Building the CBeeC Buzz

How are our bees doing? How did they survive the winter?

These are frequent questions asked of Athena Trastelis (Health, Safety & Environment) and Daniel Langevin (Real Estate Services), who lead the biodiversity program for the Corporation and who are responsible for launching our involvement in the urban beekeeping movement, as announced last year.  

Athena explains, “Bees do not hibernate in the winter. Rather, they cluster together and remain active inside the hive to generate heat and keep the colony from freezing. In general, we winterize them by insulating the hive, adding ventilation and maximizing their sun exposure”.

With Spring finally here, we are excited to announce that the hives in Toronto and Montreal are now open, as shown in these photos:  

And even more exciting, the program is growing.

  • In Toronto and Montreal, two additional hives will be added for a total of 6 hives each.
  • Talks are underway to possibly add beehives in our locations in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Regina and Ottawa. We hope to announce the launch of the bee program at each of these sites soon.
  • A bee camera has been installed on the rooftop of the Toronto Broadcasting Centre to give employees there a view of what our bees are up to on a daily basis. 

This is all joining in with other organizations who are getting involved to help #bringbackthebees.

And in recognition of Earth Day on April 22, we’re asking all employees to acquaint themselves and participate in their local biodiversity projects. Some of you are amateur beekeepers; others grow their own gardens. Whatever you choose to do, do your part and help keep our planet healthy.

CBC/Radio-Canada’s ongoing participation in Earth Day and other environmental activities are featured in our annual environmental report.

– David Oille, Senior Advisor, Strategic Communications, Enterprise Communications

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RBC Training Ground – At the heart of partnerships

Throughout the months of February and March, RBC, in partnership with CBC Sports, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Canadian Olympic Foundation (COF) have been travelling throughout Canada meeting young athletes as part of RBC Training Ground. Athletes between the ages of 14 and 25 were invited to participate to see if they have what it takes to compete on the world stage. This series consisted of regional workout events designed to help sport officials uncover athletes with Olympic podium potential, in sports the athletes may not have considered.

This collaborative partnership appr1oach is key to bringing the Olympic Games to Canadians and is one of the principles at the heart of our sports strategy. These kinds of collaborations are important to CBC/Radio-Canada and help generate revenue that can then be reinvested in original content creation. CBC Sports’ role during these events was to capture and tell the inspiring stories of these young athletes who were discovered and share these stories across our platforms, including our weekly program Road to the Olympic Games. We asked Jim Kozak, senior director, marketing, media solutions at CBC/Radio-Canada, about this program and what it takes to develop these kind of partnerships.

What happens at these regional events? Local athletes execute a series of workouts measuring speed, power, strength and endurance. They perform in front of coaches and officials from a variety of national and provincial sport organizations and their results are measured against performance benchmarks to determine an athlete’s capacity for sport at its highest level.

W5hy is this program important to young athletes? Simply, it will provide all young athletes with another vehicle to help them achieve their Olympic dreams. CBC Sports, along with RBC and the Canadian Olympic Foundation are truly teaming up to make future athletes talent identification easier and then providing the athlete with the experience and support they might need along the way to achieve their Olympic aspirations.

Why are these types of partnerships important? As programs like this one become woven into our new sports strategy, it’s extremely important to partner with like minded organizations to support Olympic sport within Canada at the grassroots level. This provides both CBC Sports and RBC with a voice in this space and legitimises our collective efforts to support young aspiring athletes to reach their best potential.

How do these types of partnerships benefit the public? In general, these types of programs offer us great opportunities to reach into Canadian communities and touch individuals in an emotional and meaningful way.

Can you tell us a little about what the process is like when it comes to developing a program like this? Developing these types of programs and partnerships takes time as with this program in particular, as it was woven into the overall strategy, so it is not a one-off type program. It truly is in line with what CBC Sports represents moving forward at its core. Once the program is built, it’s a matter of taking it to the market to see who in the corporate landscape has similar objectives. Once we met with RBC, we then had to align the overall vision of this program to fit with their marketing objectives realizing that it will evolve over time as it is a five-year partnership. This partnership took about 6-9 months to come to life, but the idea was born about a year ago.

A special thank you to Jim Kozak for taking the time to share with us. We also want to thank everyone who came out to participate, support and encourage these young athletes! We’re looking forward to Rio!

– Hélène Breau-Cluney, Communications officer, Enterprise Communications

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CBC Montreal’s Real Talk on Race series

Islamophobia, Black Lives Matter, missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW), the Val-d’ Or police allegations, blackface in Quebec — like everyone else around the world, Montrealers are affected by issues of race.

CBC Montreal recently launched Real Talk on Race a series looking at how people live, see and understand race in our city. At the core of the series, is a desire to share personal conversations on social media, our web site, Radio and TV programs.

In that spirit, Shari Okeke, journalist and Nantali Indongo, series producer sat down with Shelagh Kinch, Managing Director, CBC Quebec to talk real about Real Talk on Race.

Why is it important for Canada’s public broadcaster to be apart of these discussions?
Shari: ​There’s always the moment when we stop recording… and then people tell me other things. I so often was hearing someone say to me, “You know, in this province, we need to have a real conversation on race. We really never have a real conversation on race.” I just heard it so many times… I thought maybe this is the time to do that.

