Experience Pan Am action like never before

CBC Sports and Radio-Canada Sports introduce their apps for unprecedented coverage of the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. Ken Wolff, Executive producer at CBC, and Pierre Michaud, Content manager with Radio-Canada, tell us how our audiences can stay connected to the athletes and their stories and how our app teams are making it happen.

Find the Android and iOs apps in app stores starting July 1, Canada Day.

What are the features fans can look forward to the most?

Ken says: Live streaming. If you want to watch an event while you are sitting outside at home or on the bus, all you need is your Android or IOS phone. It’s all there live.

And because there’s real life to contend with too, for Pierre, it’s the ability to pause and rewind live video that creates a truly made-to-order viewing experience. Video markers allow users to rewind back to the goal they missed, the first lap around the track, or watch a whole event from the start.

Far from being raw video footage, mobile app users also have access to a wealth of statistics as they watch. Even when there’s no live commentary, they’ll know who scored the goal, what team is leading, who broke the previous record, who is next in line to compete, and much, much more – all right on their screen.

Both Ken and Pierre agree that while many Canadians take the competition just as seriously as CBC/Radio-Canada sports production teams, it’s also about having a bit of fun. There will be lots of social coverage through tweets, instagram, YouTube posts in new and fun ways. And we’ve hired a guy named Brittlestar to regularly provide some fun Vines during the Games. They should be worth a daily smile.

Tell us how your teams approached app development for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.

“Our new sports apps were created by the same teams that developed the apps for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.”, says Ken. “They knew how to build it, how users interact with our apps, what type of content works; and this wealth of knowledge fed into the design and development.”

It’s an integrated approach, one that involves digital teams and sports production, news and regional teams, music and other departments, all working together to grow our digital audiences. While each app shares the same platform, navigation and user experience design, they have separate editorial teams creating rich content for their own audiences.

“The result,” says Pierre “is that our audiences get to watch what they want, when they want, wherever they are. Internally, our teams are working together more collaboratively, using resources more efficiently and new friendships are created along the way as we ready ourselves for Rio in 2016, PyeongChang in 2018 and Tokyo in 2020.”

The CBC Sports App and Radio-Canada’s Pan Am App, featuring unprecedented coverage of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, presented by CIBC, will showcase more than 600 hours of streaming, video-on-demand, instant results, medal standings, photo galleries and the latest news from the Games.

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Think you know your Canadian Sports History ?

With the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games just around the corner, and in honour of  Canadian History Week (this year’s theme is sports), test your knowledge of this international sporting event!

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The Truth About Translation

Did you know that we have a team of expert translators and revisers at CBC/Radio-Canada who translate close to 4 million words a year from French to English and English to French, and also provide a handy telephone consultation service? To help you get to know them better, we asked them to clear up seven myths about their profession.

Myth 1:
Are you in a hurry? A draft translation will do, then!

Marina BostFalse – Marina Bost

There’s no such thing as a “draft” translation – only good and bad translations. Translators have a work ethic, much like journalists do. Even when we’re rushed, we strive to produce quality work. We can’t simply translate every second sentence, or only sort of render meaning in a text. In the end, every translator must self-revise and make corrections. Our skipping the re-read and revision stages certainly won’t save you any time. If your readers don’t clearly understand your message, a “draft translation” won’t be very useful to you. Given a reasonable deadline, we can often deliver speed and quality for you.

Myth 2:
Anyone who’s bilingual can translate. In fact, translators can easily work in French or English.

Brian CassidyFalse – Brian Cassidy

Being bilingual means you can speak two languages, period. If you think about it, just because you speak English or French well, that doesn’t make you a good writer or a gifted public speaker in either language. So why would anyone who’s bilingual automatically make a good translator or interpreter? Even translators, who are often considered fluently bilingual, generally don’t freely translate into both languages. We always translate into our mother tongue, because we’re tuned into its nuances and subtleties, and we know the ins and outs of our original culture. I could attempt to translate something into my second language, but it’s a bit counter-productive given that my Francophone colleagues would do it better and so much faster than me. So it’s just more practical to stick to what I know well!

Myth 3:
Google Translate can’t replace translators (well, not yet, at least).

