Canada Direct – new series from BBC World News focuses on Canada in 2012

Canada Direct will be trying to discover from people across the country what it means to be Canadian in the 21st century."Richard Porter, Controller English, BBC Global News
Date: 11.05.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.09
Category: BBC World News
From Calgary to Montreal, Toronto to Halifax, Canada is in the spotlight this May, as some of the BBC’s leading anchors and programmes are in the country to find out more about its cultural diversity, economy and its people.

Canada Direct is a new season of programming about the country, which is broadcasting globally on the BBC’s 24 hours news channel BBC World News from 14 May. Special multimedia content will also be available on

Richard Porter, Controller English, BBC Global News, says: “In 2012 BBC World News has travelled to Mexico, Japan, Poland, France and now Canada as part of our Country Direct series. This series is an opportunity for our global audiences to find out more about the country and its people, away from the bigger headlines that dominate the news agenda.

"Canada Direct will be trying to discover from people across the country what it means to be Canadian in the 21st century. It will ask if terms like ‘cultural mosiac’; often used to describe the diversity of Canadian Society and the role of immigration in shaping the country, are relevant and reflect how people themselves feel about being Canadian in 2012.”

Programming highlights from Canada Direct include:

Flagship Newscast BBC World News America anchored from Calgary

Monday 14th May 21:00 GMT

The BBC’s flagship newscast BBC World News America with Katty Kay will broadcast live from Calgary, as the programme explores the country’s economic growth and the potential windfall from its vast oil sands. Canada is the largest single supplier of oil to the US, delivering nearly twice as much each year as Saudi Arabia and fuelling an industry which has created boom-towns trying to cash in. Katty will travel to Fort McMurray where in the last half a century, the sub-arctic outpost has been transformed into a bustling community which draws people from all over the world. The programme will also explore Calgary’s diverse make-up with the city’s mayor, whose parents emigrated from Tanzania. With forecasts that Calgary will lead Canada in economic growth in coming years, Katty will explore the challenges which lie ahead and the prospects which make the city the envy of many around the world.

Energy Panel special from Calgary with the BBC’s Katty Kay

The debate will be recorded at the University of Calgary on Friday 11th May

Canada’s role in a world of energy is under the spotlight, when a special panel from across the energy industry moderated by the BBC’s Katty Kay, will discuss both the challenges and opportunities for the industry and its relationship with the US.

One Square Mile: Lyse Doucet explores Montreal

Friday 18th May 13:30 GMT, Saturday 19th May 11:30, 16:30, 23:30 GMT

Canada is famously a country of two languages and cultures, English and French. For many, the heart of French Canada is Montreal. The BBC’s senior correspondent Lyse Doucet, explores a concentrated area of this cosmopolitan city for the documentary series “One Square Mile” - a city which has long played a pivotal role in Canadian culture and politics. The programme also explores the Olympic legacy of the city linked to the 1976 Games, with Lyse talking to Dick Pound, an Olympian himself and a former vice president of the IOC. On the culinary front Montreal lays claim to the most fattening national dish in the world: poutine and Lyse meets with Montreal chef, Chuck Hughes to sample his take on this dish, and find out what makes it so special.

Born in Eastern Canada, Lyse reports for BBC News, on TV and Radio, from around the world. She played a key role in the BBC’s coverage of the “Arab Spring “across the Middle East and North Africa, and regularly reports from Afghanistan and Pakistan

Working Lives: Vancouver

Saturday 19th May 00:30, 07:30 GMT, Sunday 20th May 12:30, 17:30 GMT

Working Lives with the BBC’s Michelle Fleury is in Vancouver, one of the country’s most ethnically diverse cities, to meet six people working in different professions. These include a local policeman who immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong, a professional working in the city’s thriving film and TV industry, a billionaire listed as one of Canada’s richest men, a Salmon farmer and a dock worker. Michelle will find out more about their day to day working lives and what drives them in their roles.

Fast Track on the Eastern Coast

Saturday 19th May 03:30, 13:30 GMT, Sunday 20th May 06:30 GMT

BBC World News’ travel strand Fast Track is in Canada to examine the tourism industry. As a travel destination, Canada is commonly associated with destinations like the iconic Rockies, Toronto with its CN Tower and the Niagara Falls. But in this edition, the show looks to the eastern coast of Canada with its three ‘Maritime Provinces’ to find out why tourists are visiting, despite the global economic downtown.

Weekend World in Halifax

Halifax airport is the gateway to Nova Scotia, a region that has developed into a popular destination for tourists. The area was in the spotlight this year around events to mark the 100 year anniversary of the Titanic. In this special edition of Weekend World, presenter Rajan Datar will be anchoring the show from Nova Scotia, and finding out how people and businesses are faring in the challenging economic climate.

Canada Direct online: will feature a range of multimedia content as part of the season, including features on the challenges Canada faces if it is to become greener and also a report on what it means to be Canadian. Other features will include a look at Canada’s large Asian population and their contributions to Canadian life. The site will also feature interactive galleries and video.

For local timings go to

For more information contact Penny Crook on +00 1 (202) 841 0869 or email