2017 STARTS NOW – a CANADA 150 Conference Series – launches in Vancouver

April 3, 2013

Visionaries, leaders & citizens gather in Vancouver, BC, on April 5 to kick-off the National Conference Series & discuss Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation

CBC/Radio-Canada, in partnership with VIA Rail Canada and Community Foundations of Canada (CFC), are 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.

Kicking-off in Vancouver, BC, on Friday, April 5, 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 spark 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 facet of our diverse society.

“For over 75 years, the public broadcaster has been telling the stories that have shaped who we are as a country and as a people,” said Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada. “The 150th anniversary of Confederation is the time to celebrate those stories and look forward to those not yet told. We want to hear from Canadians from all parts of the country on how we can do that. With speakers joining us from academia, business, arts and culture, media, and community groups, the conversation is sure to be inspiring. We’re excited to kick things off and get the country talking.”

“Canada’s railways, that “ribbon of steel,” has helped build and connect our country for close to 150 years. As much as the railway has been part of Canada’s past, so it will remain an integral part of its rich culture in years to come. With the CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW conferences we give ourselves an opportunity to take pause and appreciate the past century and a half of rich history, as well as focus on our future,” states Marc Laliberté, President and CEO of VIA Rail Canada. “We are very excited to start the discussions leading up to the 150th anniversary celebration alongside our partners and fellow Canadians.”

“This milestone is a key moment for our country, an opportunity to ask ‘What can we learn from the past 50 years?’ and ‘What do we want to achieve together in the next 50?’” said Ian Bird, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Foundations of Canada. "We can’t wait to participate in conversations from coast to coast and to host additional conversations in some of the 187 communities that are home to community foundations.”

Vancouver CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW Speakers include:

  • Ian Hanomansing, CBC News (conference host)
  • Julie Landry, Radio-Canada (conference host)
  • Sonnet L’Abbé, poet and critic
  • Bif Naked, recording artist
  • Adam Beach, actor and Aboriginal youth advocate
  • Tzeporah Berman, author and environmental activist
  • Michael Byers, professor, University of British Columbia
  • David Helliwell, CEO and co-founder, Pulse Energy
  • Jessica McDonald, executive vice-president at Heenan Blaikie Consulting
  • Andrew Petter, president, Simon Fraser University
  • Gaeten Royer, architect and urban planner
  • Rob Tarry, creative director and partner of Rethink advertising
  • Faye Wightman, president and CEO, Vancouver Foundation
  • Yuen Pau Woo, president and CEO, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

The goal of the CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW conferences is to inform, inspire and incubate 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 www.2017startsnow.ca starting April 5. Additionally, Canadians can participate in the conferences live by submitting questions and comments to @cbclive #Canada150 on Twitter.

CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW conference schedule:

  • Vancouver: Friday, April 5
  • Calgary: Friday, April 12
  • Toronto: Friday, April 26
  • Saskatoon: Wednesday, May 1
  • Winnipeg: date to be confirmed
  • 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

For more information about each conference, visit http://www.2017startsnow.ca.

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.

CBC/Radio-Canada, VIA Rail and Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) are presenting the CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW series in collaboration with the following Canadian organizations: Canadian Chamber of Commerce; Canadian Cooperative Association, Canada Museums of Science and Technology; Federation of Canadian Municipalities; Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation/Arts Nation; Heritage Canada Foundation; 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.

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