Miguelle Saulnier-MadoreTrue – Miguelle Saulnier-Madore

People say that computers, software and other computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools are going to replace translators – in fact, they’ve been saying it for the past 15 years or more! But language is more complex than you’d think! To translate, you need to think, weigh your options, and make choices. Machines can’t figure out what puns, metaphors, and nuanced or unclear writing mean, so they’d translate parler le français comme une vache espagnole as “speak French like a Spanish cow,” when that really means “speak broken French.” Translators don’t work in word-for-word mode – they translate meaning, and so they have to clearly understand your message.

Myth 4:
To speed things up, I’ll translate the document myself and then you’ll just have to edit it

Jonathan KotcheffFalse – Jonathan Kotcheff

Unfortunately, doing the translation yourself rarely speeds things up. Unless you’re particularly gifted at writing in your second language, chances are your text is going to be riddled with syntactical errors and unidiomatic expressions (e.g., “The softwares permit to augment your efficacity”). Fixing up a text like that can often take just as much time as translating it from scratch – and sometimes even longer. So not only are you not speeding up the process, you’re also wasting a lot of your own time doing a job that we can do better and more quickly. After all, that’s what we’re there for!

Myth 5:
Some words are the same in French and English, but they don’t mean the same thing.

Myriam OcioTrue – Myriam Ocio

The closest word in the other language isn’t always the right one to use. Of course, French and English share many similar words, but each language has a logic all its own. You have to be wary of words that appear to mean the same thing, because you can easily end up with your foot in your mouth. You might even be saying the opposite of what you mean. For instance, in French the verb supporter means to tolerate someone, not assist them! The key is to flag it and go check. Otherwise, you could start using expressions that may well work in your department or with your team, but are totally out of touch with the wider world.

Myth 6:
A text that took three days to write takes at least as many days to translate.

Nicole PigeonTrue – Nicole Pigeon

There’s a whole process before your requests land on a translator’s desk. Basically, we need to assess the work, do the word count, and put everything through the translation memory. I then read pre-translated documents sentence by sentence and consult the memory results to see if anything can be lifted from previous translations. Because we often receive multiple documents for the same project, the terminology, headings and taglines must be identical. Next, we have to check whether our translators are available to meet your deadline. That’s why the 3,000 words that took you three days to write can’t be translated in three hours.

Myth 7:
Translators have limitless knowledge.

André JournaultFalse (unfortunately) – André Journault

People often assume that translators know everything, but that’s not true. Certain translators specialize in a specific field, like legal or financial. Then there are generalists, who know a bit about a lot of fields. But no one can possibly know the name of every galaxy, fruit or bird. Nor could they recite every single grammar rule and exception to you. But we do know how and where to find them for you! And even though many documents end up on our desks, we don’t know everything going on in every department of the Corporation. A bit of background and a briefing on what you expect can really go a long way with us.

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Broadcasting the Games across the Americas : What it means to be a host broadcaster

When the Pan Am Games open this July in Toronto, as the host broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada will produce the world feed for broadcast by the rights holders across the Americas and the Caribbean. Sixteen of the 36 sports will be covered live; the remainder with electronic news gathering (ENG) cameras for highlights. All medal moments will be covered and shown to audiences, whether on TV or online.

Don Peppin, Executive Producer of the CBC host broadcast of the Games, explained that, unlike the domestic feed – also produced by the CBC, but with a focus on Canadian athletes and their stories – the world feed must be both neutral and exciting. Multiple broadcasters will show the same footage, telling their own stories using the CBC-produced pictures.

“CBC Sports is recognized around the world as a premium host broadcast producer,” Don said. The challenge at this summer’s Games is to continue the legacy of the great professionals who came before, “maintaining the tradition and heritage of CBC Sports, and acting as caretaker of those high standards.”

While you might think that having the Games on your doorstep is piece of cake, Don said that there are some unique challenges to “home” games. Instead of all CBC staff staying in one hotel, the 650 people working on these Games will be travelling to the venues from a multitude of locations around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Throw heavy traffic into the mix, and you can imagine the logistical worries.

In the 16 years since the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg, Don said there have been “generational changes in terms of the available technology.” HD television is just one major innovation. However, while the delivery system may have changed, what has remained the same is the need for strong shooting and clear storytelling that is athlete-focused.

Don is very pleased with the production plans that have been developed for all of the live venues and wouldn’t pick any one sport as the one to watch. He did, however, tell me that “people will be blown away by the coverage of the opening ceremony on July 10.” He wouldn’t provide any details, but did utter three magic words: Cirque du Soleil.

