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CTC and Disney collaborate to showcase today's Canada with updated film at Epcot

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August 20, 2007

VANCOUVER, Aug. 20 /CNW/ -


The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) leads industry in changing Americans' views of Canada. Since 1982 guests from around the world have been taken on a tour of beautiful Canadian landscapes and diverse cultures as they watched the film O Canada! in the Canada pavilion at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Now, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) and tourism industry partners have collaborated with the Walt Disney World Resort and Walt Disney Imagineering to give this movie a facelift. The newly enhanced film spotlights Canada in a modern, witty way - much like the CTC's new Brand Canada - by showcasing Canada's self-deprecating sense of humour and best-loved icons in a fresh, unexpected way.

This fall, the reworked version will light up the screen in the Canada pavilion at Epcot. Actor Martin Short, a Hamilton, ON native, confronts Canadian misconceptions head-on and demystifies them. Viewers take a journey through a country they thought they knew, but discover Canada is so much more than vast landscapes.

The film is 14 minutes in length with 65% new footage, including six new aerials of Montréal, QC, Toronto, ON, Calgary, AB, Vancouver and Victoria, BC and Niagara Falls, ON. Instead of cars, clothes and cityscapes, the film takes in acrobatic Cirque du Soleil performances and rowdy rodeo action at the Calgary Stampede. Scenes portray Canada's diverse people, culture and wilderness - a modern, young and beautiful nation. The soundtrack features 2006 "Canadian Idol" winner Eva Avila, a singer from Québec.


With this updated film, the CTC and its tourism partners hope to change perceptions. Canada is the world's No. 3 most-livable country and everybody wants a Canadian friend, according to Anholt Nation Brands Index. Even so, many Americans think Canada is a cold, northern place with little to do except explore nature. And Americans' opinions matter. The US is Canada's No. 1 international tourism market, attracting 14 million travelers a year. But since 9/11, these numbers have declined.

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"This film is a huge success story for Canada," says CTC President and CEO Michele McKenzie. "It does what our Brand Canada does - paints a picture of Canada as it is today: progressive, colourful, multi-ethnic and original. It's time we show Americans and the world what Canada really has to offer."


- The Canada film is presented in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot. This pavilion is part of the World Showcase at Epcot which features 11 countries that surround a 1.2-mi promenade that encircle the World Showcase Lagoon.

- The Canada pavilion features a replica of Fairmont Le Château Frontenac and a log cabin-style boutique selling Roots clothing and other popular Canadian products.

- Disney owns the film rights. Walt Disney Imagineering worked closely with the CTC and Canada's tourism leaders to provide content to update the film.

- The new Canada film is just one of many initiatives the CTC is taking to reach Americans. Most recently, the CTC and its Canadian tourism partners launched an aggressive print and billboard campaign in New York, Boston and Los Angeles. The campaign runs through this summer.

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