Toronto luminaries gather for 2017 STARTS NOW - A Canada 150 conference series on April 26, 2013

April 17, 2013

Multi-city conference series aimed at developing best ways to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017

A collection of Toronto’s most passionate, engaged and thoughtful figures from a diverse range of pursuits — including the arts, business, activism and academia — will gather at the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto on Friday, April 26 for an exploratory discussion on how best to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

CBC/Radio-Canada, in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) and Via Rail Canada, is sparking the national conversation about Canada’s upcoming 150th anniversary of Confederation with the CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW conference series, in collaboration with other local and national organizations.

CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW is a series of regional conferences taking place across the country from April to June 2013. Developed to inform and inspire, CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW will ignite local, regional and national conversations around what 2017 means, and how we should celebrate Canada’s upcoming 150th anniversary of Confederation. The conferences will be held in both official languages and will bring together citizens and leaders from communities across every region of the country, representing every demographic of our diverse society.

  • Click here to view video of actor and aboriginal youth leader, Adam Beach’s presentation.
  • Click here to view video of Michelle Cameron Coulter, Gold medal winner, Olympic Games’ presentation.

The Toronto event is one of a dozen related conferences being held across the country, aimed at informing, inspiring and incubating local and regional projects and ideas to mark the country’s sesquicentennial, and to develop new ways to connect Canadians to national initiatives. Canadians will have the opportunity to watch the 12 CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW conferences via live stream on the interactive digital platform at Additionally, Canadians can participate in the conferences live by submitting questions and comments to @cbclive #Canada150 on Twitter.

Ideas and suggestions generated at the conferences will be compiled and presented at the CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW summary event in Ottawa on June 27.

DATE: Friday, April 26
TIME: 9 A.M.
NOTE: the conference LIVE STREAM WILL BE AVAILABLE at starting at 9 a.m.

Confirmed participants for the Toronto event include:

  • Yannick Bisson - actor, CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries (host)
  • Janine Messadié – host, Espace Musique (host)
  • Rahul Bhardwaj – CEO, Toronto Community Foundation
  • Christian Bode – vice-president, La Société d'histoire de Toronto
  • Ann Buller – president and CEO, Centennial College
  • Yves Desjardins-Siciliano – chief legal & corporate affairs, corporate secretary, VIA
  • Lucille Joseph – vice chair, Luminato Festival
  • Che Kothari – executive director, Manifesto Community Projects
  • Roberto Dante Martella – owner, Grano Restaurant
  • Gillian Smith – CEO, Institute for Canadian Citizenship
  • Kirstine Stewart – executive vice-president, CBC English Services
  • Naty Tremblay – co-founder, The People Project
  • Anthony Wilson-Smith – president, Historica-Dominion Institute

For past speaker presentations, additional event information and speaker bios, please visit

For further information or to arrange access/interviews, contact:

Renee Weekes
Senior publicist, CBC
(416) 205-2053 (office)
(416) 729-7945 (cell)

For Radio-Canada
Manon Côté
Regional communications manager

For VIA Rail Canada
Jacques C. Gagnon
Senior manager, Community and Media Relations,
Legal and Corporate Affairs
(514) 871-6604

For Community Foundations of Canada
Anne-Marie McElrone
Vice president, Public Engagement
(613) 236-2664 x 304

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