The Pan Am Games run from July 10 to 26; the Parapan Am Games run from August 7 to 15. Will you be watching? Tweet us using #CBCPanAm.

– Lisa Furrie, Writer, Corporate Communications, CBC/Radio-Canada

Here’s a look at our master control & the broadcast compound from the 1999 games in Winnipeg.

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Open house event in Halifax

Last Saturday, the public was invited to visit our new facilities, for the first time in Halifax.

The Halifax team had a special day planned for them, including a number of activities such as, a red carpet activities, pictures with talent, studio visits, recording of radio id, DJ remotes, mascots and much more.  Here are some photos from the event.

It was a very special event for the CBC and Radio-Canada teams to invite the public in and showcase the building, which reflects the modern face of CBC/Radio-Canada.  In addition to delivering substantial cost savings, the building is equipped with a number of eco-efficiency features. Here’s a look at what this modern high-performance broadcast centre has to offer:

  • One of the most exciting features of the new location is that equipment and studios are flexibly designed to be interchangeable between radio, television and digital operations, all under one roof.
  • The move to the 44,000 square-foot working space perfectly aligns with our new strategy, A space for us all, which calls for us to reduce our real estate footprint by 50 per cent, or some two million square feet. Our Chebucto Road location has 66 percent less space than Bell Road and Sackville Street combined. How is this possible? With an open office environment, new production methods, better workflow planning, and new technologies to support staff in their day-to-day work, the amount of space previously used is simply not required.
  • In addition to a more economical use of space, the facility boasts a number of environmental efficiencies such as studio LED lighting, newsroom light harvesting, and a state-of-the-art Central Equipment Room that uses Intelligent Containment technology, which allows us to maintain a constant temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. The result amounts to a savings of more than 325,000 kilowatt hours a year in power consumption.
  • These changes, in addition to the cost savings realised by being tenants rather than landlords, will ultimately save the Corporation approximately $2 million per year.

Congratulations to the Halifax team and thank you to everyone who participated in the event!

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

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Find out how Canadians are embracing Social Networking

As the Social Media Advisor for CBC/Radio-Canada, I can sometimes be a little overzealous when it comes to articles on digital trends and social media. At times it can be challenging to find social media data and infographics that specifically examine Canadian audiences and behaviours. If you share my enthusiasm for social media research then you’ll be happy to hear that the Media Technology Monitor (MTM) just released a report that focuses on how Canadians are embracing social networking.

Social networking has transformed how Canadians are connecting with others online, making it easier than ever to share content, connect with peers, meet new people, and connect with brands. With 82% of Canadian social networkers being daily users, it’s easy to see why so many Canadian companies, including Canada’s public broadcaster, are aggressively using social media to engage with their audiences.

For a look at some of the interesting findings, take a look at the infographic below. Share your comments with us and the MTM team via Twitter.

-Sarah Lue, Social Media Advisor, Corporate Communications


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How Indigenous art is changing Canada’s landscape

Brent Wesley is a photographer and co-owner of Blue Earth Photography based in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. In May, Brent participated in The Gathering of Indigenous Artists at Thunder Bay Art Gallery.This event was organized by the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres as a networking opportunity for artists to make creative and business connections. We invited Brent to share his perspective on how Indigenous art is evolving.

Art is story. And as Indigenous people, we have a long history of storytelling. It was integral to our culture. It allowed us to pass on knowledge and information for millennia.

It’s fitting that in today’s contemporary society, we are continuing that tradition. Using modern tools and technology, we are still telling story. Art allows us to do that. Through words, paint, film, theatre, or in my case, photography, it gives us voice. To share our perspectives, our history, our pain, our joy.

That seems to be a common theme in the Indigenous art community. A means to express ourselves. To help us find our way to overcome the trauma and suffering we have collectively shared as a people. It can be deeply personal. Or it can be political. That’ll depend on the medium and the artist.

The historical narrative of this country has largely been written by settler society. And throughout that history, and it’s true of Indigenous people the world over, we’ve been dehumanized. Our art allows us to tell our human story.

