YTV MARKS THE UNITED NATIONS’ WORLD ENVIRONMENT
DAY WITH INSPIRING NEW CORUS KIDS ORIGINAL,
CITIZENKID: EARTH COMES FIRST
Climate Change Documentary Inspired by the CitizenKid Book Collection from Kids Can Press
Join the Virtual Movement! Canadians Can Show Their Commitment to Tackling Climate Change by Posting an #EarthComesFirst Pledge on Social Media
Watch the Brand New Trailer for a First Look at the Special
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For Immediate Release
TORONTO, May 14, 2020 – On the United Nations’ World Environment Day, Corus Entertainment brings families a new Corus Kids Original documentary, CitizenKid: Earth Comes First (1x22min), highlighting four Canadian youth activists with a shared passion for making the world a better place. Premiering on Friday, June 5 at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT on YTV, CitizenKid: Earth Comes First follows Hannah Alper, Cooper Price, Charlene Rocha and Sophia Mathur as they set out to raise awareness of climate change issues and empower kids to take action. Produced by White Pine Pictures, CitizenKid: Earth Comes First is inspired by the award-winning CitizenKid book collection from Corus Entertainment’s Kids Can Press, designed to inspire kids to be better global citizens.
“In the midst of the challenging times we are currently facing, CitizenKid: Earth Comes First is a motivational, intelligent and stimulating take on climate change from the perspective of today’s youth,” said Colin Bohm, Executive Vice President, Content and Corporate Strategy, Corus Entertainment. “We hope families will watch this uplifting documentary together and discover, in their own big or small way, how they can make a difference within their community to help the planet.”
“Since its launch 11 years ago, the CitizenKid collection of books on global issues for young readers has sold over 1.6 million copies worldwide, in 21 languages and 28 territories, covering themes ranging from children’s rights to biodiversity to food and water security,” said Lisa Lyons Johnston, Publisher and President of Kids Can Press and Executive Producer of CitizenKid: Earth Comes First. “CitizenKid stories motivate young readers to look at their communities and the world, discover how they can contribute, and empower them to make change. With the growth of activism among younger and younger citizens, it only makes sense that the CitizenKid ethos would move from page to screen and involve these four inspiring young people in partnership with industry leaders White Pine Pictures and YTV.”
“The White Pine Pictures team has been honoured to partner with Lisa Lyons Johnston at Kids Can Press and the terrific folks at YTV to produce this important and entertaining documentary,” said Peter Raymont, President of White Pine Pictures. “Young people are way ahead of most of us on climate change. They get it. We should listen to them, and act.”
The inspirational documentary provides a behind-the-scenes look at how these young activists use social media to amplify their voices to reach their peers, community, and people around the world, making it Corus Kids’ first original production to integrate social media outreach and engagement. To mobilize the country to unite on climate change issues, the documentary is asking Canadians to take part online in their #EarthComesFirst movement, which encourages people to pledge on social media how they put the Earth first in their everyday life, for example, shopping locally, walking or biking more often, or turning off the lights and electronics when not in use.. Starting today, Canadians can record a video with their pledge following the format below and post it on their social media account:
“Hi, my name is [Charlene Rocha] and I put Earth first by [using reusable water bottles.]” #EarthComesFirst @CitizenKidTV @ytvofficial #ytvofficial
Each a true activist in their own personal area of interest, Alper, Price, Rocha, and Mathur join forces in CitizenKid: Earth Comes First to raise awareness on a broad range of social and environmental issues. In the special, Alper and Price attend the Nature Based Climate Solutions Summit in Ottawa where they speak to Mandy Gull, member of the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi and Deputy Grand Chief of the Cree First Nation; and Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., Mathur and Rocha meet with the creators of Parachutes For The Planet, an initiative created by Mother Earth Project, a nonprofit organization founded in 2015 by internationally renowned sculptor and scientist Barton Rubenstein and his family. To raise awareness about the climate emergency, Mother Earth Project encourages individuals, schools, and communities around the world to decorate circular pieces of cloth with artwork and collective commitments to sustainable actions. Parachutes are a metaphor for bringing the planet back to a safe, sustainable world.
All four activists head to Washington, D.C. for Fridays For Future to meet youth involved in the climate strike event. Fridays For Future is a global movement that began in August 2018 after Greta Thunberg began striking every Friday outside the Swedish Parliament. Since then young people continue to gather and strike every Friday to demand more aggressive action from their governments and the international community.