Nantali: A lot of people have spoken about the way that Canada [is]… so [politically correct] and that we just want be gentle, we don’t want to offend anyone. But in not really having the conversations, we’re missing where people are falling through the cracks, especially when it comes to our institutions.

We need to talk about race in the classrooms. We need to talk about race in the workplace. We need to talk about race in politics. Because we’ve been going around with this assumption that everything’s great, everything’s good.

What was it like for you to work on this project?
Nantali: Because I’m a person of colour and so connected to my English Caribbean community and other visible minority communities, that personal connection with this kind of topic just gives you the drive to really want to get this right. And we really want to make sure that we have shown respect to the people we’ve spoken to, and the things they want to talk about, and how they identify the “real talk.”

Shari: I think that there’s a lot of learning going on our end — the editorial side — for a lot of people. And I’m hoping that after this, there’s more opportunity to see stories where they might not have been noticed.

The reason I thought this was the time to pitch this… is because these are stories that don’t make it to the headlines. This is what people are living.

What are your hopes for this project?real-talk-on-race-editors-conversation
Shelagh: I’m hoping that we hear from our audience on this. I hope that they contact us online, I hope that they text into our radio shows, [that] they phone us. I really want to know what the reaction from the community is. It’s so important that we make those links.

To me, if this is opening up that door where we can have enough conversation with our audience out there — the entire audience — I think we only stand to gain and we’ll only continue to be able to grow those connections.

Shari: I don’t think the goal here is to solve the problem, and there’s not just one problem, but it’s just to start something, to take a big step in the right direction. That’s what I hope.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this series. To learn more about what Montrealers had to say, visit CBC Montreal’s Real Talk on Race.

– Debbie Hynes, Regional Manager, Communications, Marketing & Brand, English Services

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How will you celebrate Earth Hour?

earth hour

Beginning as a small movement to have people switch off their lights for one hour, Earth Hour has evolved into a global movement in the campaign to fight climate change and make our planet better.

Currently in its tenth year, Earth Hour is an initiative that CBC/Radio-Canada is proud to support. This 60-minute challenge has inspired many of our employees to do their part to protect the planet. Earth Hour is the largest voluntary action for the environment. The vision is to always do more; switching off the lights is a small step in our ongoing journey to make this a more sustainable world.  

In recognition of Earth Hour, we will be switching off all non-essential lighting in our buildings from 8:30 to 9:30 pm on March 19. This is a visual reminder that we continue to grow our environmental program and explore new ways to do our part in protecting the planet.  

Don’t forget some helpful hints!  

  • Turn the lights off in your office if you are going to be away for an hour or more.
  • Reduce phantom power by making sure device chargers (smartphones and tablets) are unplugged.
  • If possible, shutdown your computer at the end of the day.
  • Where possible, switch to LED lights.
  • Use reusable bags as often as possible.  
  • Walk, cycle or take public transportation. 
  • Shop responsibly: select products with biodegradable packaging and items made with natural and organic ingredients.

So before you switch off your lights, tell us how you will be celebrating Earth Hour this March 19! 

Athena Trastelis, Senior Manager, Environment, CBC/Radio-Canada

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On campus at Carleton University

Earlier this week, Hubert T. Lacroix, President and CEO, and Ashley Burke, videojournalist at CBC News Ottawa met a group of Journalism Masters students at Carleton University in Ottawa. These types of sessions are great opportunities for us to hear what this generation has to say about the public broadcaster, and learn how we can better connect with them. Hubert also shared an overview of CBC/Radio-Canada’s digital transformation and the affect this shift is having on the way we deliver on our mandate as a public broadcaster. Despite offering many opportunities, new ways of doing things presents challenges as well, and the students were keen to learn about how our various teams continue to learn and innovate.

Here are some of the highlights from that discussion:

When asked about the importance of having a national public broadcaster, students were quick to highlight the role that CBC/Radio-Canada plays in offering a Canadian perspective on international affairs, being the source of trusted news and promoting Canadian content.

There was also a lot of interest in learning about how CBC/Radio-Canada works with other national public broadcasters. Hubert was able to confirm that in addition to maintaining relationships with other broadcasters, we are an active member in the Public Broadcasters International forum that brings together all of the public media broadcasters in the world. Incidentally, CBC/Radio-Canada will be hosting #PBI2016 in Montreal this fall.

The students also had a lot of questions for Ashley about what it takes to pursue a career as a journalist and possibly land a job at CBC/Radio-Canada. Ashley confirmed that taking on internships helped her get her foot in the door. She also encouraged students to ”Say yes to every opportunity you get, pitch original ideas and be able to file for multiple platforms. “to make sure that you’re invited back.


Here is what some of the students had to say…

“Applause to @CBCRadioCanada for the opportunity to meet M. Lacroix & have an honest discussion about CBC’s future. “

“With the digital first initiative, @CBC is changing the perceptions of audiences and subjects of interviews #iphonejournalism #cbcchat”

“I believe that CBC/Radio-Canada could further encourage our generation to consume its content by creating more digital content via social networks or other digital platforms of the corporation, making interactive content that is sharable”

“If I had one piece of advice to give CBC/Radio-Canada, it would be to continue to spend more on digital programming.”


– Hélène Breau-Cluney, Communications officer, Enterprise Communications

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