Luminaries gather in Montreal for 2017 STARTS NOW — a Canada 150 conference series on May 8, 2013

May 6, 2013

What do these eleven personalities from amongst the most passionate, top luminaries in Quebec and from a diverse range of pursuits including the arts, culture, business, technologies and First Nations have in common?

  • Simon Brault – President, Culture Montréal
  • Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, Chief Legal & Corporate Affairs, Via Rail Canada
  • Éric Fournier – Partner and Executive Producer, Moment Factory
  • Manon Gauthier – CEO, Segal Centre of Performing Arts
  • Sonnet L’Abbé – Poet and critic
  • Pierre Lavoie – Co-founder, Le Grand défi Pierre Lavoie
  • Michel Leblanc – President and CEO, Board of Trade Metropolitan Montréal
  • Marc LePage – President and CEO, Génome Québec
  • Ghislain Picard – Chief, Assembly of First Nations for Quebec and Labrador
  • Gilbert Rozon – Founder, Just for Laughs Group
  • Monique Savoie – President-Founder and Artistic Director, Society for Arts and Technology (SAT)

These great influencers will gather in Montreal, on Wednesday, May 8 for an explanatory discussion on how best to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. They will present their thoughts on today’s Canada, its future and how to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

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.

The conferences are being held in both official languages and bring together citizens and leaders from communities across every region of the country, representing every demographic of our diverse society. This series of regional conferences is taking place across the country from April to June 2013. 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.

The Montreal 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 celebrate Canada’s upcoming 150th anniversary of Confederation, and to develop new ways to connect Canadians to national initiatives. Canadians have the opportunity to watch the 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 and using #Canada150 on Twitter.

For 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
France Bélisle
Manager, Media Relations and Issues Management

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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