(CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY)
Let me start by playing you something.
[Play audio of news stings for CBC and Radio-Canada]
What comes to mind when you hear those sounds?
To me, those sounds are attention grabbing, comforting, familiar and safe. They tell me what’s coming up is important.
Feelings like those are the product of a decades-long relationship based on integrity, quality and trust. And they extend well beyond news, to any of our 30 offerings on radio, television, Web, and mobile, enjoyed by Canadians every day.
For me these sounds “resonate”, they trigger an emotion, they force me to pause.
As Canada’s public broadcaster, we are more than just a media company. We are a part of the communities we serve, and we believe we have to play as big a part in Canada’s future as we’ve played in its past. That’s why this past spring, we set out to engage people across the country about the 150th anniversary of Confederation coming up in 2017. We partnered with VIA Rail and the Community Foundations to set up conferences in every Province, and the North. Our goal was to provide a public space where communities could gather and share their stories about Canada and begin planning activities to celebrate this important milestone. 1200 community delegates attended these conferences where they listened to 90 speakers who talked about their vision for the country. We connected people. This is what we do.
The format of today’s Annual Public Meeting is a fitting reminder of how much our world has changed. Radio, for example, the theme of today’s panel discussion, has gone through tremendous change in recent years.
It used to be seen as a one-way source of information. Today, radio is much more than that, as it’s evolved into a two-way channel for discussion and dialogue. From Cross Country Checkup to Espace musique’s Facebook page, the audience is often as much a part of the broadcast as the host. New digital tools allow us to engage with Canadians in real time and complement and enhance the radio experience in ways we never imagined before.
In keeping with today’s theme, I’d like to share with you some of the key accomplishments we’ve made on the radio front as we reach the mid-point of our five-year strategy. Overall, we are more present in the regions, more connected with our audiences, and we have the numbers to prove it:
Strategy 2015 has made us more digital, and changes in how we deliver audio programming are a big part of that shift. Think of Espace.mu, CBCMusic.ca, smart phone apps, live streaming, podcasts… Available all the time.
We’re changing, we’re evolving. We’re challenging the status quo. We want to create a one-on-one relationship with our listeners.
And you don’t have to look any further than our five hosts participating in today’s panel discussion: they do just that.
Their contribution to our content is a great example of our evolution. I’m very proud of that.
I’m also very proud of the fact that the Olympics will be returning to CBC/Radio-Canada in February. As the public broadcaster, we will bring you more than just the medal count. Like we did in Beijing, we will bring perspectives and stories from Russia, to ensure Canadians understand the social, economic and cultural context in which the Games are being held. True to our mandate, we will inform and enlighten, as well as entertain.
Before I continue I want to share with you a video of some of what you can expect this February.
[Play Olympics video]
Time now for our CFO, Suzanne Morris, to bring you up to speed on our financial picture.
CONCLUSION (Hubert returns to podium after Suzanne)
Canadian culture, Canadian democracy, the Canadian experience – none of these concepts are top-down. They are the product of collaboration, dialogue, interaction. They are the product of citizens passionately exchanging ideas, values, and dreams. We want to be the place where those exchanges happen.
So let’s have a great session today. Let’s dream big, let’s have some fun, but above all, let’s keep in touch.