Talking with the next generation

After gladly accepting the invitation of a Concordia professor, CBC/Radio-Canada President Hubert T. Lacroix visited the university on Wednesday to talk to a class of journalism students about the public broadcaster. Accompanying him, I had the chance to listen in on the discussion.

Always enriching and stimulating, these meetings allow Hubert to sound out the younger generation on their media consumption habits and, more importantly, to find out what they expect from their public broadcaster today – and tomorrow. To prep the students for the discussion, we had sent over a short backgrounder on the Corporation.

The group was bursting with ideas and relevant questions, displaying extensive knowledge of current events and the transformation under way at CBC/Radio-Canada.

The conversation spilled over into social media, with students tweeting highlights from the discussion. The budding journalists were particularly surprised to learn that more than 90% of CBC/Radio-Canada’s prime-time content is Canadian, and that for each dollar received from Canadians, the Corporation generates nearly $4 for the Canadian economy.

While on campus, Hubert also gave interviews to reporters from the university’s two student newspapers, The Concordian and The Link. By taking a few minutes to answer their questions, he not only offered the students a valuable journalism experience, but also got the chance to hear their concerns. The two reporters and one photojournalist we met with asked very smart questions, impressing us with their energy and insight. If this is the next generation, the future looks bright indeed!

- Marie-Eve Desaulniers, Senior Advisor, Brand, Communications and Corporate Affairs

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Media Technology Monitor celebrates 10 years





Over the last 10 years, there have been many changes in media technology. We’ve seen the end of the VCR, the decline of analog cable, and the breakthrough of over-the-top TV (OTT) services like Netflix. New technologies such as PVRs, tablets, smartphones and Smart TVs  have emerged, along with online activities like Facebook and Twitter.

Are you curious to know about the next big thing in media technology? Interested to learn where people are going for their online audio and video content? If so, you’ll want to follow the Media Technology Monitor (MTM).

The MTM provides valuable insight into consumer trends. For the past decade, the MTM has conducted research in the area of technology ownership and use. As Canada’s most accurate syndicated media technology survey, the MTM has spoken with over 120,000 Canadians to learn about the technologies they own, the media they access, and their online activities.

To celebrate its anniversary, the MTM will be launching a new and improved website, and offering more information about media usage. Follow the MTM on Twitter to stay up to date with media tech news, the latest data, and 10th anniversary events.

-Melanie Miles, Writer/Editor, Corporate Communications

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CBC/Radio-Canada’s newsrooms show their support to #CharlieHebdo

Our thoughts go out to the victims and their loved ones at Charlie Hebdo.

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Iqaluit and Yellowknife show their generous spirit

For Christmas Day, we wanted to acknowledge everyone who has gone out of their way to make this holiday season a little brighter for those in need. Thanks to your generosity, many will be able to eat a warm dinner and wear clean clothes. It’s time to remind your little ones that Christmas miracles really do exist.

I was interested in learning more about what our colleagues up North do to help support their communities. It took just one phone call for Joanna Awa, Coordinating Producer, CBC/Radio-Canada North Radio, to accept my interview request. Two days later, I was asking her about the CBC charity campaign in Nunavut. With questions in hand, ready to conduct my interview in an orderly fashion, I’d never have guessed that our conversation would leave me with such a strong sense of humanity.

I was struck by how deeply committed Joanna and her fellow CBCers are to helping the less fortunate in their community. It was in this spirit of generosity that, for the third straight year, the CBC Iqaluit station hosted a special charity show from the Quajuqtivik Soup Kitchen.

The event kicked off on the morning of December 5 in a festive, family atmosphere. Local artists graciously filled in on short notice for a student choir kept home by a raging blizzard – one of the hazards of life in the North!

Station employees made a huge contribution to the shindig by cooking up dishes at their own expense. Local residents also generously donated their time and food to the event. Thanks to the combined efforts of CBCers and Iqalummiut, over $3,000 was raised for the Quajuqtivik Soup Kitchen and Nunavut food bank. That’s $1,000 more than last year’s campaign!