Ian Campeau, or Deejay NDN of A Tribe Called Red, calls this evolution subtle activism. We’re not all warriors and activists that have typically dominated our portrayal in the news. It’s obvious, the general population has tuned that particular voice out. But art is transformative and Indigenous art has evolved to seamlessly mix our First Nation culture into the mainstream consciousness.

“Art always transcends class and race,” Campeau recently told the Ottawa Citizen in an interview. “That we’re not being very confrontational and just showing something real is a political statement in itself.”

We’re breaking stereotypes. We’re showing the country we’re real. It’s raw and honest. And can be very uncomfortable. It’s necessary to move forward together as a country.

Our history as artists is long. But it’s only recently that public recognition of our work has come to the forefront. People like Norval Morriseau and Buffy Sainte Marie (and many others!) paved the way for that to happen. Now we have writers like Joseph Boyden, Richard Wagamese and Thomas King. Musicians like A Tribe Called Red and Tanya Tagaq.  Artists like Kent Monkman and Rebecca Belmore.

We’re changing the landscape of this country by telling our story.

While that public recognition is important for many reasons, perhaps the most important reason is so that young Indigenous people have positive role models. So they can see we’re not the stereotypes that are often portrayed in mainstream media. They need to know their history, to be proud of their culture. If we tell our own stories, we can make sure that happens.

-Brent Wesley, Photographer and co-owner of Blue Earth Photography

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Embracing your Asian heritage at RCInet.ca

May has been officially designated as Asian Heritage Month in Canada since 2002. Two Radio Canada International anchor-producers were kind enough to talk to me about their job, the virtual community they serve in RCInet.ca’s Chinese section, and what the month means to them personally.

Zhao Li  赵黎

Zhao Li  赵黎

Zhao Li 赵黎

About your role at RCInet.ca : I have been working as an Anchor/Producer for the Chinese Section of RCI since 1989. From 1989-2012, we broadcast to China via short-waves and satellites. We produced a daily news/current affairs audio program which was filled with information about Canada. Since 2012, we have shifted our focus and have concentrated all the energy on our website: RCInet.ca.

What does the community that visits the Chinese section of RCInet.ca look like? What is the community interested in or passionate about? As I mentioned above, when we broadcast via short-waves, our main audience were Chinese listeners in mainland China. Now, with our website, I should say that our audience is much broader. Not only people in China, also a lot of Chinese in Canada, in North America.

In Canada, there are around 1.5 million Chinese-Canadians which makes up about 4% of the Canadian population. Many of them are new immigrants, including a lot of young professionals. They are establishing their new home in Canada, they are raising their children here and they are eager to learn all aspects of the Canadian society. On our website, we present them with what is happening in Canada, political systems, economic trends, legal matters, cultural dynamics, etc. Canada and China are so different on so many levels. For me, I think we are not only providing them with information, but more importantly, we are helping them to understand the Canadian society, to understand the Canadian values, to integrate into the society. This is what I have been doing, passionately, for more than 25 years.

At the same time, with globalization and the Internet, we are connected to the world more than ever. Chinese people of everywhere are interested in Canada, including students, professionals, business leaders, retired people. They may have personal or business links with Canada, due to their family members or business ventures, or they may just want to know more about Canada. They are also a part of our loyal audience.

What does celebrating the contributions of Asian communities to Canadian society mean to you personally? Is there a theme or a subject matter that is particularly close to you heart? I was born in Beijing, China and will have spent 30 years in Canada on June 5, 2015. I have lived more years in Canada than in China. I am proud of my cultural heritage, and I am happy that each May will bring a sparkle to our Canadian society.

Wei Wu

Wei Wu

Wei Wu

Please tell me about your role at RCInet.ca : A journalist with RCI in Montreal, I grew up physically in China and intellectually in Quebec. I’ve been in Canada since 1989 and at RCI since 1997.

What does the community that visits the Chinese section of RCInet.ca look like? What is the community interested in or passionate about? It’s a mixture of immigrants looking to get better acquainted with Canadian society, former listeners who are nostalgic for our shortwave broadcast, and community media professionals in search of material for stories. Our visitors are generally interested in Canadian affairs, but often have a soft spot for Chinese politics.

What does celebrating the contributions of Asian communities to Canadian society mean to you personally? Is there a theme or a subject matter that is particularly close to your heart? It’s an occasion to celebrate the talents of those who proudly embrace their Asian heritage, while being firmly rooted in North America. One theme that interests me is the relationship between Chinese labourers and indigenous peoples during the Gold Rush and the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Asian Heritage Month is almost over. To find out more about the country’s Asian communities and their history, check out the special feature on RCInet.ca.

