communities and our country,” says Ian Bird, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundations of Canada. “We’re mobilizing the entire community foundation network so our country can build a legacy for Canada’s 150th that is as meaningful and as powerful as Canada’s Centennial was 50 years ago.”

CBC/Radio-Canada, VIA Rail and Community Foundations of Canada are presenting the series in collaboration with the following Canadian organizations: Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canada Museums of Science and Technology, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation / Arts Nation, Historica-Dominion Institute, imagiNation150 Calgary, Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Institute for the Public Administration of Canada, Luminato, Manifesto Community Projects, National Arts Centre, National Association of Friendship Centres, National Capital Commission, Prince Edward Island 2014, The Walrus Foundation, Trans Canada Trail, United Way of Canada and YMCA Canada.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages.

About VIA Rail Canada

As Canada's national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada's mandate is to provide safe, efficient, cost-effective passenger transportation in the country's two official languages. VIA operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500-kilometer route network. Recipient of the RAC's Safety Award in 2012 for the 11th time in 12 years, and of the 2012 Agent's Choice Award voted on by Canadian travel agents and presented by Baxter Travel Media, VIA safely transports over four million passengers annually. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has provided VIA Rail with nearly one billion dollars in capital investment funding. Follow the evolution of current projects at viarail.ca/transformingVIA.

About Community Foundations of Canada

Community Foundations of Canada is the national network for the country’s more than 180 community foundations. We help Canadians invest in building strong and resilient places to live, work, and play; together we are one of the largest supporters of community, providing almost $200 million to local organizations in 2012 alone. Our movement is committed to working with Canadians to build Smart & Caring Communities across Canada leading up to 2017, taking up the Governor General’s call to action to all Canadians to build ‘a smarter and more caring nation.’

2 alone. Our movement is committed to working with Canadians to build Smart & Caring Communities across Canada leading up to 2017, taking up the Governor General’s call to action to all Canadians to build ‘a smarter and more caring nation.’

For additional information, please contact:
  • Angus McKinnon
    Director, Communications Services and Corporate Spokesperson
    tel. 613-288-6235
    cel. 613-296-1057
  • Community Foundations
    Anne-Marie McElrone,
    Vice President, Public Engagement

    tel. (613) 236-2664 ext. 304
  • VIA Rail Canada
    Jacques C. Gagnon,
    Senior Manager, Community and Media Relations, Legal and Corporate Affairs

    tel. 514-871-6604

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