March 07, 2008 06:00 ET
Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto is centre stage as world goes dark
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 7, 2008) - The partners of Toronto's Earth Hour - WWF-Canada, the City of Toronto, The Toronto Star and Virgin Mobile - today announced that multi-platinum Grammy and Juno Award-winner, and Canada's own, Nelly Furtado will join Earth Hour as the first Canadian Earth Hour Ambassador. She will also perform a free concert at Nathan Phillips Square on March 29 to celebrate Earth Hour.
Nelly Furtado will join other Earth Hour Ambassadors including Cate Blanchett, Natalie Imbruglia, Silverchair and Rolf Harris.
As an Earth Hour Ambassador and an advocate for the environment, Nelly Furtado will play an unplugged concert at the Earth Hour community event, starting at 7:30 p.m. The organizers are taking steps to make the event as carbon-neutral as possible - including powering the event with green, renewable energy from Bullfrog Power. People from across the GTA are invited to attend.
On March 29 at 8 p.m., cities around the world, including Toronto, will turn off their lights for Earth Hour to raise awareness about climate change - millions are expected to participate. Earth Hour is a WWF initiative that has grown from a single event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 to a global phenomenon that will occur across six continents and in more than 20 major cities this year. In the heart of Toronto, people gathered at Nathan Phillips Square will witness hundreds of buildings in the downtown core turn off their lights, including City Hall.
"The event has taken off not just in Toronto, but right across the country in more than 50 cities," said Mike Russill, President and CEO, WWF-Canada. "This is a clear signal that Canadians want to take steps in their every day lives to help the planet, and they want Canada to be a leader in the global effort on climate change."
"I'm incredibly pleased that we are able to add some entertainment star power to our powered-down night under the stars," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "The commitment of these performers to this tremendously important cause is terrific to see. Torontonians are signing up in droves to support Earth Hour, which confirms and supports our drive to be North America's greenest city."
Millions will participate in Earth Hour and Canada is leading the way with more than 20,000 people and 1,000 businesses, in more than 50 cities, already signed-up at www.earthhour.org. Toronto Hydro will measure the impact on the electricity grid during Earth Hour in Toronto, demonstrating the impact we can all make by doing our part to combat climate change.
"Fighting climate change is probably the biggest battle mankind has had to face so far," said Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group of Companies. "Earth Hour is an important event that will continue to help raise the awareness of global warming and while governments and businesses have the responsibility to find a technological solution, we as individuals must do our part in the fight against climate change. I therefore encourage everyone across the world to switch off their lights from 8pm-9pm on March 29."
"Global warming is the number one environmental concern of Canadians today," said Bob Hepburn, Director, Community Relations and Communications, Toronto Star. "We hope all businesses in Toronto will join us in participating in Earth Hour. It is a simple way for the Star - and for other corporate leaders - to show that we want to be part of the solution."
For more information about Earth Hour visit www.earthhour.org.
Materials available from WWF-Canada:
1. Nelly Furtado Earth Hour PSA mpg - www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GKb5a673b8.
2. Richard Branson Earth Hour PSA mpg - www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhraQ5Rv5u0.
3. Earth Hour backgrounder available at www.wwf.ca/earthhour.
Media contacts:WWF-CanadaTara Wood, Manager, Earth Hour and Public RelationsOffice: (416) 484-7710 or Cell: (416) 407-0775Email: email@example.comWebsite: www.wwf.ca/earthhourorVirgin MobilePaula Lash(416) 655-5555Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgToronto StarBob HepburnDirector, Community Relations and Communications(416) 869-4947Email: email@example.comOffice of Mayor David MillerStuart Green(416) 338-7119Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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