Joanna is aware that poverty may not always be visible in our communities, but it definitely exists. She feels it’s unacceptable for a child to go hungry during the holiday season.

Congratulations to all of our CBC Iqaluit colleagues!

Also in Yellowknife . . .

On December 12, CBC North employees in Yellowknife held a charity fundraiser with proceeds going to the city’s food bank. The station also helped collect donations for the Salvation Army’s Annual Christmas Kettle Campaign.

For the public broadcaster, these events are a chance to bring communities together to celebrate the holiday season, while helping improve the lives of our most needy citizens.

Thank you for opening your hearts.

- Nathalie Vanasse, Communications Officer, Corporate Communications


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One day till Christmas: time for a few laughs!

What better way to end the year off than with the world’s best medicine? Laughter!

Why not watch Republic of Doyle’s final season blooper reel?  Giggles guaranteed!

You’ll find outtakes with many familiar faces!

There’s no shortage of options for ringing in the New Year. For a satirical look back at the year’s events, why not watch This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Air Farce New Year’s Eve 2014-2015 on Wednesday, December 31?

Take a peek at the holiday programming!

Don’t forget to laugh during the holidays!

- Hélène Breau, Agente de communications / Communications institutionnelles

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Two days till Christmas – two recipes to make you happy!

Holiday celebrations are all about gathering around the kitchen counter or a table to prepare meals – traditional or otherwise – to be enjoyed with our loved ones.

Here are some festive CBC/Radio-Canada recipes. Indulge!

Turkey or bread pudding? What will you choose?

Don’t be afraid to try new flavours – you might be surprised! For more delicious recipes, visit our holiday page.

- Hélène Breau, Agente de communications / Communications institutionnelles

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Three days till Christmas: The biggest scientific breakthroughs of the year

With the year drawing to a close, I was curious to know what the hosts and staffers on CBC/Radio-Canada’s science shows considered to be the most important breakthroughs of 2014. Much to my surprise, there was unanimous agreement on the following two science stories:

The Rosetta mission

c_srivastavaFor Chantal Srivastava, a reporter with Les années lumière on ICI Radio-Canada Première, “waking up a probe and landing it on a comet after a 10-year journey through space was an astonishing feat.”

Bob McDonald, Host of Quirks & Quarks on CBC Radio One, explained to us why the Rosetta mission marked a turning point in space exploration:

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission and its PhilaeBob lander was a first ever landing on a comet. It took ten years to get there and landing was incredibly difficult. Even though the lander ended up in a shadow and had to go into sleep mode after two days, the scientists still got at least 85% or more of the science they were after before the batteries died. And the mission is not over. The mothership is still functioning and will remain in orbit around the comet for the next year as it swings past the sun and develops a tail. There has never been a space mission like it.


The wreck of the HMS Erebus

dando_sue3_webSue Dando, Executive Producer of CBC Television’s The Nature of Things, told me she could go on for hours about the discovery of one of the ships from the ill-fated Franklin expedition – “an expedition doomed from the start.” In 1845, the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror disappeared at sea while explorer John Franklin and his crew were looking for the Northwest Passage, a shortcut between Europe and Asia.

For the Quirks & Quarks team, “discovering Franklin’s ship Erebus was a great story of exploration, Canadian technology and serendipity. Ironically, just as it was pack ice that doomed the Franklin expedition, it was pack ice that forced the search crews farther south into the area where the ship actually lay.”

“The next step will be exploring the wreck in great detail to find out what actually happened, then find the sister ship, Terror”, added Bob McDonald.

Exploration took centre stage in 2014, and the world of science will surely treat us to many other exciting discoveries in 2015.

Jacinthe Lacombe-Cliche, Senior Writer, Corporate Communications

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Four days till Christmas : Four traditions from abroad

Spending the holidays far from home can be a learning experience, as each country has its own traditions. Here are a few, shared by five of CBC/Radio-Canada’s foreign correspondents.  


NeilMacdonaldWashingtonians celebrate Christmas pretty much the same way as people in, say, Ottawa. Trees, carols, turkeys, gifts, all of that. Followed by a lot of shopping on Boxing day and a big party on New Year’s Eve.

