Canada Lives Here… it really does!

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No, seriously, it lives HERE at CBC.  The CBC’s groundbreaking Canada Lives Here exhibit opens its doors and the nation’s eyes and ears to where we’ve gone and where we’re going in Canadian broadcasting.  It showcases the achievements and milestones of CBC’s broadcasting history, alongside a series of awesome events in Canada’s history.  Goosebump alert.

I got to take one of the first tours… and then some.  The showing of the exhibit was followed by an impromptu tour of some of the CBC’s most intriguing places; boldly going where not many Canadians have ventured before.

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The Canada Lives Here exhibit was built from scratch by CBC and lives on the 10th floor of their Toronto building.  It is built across empty studio space normally used for TV filming and live broadcasts.  I’ll let my first video speak for itself.  The hangar-like space is equipped with three gigantic screens on three separate walls.

After Director of PR John Wimbs explained the concept, the lights dimmed and the show began.  A famous face (or should I say voice) Matt Galloway, was co-leading the tour, an added bonus for us bloggers (and Metro Morning fans) invited.

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Five minutes of extreme bass, musical montages, stunning visuals and take-your-breath-away proud Canadian moments followed.   The crowd loved it, me included.  

The film was followed by a walk through to five different ‘halls’ called information, conversation, music, stars, and sports.  Lights blazed above us like Vegas in the first Hall.  Specially engineered sound ‘umbrellas’ targeted the user standing right beneath them to hear the sound bites of news and information being pumped out.  Great technology.

It’s hard to believe that the space we were in was just an open studio.  Have you ever been to Tomorrow Land in Disney World? Long hallways joined the five halls together, futuristic white walls bubbled around us, with ambient lighting and sounds.

My favourite hall was the Hall of Stars.  Famous figures stared down at us from 40-foot walls, their images printed in similar black and white familiarity.  This hall showcased the many achievements across screens that have shaped Canada’s, and not just the CBC’s, arts and entertainment in revolutionary ways.

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After the exhibit, one is left with a feeling that the CBC and Canadian broadcast achievement are one in the same.  A job well done.

Our group was small and our tour guide, Havoc Franklin, Radio Manager at CBC, with excitement gleaming in his eye, suggested he show us something no one has seen before.

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Intrigued, we followed him into the bowels of the building, underground into the archives.  We huddled around shelves upon shelves of recordings, videos and data, meticulously kept since the start of CBC’s production.  I had expected it to be air-tight, sealed like the Vatican in Angels and Demons, but it wasn’t as high-tech.  Asked to close our eyes, Havoc withdrew the archival piece and we gazed upon it when it was ready.  It was King George VI’s first and only recording in Canada for the CBC preserved on a heavy record made of metal.  We’ve come a long way baby.

From there we headed to my favourite and most anticipated place: the Newsroom.  It felt like being at ‘ground zero’ where one of the most revered news stations broadcasts breaking news to the country.  The room is humongous and filled with busy folk.  Were it not for the open studios and the fact I know CBC doesn’t do print, I’d have thought I was looking at Lois Lane’s office: The Daily Planet.

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To see the Canada Lives Here exhibit followed by the building tour really put the whole thing into perspective.  I was so grateful to have the opportunity to be there, to meet Matt, to also meet the awesome blogger behind Fuck Yeah CBC, and many other talented bloggers who shared my gratefulness!

Go and see the Canada Lives Here exhibit this weekend.  It opens today and runs a short span of four days.  Expect more interactive, public-facing stunts such as this done by CBC.  It’s where news is going.

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