TORONTO – January 10th, 2007 – Canada was the first country in the world to have an official Multiculturalism Policy. Now, more 30 years later, the “M Word” has become an integral part of our national identity for some and for others, a national disgrace. At the first sign of disquiet in any part of the world – be it 9/11, the Paris riots or bombing in Thailand – Canada’s Multiculturalism Policy is called into question.
The M Word, a new OMNI-funded documentary from Third Element Productions, takes an unflinching look at the state of multiculturalism in Canada by confronting head-on such hot-button issues as:
Â· Is Canada’s Multiculturalism Policy a political expedient of bygone Liberal days, which can be withdrawn at a politician’s whim? Or is it part of our legal fabric?
Â· Is multiculturalism failing the very people it is supposed to help?
Â· Do we create programs to give young people a sense of belonging that they need and deserve? Or do we force integration and assimilation?
“Rogers OMNI Television is proud to support The M Word; our own history as a diversity broadcaster is as a result of a demand from various ethnocultural communities for reflection on television and a forum to share their diverse stories,” says Madeline Ziniak, Vice President and Station Manager. “With the current climate of events casting doubt on multiculturalism, the very reason we exist, OMNI is an eager participant in the project and welcomes its exploration of wide-ranging points of view.”
Prominent Canadians helping to take the pulse of multiculturalism today in The M Word include:
Â· Former Supreme Court Justice – Frank Iacobucci;
Â· Strategic Counsel Chair - Allan Gregg;
Â· Aboriginal lawyer and stand-up comic – Candy Palmater;
Â· South Asian Legal Clinic Executive Director – Uzma Shakir.
The M Word also profiles Regent Park Focus, a unique film program for diverse youth who are striving to understand their own role and heritage within the Canadian mosaic, and invites a balance of further perspectives from an assortment of community leaders and associations such as: Dr. Henry Bishop, Curator for the Black Cultural Centre; Sid Ikeda of Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Debbie Douglas, Executive Director of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI).
The M Word was exclusively funded through OMNI’s Independent Producers Initiative, a $32.5 million independent production fund that to date has supported over 200 new documentary programmes. Interested producers can access funding criteria @ http://www.omnitv.ca/ontario/info/funds.