- Neil Macdonald


meagan-capitolWashington residents enjoy dropping by the National Christmas Tree near the White House and enjoying nightly entertainment there. At the other end of the National Mall is the Capitol Christmas Tree, which adds to the festive mood downtown. Families also enjoy visiting the National Zoo, which is transformed into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights and live music.

- Meagan Fitzpatrick, @fitzpatrick_m


Yvan cotéChina has been westernizing at a dizzying pace in recent years and the growing popularity of Christmas is just one of the many changes sweeping the country. Santa Claus is now plastered on department store windows, restaurants in the big cities serve special Christmas menus, and bars do brisk business on Christmas Eve and Christmas night. It’s even said that Santa is more familiar to young Chinese today than Jesus himself. So the holiday is devoid of religious meaning here – it’s a purely commercial celebration.

Yvan Côté, @yvancote


Derek_2In the Middle East, Christmas isn’t a big deal, with the notable exception of Bethlehem. Muslims and Jews do not celebrate Christmas, so in most of the region December 25th is a normal day. But Catholic pilgrims from around the world flock to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where it’s thought Jesus was born. Midnight mass on December 24th is the highlight, with thousands packing into Manger Square to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Derek Stoffel, @DerekStoffelCBC


marie-eveIn Lebanon, Christmas is celebrated lavishly – and then some! Beirut becomes a city of festive colours, glittering lights and bustling streets, to everyone’s great delight. People from all over – and of all faiths – come to town to admire the show. That means Christmas also brings a harmonious mix of religious symbols. In front of Beirut’s main Sunni mosque, a huge decorated Christmas tree draws crowds, with Muslims and Christians alike jostling to capture the scene for posterity. Here, the massive, larger-than-life nativity scene in Sassine Square awaits the arrival of the Baby Jesus on Christmas night without ruffling any feathers. But the holiday is also a time of heightened vigilance. The conflicts raging at Lebanon’s doorstep have made security a visible concern during the celebrations. At the entrance to the Christmas village in the Christian district of Achrafieh, visitors are greeted by armed guards rather than the Snow Queen. And just like in Canada, the holiday is an excuse for rampant consumerism. Not an hour goes by when my cellphone doesn’t light up with an SMS ad telling me that time is running out to take advantage of discounts, special offers and exclusive merchandise to make all of my loved ones’ wishes come true. Christmas in Beirut, and Lebanon as a whole, is also that of an uprooted Christian community not really in the mood to celebrate. Those who fled here from Syria and Iraq can’t forget the scenes from the war that claimed their homes, job, family, memories and aspirations. There will be no festivities for them. Most will tell you they have but one wish: to leave, wherever they can go.

Marie-Eve Bédard, @mebedardSRC


- Marie-Eve Desaulniers, Senior Advisor, Brand, Communications and Corporate Affairs

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Five days till Christmas… 5 questions with Kim Wilson

It’s been a busy year over at Kids’ CBC! As the Creative Head for CBC Children’s and Youth kimProgramming, Kim and her team have worked on many exciting projects this past year.  Among them is the launch of The Moblees. This new show is a “movement movement,” aimed at getting kids moving and helping them develop healthy habits.

With 5 days left before Christmas, I managed to carve out some time with Kim, and ask her about her holiday traditions and her year in review.

  1. What shows will you be sure not to miss during the holidays? I love all of the countdown content of the year in review, whether it is TV, in songs or news. As a family, we watch all of the old-school holiday shows, from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to Frosty the Snowman. The Grinch is my son`s favourite. He`s 7, so a great age for it.
  1. If you could invite any CBC host/personality over for a holiday dinner, who would you invite and why?  Anne-Marie Mediwake. I love her passion for news and being reflective of the community she serves.  As a bonus, she has triplets around the same age as my son, so I think it would add to the lovely and loud kid energy that I love.
  1. What is your favourite holiday DIY project to do with your son? We have done many over the years, including a cardboard arcade, a family tree cake, and painting profile pictures of grandparents. This year, I’m going to have him write a book with pictures. I think we’ll do a year in review book, and start a new holiday tradition.   
  1. In 2014, what program/film made you:

Laugh until you cried: The Lego Movie.

