By Alex Fuller
Sixty-five hours of footage, over 8,000 entries and a two-minute video to advertise the best of what Canada has to offer international travelers.
That’s just scratching the surface of Canada Shared by Canadians, a nationwide project initiated by the Canadian Tourism Commission which released the finished video Tuesday morning.
The project called on Canadians to produce original videos showcasing Canadian scenery, people and culture, and the response was “overwhelming,” organizers said.
“We’re totally thrilled,” Margaret Niven, senior communications adviser at the the tourism commission told Humber News. “We’re breaking new ground here. We think part of the strong response is the impact technology is having.”
In other words, most everyone these days has access to a camera and that contributed to the “wealth of high-quality images” submitted, she said.
“We asked Canadians to take on the job of promoting Canada internationally,” Niven said. “What we found is Canadians really rose to the challenge.”
The title “35 Million Directors” is a reference to Canada’s total population, Niven said. In the five weeks the project ran during August and September this year, the commission received 8,602 entries from across the country.
“In this age of YouTube, Facebook and social media, 35 Million Directors is a creative and compelling project that allows Canadians to invite the world to come to Canada,” Maxime Bernier, the minister of state for tourism, said in a news release Tuesday.
“No one knows better than Canadians how to show off this country,” Greg Klassen, senior vice-president of marketing strategy and communications for the tourism commission, also said in a news release.
The project ran from Aug. 20 to Sept. 16, 2012.
Contributors Julia Campbell won the grand prize for a photograph of Harrison Lake, B.C., and Cecil Johnson won the viewer’s choice award for a video of a Newfoundland iceberg.
The video will be released online in the United Kingdom on Wednesday, and will be played in select cinemas in that country later next week.
The Canadian Tourism Commission’s website lists Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom as popular countries for international visitors to Canada.