– Jacinthe Lacombe-Cliche, Senior Writer, Corporate Communications

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CBC/Radio-Canada’s Employee Assistance Program wins EASNA award of excellence

I’m very proud to share some wonderful news. CBC/Radio-Canada’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has won an important award of excellence from the EAP trade association.

Each year, the Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA) recognizes the employee assistance program in one Canadian and one American company with its Corporate Awards of Excellence. These awards celebrate programs and services that enhance employee well-being and support a healthy and productive workplace. To put this in perspective – the American company that won the award is American Express.  So yes, this is a big deal!

eap-easna-awardOur EAP enjoys very strong support from both management and Unions. But what makes our EAP truly exceptional is the participation of some 200 employees who volunteer their time and effort to promote EAP services and organize wellness activities locally. That’s the secret to our success:  No other corporation in North America has an EAP program structured quite like ours.

So, a very sincere thanks and congratulations to everyone who contributed their time and effort to the CBC/Radio-Canada EAP, supporting employees and enhancing their well-being.

– Patrick Gagné, Senior National Manager, Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

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Yes, I want to be an artist!

Promoting the arts and supporting youth initiatives is in CBC/Radio-Canada’s DNA. That’s why we’re proud to partner with the So You Want to Be an Artist contest. Meet last year’s winner, Kevin Nguyen.


Over the years, The National Gallery of Canada has hosted the So You Want to Be an Artist? competition where Canadian youth submit their artwork and amass votes via social media.

After the voting period, the 12 most-popular works earn a spot to be exhibited within the Gallery and proceed to the next round. It is here where an expert panel of judges select the top 3 best artworks and an overall winner.

Kevin Nguyen - Woman - Age 47 (1)Last year, I was selected as the contest’s winner. My submission was Woman—Age 47, a print from a digital series that depicts the chronology of a female ferryman working in the floating markets of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

Woman—Aged 47 is essentially commentary on mid-life crises. The subject is staring outwards into the abyss yet unnervingly moving forward; her body continues to age whilst employed in a career that is consistently labourious. This was a narrative that I created and superimposed onto my art.

I was quite surprised that my piece was chosen as the winning artwork by the esteemed jury. While I had somehow accumulated the most votes in the first round, my intentions for entering the contest was to merely have the honour of exhibiting my work within the acclaimed walls of the National Gallery of Canada. For me, winning the actual competition was just the icing on the cake.

Kevin Nguyen 2I also won a trip to Ottawa and an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Gallery’s facilities, a portfolio critique by Rachelle Dickenson, a studio visit with Jennifer Lefort and a meeting with the Gallery’s Director, Marc Mayer. This was an amazing opportunity as I was given raw and unedited advice on how to attain and succeed with a career in the visual arts.

Whilst the prizes were lavish, the overall experience of the contest was the best thing I could have won—be it submitting my work online; to crafting an artist statement; to garnering votes; to my flight home—these are memories to last a lifetime.

With that said, I would encourage young Canadian artists to participate in this year’s competition as it is a great learning experience, regardless of whether you win or not.

Here is my advice to young Canadian artists:

  • Be confident in your work. Over the course of this competition, you will do an endless amount of self-promotion by showcasing your work to the public and vying for their votes. You shouldn’t enter this contest without the intention of achieving some sort of success.
  • Be proactive. No one is going to make your art for you.  No one is going to write your artist statement for you. As a young artist, you have the opportunity of being underestimated and have more than enough capacity to exceed others’ expectations of you. There needs to be initiative and self-motivation on your part in order to find a voice and style.

Since then, I have graduated from Etobicoke School of the Art’s Visual Arts program and enrolled into Ryerson University’s Creative Industries program. It is a departure from the traditional trajectory of attending art school, where this program has a poignant focus on entrepreneurship and business within the arts. I am continuing to develop my own portfolio and curriculum vitae, whilst working on pieces for an upcoming gallery show later this year.

Thank you to the National Gallery of Canada and CBC/Radio-Canada for giving me a platform to share my experience.

  Kevin Nguyen, 2014 Winner of The National Gallery of Canada’s So You Want to Be an Artist? competition

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