Finally, inspired by the Nature Based Climate Solutions Summit, all four activists organize an environmental rally with the students at Equinox Holistic Alternative School, an environmentally conscious grade school in Toronto.
At the age of nine, Hannah launched her blog, Call Me Hannah, to share her growing concern for environmental issues. Now at 17, she has emerged as an author and impassioned public speaker having spoken at 37 WE Days across North America. In 2017, Hannah sat down with activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai for a one-on-one interview. Hannah uses her voice to motivate and empower people of all ages to identify their passion and take action for a better world.
With a keen interest in politics, Cooper has joined the climate movement and devotes his time fighting for change by leading walkouts, protests and rallies at his school. Cooper is an ambassador for Climate Action Now, a volunteer climate change and environmental organization, and an active member with SSUNS, a high-school level model UN conference where youth leaders discuss and collaborate to discover solutions to global issues.
Committed to climate change and social justice, to advocating for gender and racial equality, Charlene got into environmental activism for her viral speech at a Fridays For Future strike. At the age of 16, she’s lobbying the government and has fought to get the city of Pickering, where she lives, to declare climate emergency. Along with being an eco-warrior, she’s an aspiring engineer and wants to encourage other women to follow their dreams, regardless of the obstacles they face.
At only seven years old, Sophia realized a current climate emergency and decided that she needed to start lobbying for a livable future. At 11 years old Sophia delivered her first speech at Queen’s Park. Now at the age of 12, she has since met Greta Thunberg and she spends her time organizing rallies for climate change and striking with Fridays For Future.
Produced by White Pine Pictures, CitizenKid: Earth Comes First is executive produced by White Pine Pictures′ Peter Raymont. For Corus Entertainment, Lisa Lyons Johnston is Executive Producer; Amanda Vaughan is Production Executive; and Colin Bohm is Executive Vice President, Content and Corporate Strategy. CitizenKid: Earth Comes First is produced by Stephen Paniccia and directed by Stefan Scaini.
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YTV is a Corus Entertainment Network and is available through all major TV distributors, including: Shaw, Shaw Direct, Rogers, Bell, Videotron, Telus, Cogeco, Eastlink, SaskTel and the new STACKTV, streaming on Amazon Prime Video Channels.
About Corus Entertainment
Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) is a leading media and content company that develops and delivers high quality brands and content across platforms for audiences around the world. Engaging audiences since 1999, the company’s portfolio of multimedia offerings encompass 34 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, a suite of digital assets, animation software, technology and media services. Corus is an established creator of globally distributed content through Nelvana animation studio, Corus Studios, and children’s book publishing house Kids Can Press. The company also owns innovative full-service social digital agency so.da, and lifestyle entertainment company Kin Canada. Corus’ roster of premium brands includes Global Television, W Network, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, HISTORY®, Showcase, National Geographic, Disney Channel Canada, YTV and Nickelodeon Canada, Global News, Globalnews.ca, Q107, Country 105, and CFOX. Visit Corus at www.corusent.com.
About White Pine Pictures
Founded 40 years ago by award-winning filmmaker, Peter Raymont, White Pine Pictures is a Toronto-based film and television production company. Its documentary feature films include the Emmy and Sundance award-winning Shake Hands with the Devil and the Oscar short-listed Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould and A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman. White Pine Pictures recently produced the TIFF 2019 Opening Night Gala Film, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, Toxic Beauty, which airs on Starz in 2020 and season two of CBC’s In the Making. Margaret Atwood: A Word after a Word after a Word is Power premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam in 2019 and is now streaming on Hulu. White Pine also produced the widely broadcast TV drama series The Border & Cracked.
About Kids Can Press
Kids Can Press, part of the Corus Entertainment family, is the largest Canadian-owned children’s publisher and the 2017 recipient of the distinguished Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publisher, North America. The publisher’s catalog includes an award-winning list of over 700 picture books, nonfiction and fiction titles for children and young adults that are translated and sold around the world. Kids Can Press has proudly published books for children for more than 45 years, and introduced the CitizenKid collection on global issues in 2009. Visit Kids Can Press at kidscanpress.com and for CitizenKid resources visit citizenkidcentral.com.
For more information, please contact:
April Lim, Publicist
Stacey Grimshaw, Senior Publicity Manager
Michaela Cornell, Communications Strategist
Kids Can Press