CBC/Radio-Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and Via Rail Canada issue an official summary of highlights of the CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW conference series today in Ottawa

June 27, 2013, Ottawa

The Canada 150/2017 Starts Now conference series concluded today at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa with the presentation of an official summary document of key findings and ideas from the three-month-long, 12-city event. The conference series, presented in partnership with CBC/Radio-Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, VIA Rail Canada and other local and national organizations, brought together leaders and citizens from every corner of the country, in both official languages, to start a national conversation about Canada’s 150th anniversary. The summary report captures the energy and dialogue that was heard across the country, and can be found online at www.2017startsnow.ca.

“Ninety days ago we set out to bring people together, to connect regions and to foster a spirit of celebration around Canada’s 150th anniversary,” said Hubert T. Lacroix, president and CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada. “We’ve heard from nearly one hundred passionate speakers, connected with more than 1200 Canadians across the country and inspired thousands more through our webcasts and social media. I’m proud of CBC/Radio-Canada’s role in bringing this spirit to life.”

“The ideas and stories Canadians shared with us are a great kickstart for Canada's 191 community foundations as we mobilize our network to build smart and caring communities leading up to 2017,” said Ian Bird, president and CEO, Community Foundations of Canada. “We look forward to working with partners from coast to coast on making this moment count.”

“Beginning in Vancouver in April, this conference series has expressed the diversity of this country through the creativity and originality of the ideas expressed in events from coast to coast,” said Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, Chief, Corporate and Legal Affairs Officer, Corporate Secretary, VIA Rail Canada. “As Canada approaches its 150th anniversary, we know this enthusiasm will grow and Canadians will come together to celebrate this important milestone in our nation’s history.”

Highlights included in the report:

  • A challenge to leave behind a cleaner environment for future generations - Vancouver.
  • Canadians should each try to acquire a second, third, or fourth language as an access path to living in one of the world’s great multicultural countries - Calgary.
  • Canadians should come together and write one new song to celebrate our 150th anniversary of Confederation ­- Toronto.
  • We should do more to ensure that young Canadians have a chance to visit and contribute to less-fortunate parts of the world - Winnipeg.
  • 2017 is a time to invigorate our cultural identity and deepen our awareness of history -Montreal.
  • A proposal for a travelling show celebrating Canadian culture in 2017 called KA’NATA - Halifax.

This investment in public engagement has left a legacy: these conferences have helped to plant seeds across the country by starting a conversation about the meaning of Canada’s next major anniversary. Now it is up to each of us to decide what happens next. What experiences can we share? What can we accomplish together for our sesquicentennial?

As part of conferences, the 2017 Starts Now Conversation Kit was launched to engage even more Canadians in the conversation. The kit helps families, friends, colleagues and neighbours host their own local conversations in communities and organizations across the country. It provides many tools and resources to help incubate ideas about how Canadians will celebrate this milestone.

For additional event information, speaker bios, and to view video presentations of the previous conferences in both official languages, please visit www.2017startsnow.ca.

For additional information, please contact:
  • Community Foundations
    Anne-Marie McElrone,
    Vice President, Public Engagement

    tel. (613) 236-2664 ext. 304
  • Radio-Canada
    Hélène Lachance
    Head, Regional Communications

    tel. 613-288-6289
  • Renee Weekes
    Senior publicist, CBC
    tel. 416-205-2053
    cel. 416-729-7945
  • VIA Rail Canada
    Jacques C. Gagnon,
    Senior Manager, Community and Media Relations, Legal and Corporate Affairs

    tel. 514-871-6604

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