CACTUS and Partners Facilitate Public Participation in DigiCanCon

The Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS) and partners are hosting four events to help Canadians participate in the “Canadian Content in a Digital World” consultation being conducted by the Minister of Heritage, culminating with a live TV and web program called “Medi@cracy” on November 20th.

The first event was offered in partnership with Regent Park Focus, a youth multimedia arts centre in Toronto on November 2nd as part of Media Literacy Day. The event solicited answers to the Heritage Minister's questions from the point of view of digital media literacy.

On Thursday November 17th, CACTUS member TriCitiesTV will host a second opportunity for the public to weigh in at the Vancouver Public Library, in the context of Media Democracy Day.

On Sunday November 20th, CACTUS, in association with the Association des journalistes indépendants du Québec, Ricochet, and St. Andrews Community TV will present a live stream and broadcast in which viewers can answer the Heritage Minister's questions by phone and Twitter. The program will be broadcast on Bell ExpressVu and streamed.

Finally, on Tuesday, November 22nd, CACTUS' Executive Director Cathy Edwards will help moderate a focus group being presented by Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) to answer the same questions. The focus group will be held over lunch at the Department of Canadian Heritage in Ottawa, and will enable WCT member and non-members to consider the questions as women working in telecommunications.

CACTUS believes the Heritage Minister's consultation is timely. Other groups are considering how Canadians access content in the digital world as well: the need for digital media literacy to make the most of the content available, to what extent digital platforms are democratizing media, and whether there are equal opportunities in digital media industries.

Simon van Vliet, President of the Association des journalistes indépendents du Québec, will co-host the bilingual pilot broadcast of Medi@cracy with Edwards on November 20th. He said: “As both Canada and Quebec are currently reviewing their cultural strategies, we want to create a national bilingual platform to explore how well our media infrastructure is supporting our democracy.”

To participate in these events:

  • Media Democracy Day, Vancouver Public Library: Thurs. Nov. 17 - 7 p.m. 350 West Georgia St.
  • Medi@cracy Call-In/Live Broadcast: Sun. Nov. 20 - 8 p.m. Eastern, channel 593 on Bell ExpressVu, or streamed from
  • Women in Communications and Technology Lunch: Tues. Nov. 22 - 12 p.m. 25 Eddy St., Hull, QC