Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame

Canada

June 29, 2009 11:00 ET

Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame Inducts Five New Laureates for 2009

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 29, 2009) - Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame announced today the names of the five members of the Class of 2009 Telecom Laureates who will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame in November 2009. The Hall of Fame's 2009 Telecom Laureates are: Andre Chagnon (Business Visionary & Builder of Videotron); the Honourable Francis Fox (Canada's Minister of Wireless Communications); the late Donald A. Chisholm (Father of the Digital World); Colin A. Franklin (Engineer of Canada's Satellite Program); and Israel (Sruki) Switzer (Cable Technology Pioneer and Advocate).

In addition, the Hall of Fame's coveted Special Recognition Award for 2009 is a true Canadian "sea-to-shining-sea" honour shared by two tiny coastal communities separated by more than 5,000 kilometres. The 2009 award co-winners are Heart's Content, Newfoundland and Bamfield, British Columbia - the original landing sites, respectively, of Canada's first Atlantic and Pacific trans-oceanic submarine telegraph cables.

The Class of 2009 Telecom Laureates announced today will be officially inducted into Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame at the 2009 Telecom Laureate Awards gala dinner and induction ceremony on Wednesday, November 4th at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec.

"For a fifth straight year, we are proud and thrilled to shine a spotlight - this year more of a coastal beacon - on outstanding Canadian telecom achievers and achievements," says Lorne Abugov, Founder and Director of Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame. "After last year's sold-out Awards Gala, we are looking forward to another wonderful opportunity this November for Canada's telecommunications industry to gather together to toast our very best and brightest and reflect on the many contributions our pioneers and leaders have made to advances in domestic and international communications."

Nominations for Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame are open to the general public and to members of the telecom industry, and are screened by an independent Nominations Committee and short-listed for decisions by an independent Selections Committee, both comprised of leading experts from Canada's telecommunications industry.

About Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame

Established May 30, 2005, Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to safeguard and promote the past, present and future excellence of Canadian telecommunications. The Hall of Fame fulfills its mission through three principal programs: The Telecom Laureate Program, the Education Program and the Outreach Program, which all serve to celebrate the historical legacy of success of Canadian telecommunications, promote current innovation leaders within the industry and encourage Canadian youth to consider the industry as a fulfilling career choice.

The Class of 2009 Telecom Laureates

In Brief

- Andre Chagnon (Icons of Business category), the founder of Quebec cable giant, Videotron, left a major industrial and commercial telecommunications legacy. He not only propelled Videotron into international success but was also the engine behind many technological advances such as the Videoway mass market telematics system - which first brought interactivity to cable TV service in the early 1990s.

- Israel (Sruki) Switzer (Advocates & Academics category), widely regarded as the most knowledgeable cable technology engineer Canada has ever produced, provided leadership and advocacy in the development of concepts and practices that advanced the cable television industry and inspired other great Canadian broadcast entrepreneurs such as Ted Rogers and Moses Znaimer. He had a profound understanding of cable technology, and his vision and advocacy in support of the unlimited technical capabilities of the network helped to pave the phenomenal growth of the cable industry in Canada.

- Colin A. Franklin (Servants of the Public category) materially advanced Canada's early global leadership in satellite communications as chief electrical engineer for Canada's first satellite programme, the Alouette 1, which was designated an "event of national historic significance" by the government of Canada in 2007, and then on subsequent Alouette and ISIS satellite programs. He was also Project Manager for the HERMES satellite. His public sector leadership in later years helped in the establishment of the David Florida Space Laboratory, the Canadian Space Agency, the MSAT program and Canada's participation in the European space Agency programs.

- the Honourable Francis Fox (Servants of the Public category), one of Canada's longest-serving and most successful federal Ministers of Communications and a current member of the Transport and Communications Committee of the Senate of Canada, helped to pioneer the introduction of cellular wireless telephony in this country when he made the historic 1983 decision to issue radiocommunication licences to Rogers Cantel and the incumbent provincial telephone companies.

- the late Donald A. Chisholm (Inventors and Innovators category) has been hailed by many in the Canadian telecom industry as the 'Father of the Digital World', the Bell Northern Research digital switching initiative of the mid-1970s that ranks as one of the boldest and most successful technology advances in telecommunications technology of the 20th Century. His R&D vision gave Canada a substantial lead in digital switching technology and revolutionised telecommunications around the globe.

- Heart's Content, Newfoundland & Bamfield, British Columbia (Special Recognition Award) are two small coastal communities that for decades were Canada's international telecommunications gateways to the world - the original landing sites, respectively, of Canada's first Atlantic and Pacific trans-oceanic submarine telegraph cables.

Additional biographical information on the Class of 2009 Telecom Laureates is available through the Hall of Fame media contacts or on the Hall of Fame's website at the following direct link: http://www.telecomhall.ca/index.php?page=360

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