Cry: All the athlete profiles and mom-targeted ads during the Olympics always make me cry. I love the emotional stories around commitment to sport, and all the love and support it takes to get there.

Think: Any political drama. I love American politics, so House of Cards, Scandal, Homeland, and of course any documentaries on the subject, or profiles of politicians.

  1. What big new show are you looking forward to in January?  The show I am really looking forward to actually launches in the spring – Chirp. For those with young children, you may know the amazing Canadian magazine of the same name. This show brings Chirp, his friends, and their themed adventures to life in a way that I think will really excite kids.

If you’re on Twitter, follow Kids’ CBC and CBC Parents to stay up to date on the latest!

-Sarah Lue, Social Media Advisor, Corporate Communications

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Six days till Christmas, six literature buffs give us their reading suggestions

Here are the top picks from our colleagues at CBC Books and Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! Certain links are offered in French only.

With the holidays and some well-deserved time off (we hope!) just a few days away, what better way to relax than to catch up on your reading. Following are a few recommendations for books to keep you entertained during the Christmas break or between festivities.

Daphné Santos-Vieira @daphnesvieiraoneill_girlwhowas_cover
Canada Writes, CBC Montreal
For me, it would definitely be Heather O’Neill’s The Girl Who Was Saturday Night. Heather O’Neill has a way with words for telling compelling personal stories that feel real and really invested emotionally. So, she gets my vote!

frog musicAnn Jansen @StillReadsBooks
Senior Producer, CBC Books/Canada Reads
Frog Music is a vivid, pulsating account of love, murder and a search for justice set in 19th-century San Francisco. I love Emma Donoghue’s gender-bending accounts of women in earlier times and this book is a gripping high-stakes story.

NoraWebsterEleanor Wachtel @EleanorWachtel
Host, Writers and Company, CBC Radio One
ONE of my favourite novels of the year is Colm Tóibín’s Nora Webster; inspired by his mother, it’s a masterful portrait of a woman, a recent widow in her mid-40s, and of a society in small town Ireland in the late 1960s.

Noémie Désilets
Research, Plus on est de fous, plus on lit!, ICI Radio-Canada Première
Two books really stood out for me this year and, because they’re so different, I can’t pick a favourite!

Vie_litteraire_LaFiction: La vie littéraire by Mathieu Arsenault. It’s more than just a look at a literary industry in crisis and books as a dying art. For me, it’s primarily a book about the loss of inner life, and the role of culture as a way to leave something for posterity – a novel that perfectly reflects the times.

Non-Fiction: Sœurs volées. Enquête sur un féminicide au Canada by Emmanuelle Walter. Since 1980, nearly 1,200 aboriginal women have been murdered or gone missing in Canada with little public outcry. Walter goes beyond the statistics and tells the story of two missing teenagers, Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander. A gripping read.

Marie-France Lemaine @Mefel
Researcher, Plus on est de fous, plus on lit!, ICI Radio-Canada Première
tram-83Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Métailié): Debut novel by a young writer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The author takes us to the heart of a DRC mining town, a world of bars, cafes and brothels. By turns tragic and laugh-out-loud funny, the novel is bursting with life, sex, music, nightmares and poetry.

Englebert des collines by Jean Hatzfeld (Gallimard): Writer/Journalist Jean Hatzfeld has already penned three exquisite narratives about the tragedy in Rwanda. With Englebert des collines, he offers a moving account by a survivor of the genocide – an original and endearing character. And as always, Hatzfeld writes in that magnificent, poetic French so distinctive of Rwandans.

Marie-Louise Arsenault @plusonlit
Host and reporter, Plus on est de fous, plus on lit!, ICI Radio-Canada Premièrefeu de mon pere

Like her colleagues Noémie and Marie-France, Marie-Louise suggests two reading selections: one homegrown – Le feu de mon père by Michael Delisle – and the other from abroad – La petite communiste qui ne souriait jamais by Lola Fafond.


Useful reading links (in English and French)

Jacinthe Lacombe-Cliche, Senior Writer, Corporate Communications

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