Ottawa Hosts the Canada 150/2017 Starts Now Conference Finale Event on June 27th

Following a cross-country series of 11 conferences aimed at sparking a national conversation about Canada's upcoming 150th birthday, the CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW conference series will conclude with a summary event at the Canadian War Museum Barney Danson Theatre in Ottawa on Thursday, June 27th from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET.

Visionaries and leaders will share their big ideas for the 150th anniversary of Confederation. The conference series partners -- CBC/Radio-Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and VIA Rail Canada -- will present key highlights from the series, including insights and contributions from a number of voices representing a cross-section of Canadian life. The summary event will also showcase performances by Canadian artists.

Speakers and performers will include: 
The Right Honourable David Johnston - Governor General of Canada
Jean-Marc Blais - director general, Canadian Museum of Civilization
Philippe De Gaspé Beaubien  - director and co-chair of the Business Families Foundation 
Chantal Petitclerc - gold medalist, Paralympian athlete
Bruce Croxon - co-founder Round 13 Capital, and Dragons' Den judge
Lynda Thalie - Algerian-born Canadian singer/songwriter 
Jowi Taylor - CEO and founder, Six String Nation
Cindy Doire  - singer/songwriter
Barbara McInnes - president and CEO, Community Foundation of Ottawa
Jim Watson - mayor, City of Ottawa
Marc Bureau - mayor, City of Gatineau
Sonnet L'Abbé  - poet and critic
Chorale De La Salle - with artistic director Robert Filion

Conference series partners are:
Hubert T. Lacroix - president and CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada 
Ian Bird - president, Community Foundations of Canada
Yves Desjardins-Siciliano - chief legal and corporate affairsofficer, corporate secretary, VIA Rail Canada

The conference will be co-hosted by Evan Solomon, journalist and anchor of CBC News Network's Power & Politics with Evan Solomon and CBC Radio One's The House, and Emmanuelle Latraverse, head of Radio-Canada's parliamentary bureau in Ottawa and host of Les coulisses du pouvoir at Télévision de Radio-Canada. 

Developed to inform and inspire, CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW has sparked local, regional and national conversations around what 2017 means, and how we should celebrate Canada's upcoming 150th anniversary of Confederation. Since last April, the series, presented in partnership with other local and national organizations, has brought together citizens and leaders from communities across every region of the country, and this concluding event will summarize what has been learned and how we can harness the power of Canadians to develop and inspire new ways to connect Canadians around our sesquicentennial anniversary.

As part of the CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW 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 people incubate and inspire ideas for how Canadians will celebrate this milestone. 

Canadians have the opportunity to watch the CANADA 150/2017 STARTS NOW finale presentation via live stream on the interactive digital platform at Additionally, Canadians can participate in the conferences live by submitting comments to @cbclive  and using #Canada150 on Twitter.  

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

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For further information or to arrange access/interviews, contact:
Hélène Lachance
head, regional communications

Renee Weekes
senior publicist, CBC
416-205-2053 (office) 
416-729-7945 (cell)

VIA Rail Canada
Jacques C. Gagnon
Senior manager, Community and Media Relations, Legal and Corporate Affairs

Community Foundations of Canada
Anne-Marie McElrone
Vice president, Public Engagement
613-236-2664 x 304