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Archived - Government of Canada Invests in Digitization of Canadian Multicultural Newspapers

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ATHABASCA, Alberta, July 30, 2009 - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Brian Jean, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament (Fort McMurray-Athabasca), today announced funding for Athabasca University's "Connecting Canadians: Canada's Multicultural Newspapers" project.

This project will digitize and deploy to the Web up to 20 multicultural newspapers on an open-access basis. In addition to making multicultural newspapers freely available to anyone on the Internet, it will include audio and video streaming of selected articles and teaching and learning activities that will be of interest to students, teachers, and researchers. A key driver of this project is the use of technology to facilitate access to the content, which will be PDA- or mobile-friendly.

"In this day and age, Canadians are looking to access Canadian cultural content where and when they want," said Minister Moore. "Projects like 'Connecting Canadians: Canada's Multicultural Newspapers' go a long way toward making Canadian culture accessible anywhere in the world. We are proud to invest in ventures like this through the Partnerships Fund."

"Our Government's funding will allow Athabasca University to make these important multicultural and historical documents widely available to Canadians," said Mr. Jean. "I am pleased that this project will allow for these important accounts of our proud heritage to be read and appreciated by modern audiences."

"I am delighted that the Government of Canada has funded a project that's so clearly vital to understanding the history of early immigrants to Canada," said Dr. Frits Pannekoek, President of Athabasca University. "A digital archive of immigrant community newspapers, freely available to scholars, students, and the general public, will give Canadians a much stronger connection with their shared heritage."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $405, 000 through the Department of Canadian Heritage's Partnerships Fund. The Fund assists partnership initiatives between not-for-profit, public, and private organizations and institutions to connect Canadians with the riches of Canada's heritage by making Canadian cultural collections held by provincial, municipal, and local organizations available online.

Information:

Deirdra McCracken
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
819-997-7788
deirdra.mccracken@pch.gc.ca

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155

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