March 23, 2010 06:00 ET

WWF-Canada Reminds Canadians to Make Every Hour Earth Hour With Family and Friends This Saturday, March 27 at 8:30 pm

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 23, 2010) - With less than five days to go iconic landmarks in more than 115 countries, including more than 250 cities in Canada (the most of any country), will turn off their lights this Saturday, March 27 from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. local time. More citizens, businesses and public authorities than ever have already committed to participate.

"Earth Hour is a great way to show global support for action on climate change but just as important are the changes we each make in our own lives," says Gerald Butts, President and CEO, WWF-Canada. "WWF hopes people will use Earth Hour to think about the changes they can make every day to help make a difference."

While Earth Hour focuses on personal efforts to help fight climate change, it wouldn't be possible without the commitment of corporate leaders. Some of the world's best known brands are switching off their lights and spreading the word in the business community. Lead sponsors Coca-Cola, Sears Canada, and the Toronto Star are doing their part to engage the public, their employees, and reach customers and suppliers to help create a sustainable future for our planet.

The More the Merrier

Canadians will mark Earth Hour with activities ranging from big public parties, celebrations at restaurants and bars, to quiet candlelit family dinners or yoga. People can find or submit events happening in their community at the Earth Hour Canada website by visiting www.earthhourcanada.org.

WWF-Canada will host the official event - Earth Hour Unplugged – presented by Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and sponsored by Citytv and City of Toronto, at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto. The free event is being emceed by Citytv, Breakfast Television co-hosts, Kevin Frankish and Dina Pugliese, and will feature performances by Chantal Kreviazuk, Jarvis Church and Justin Nozuka. There will also be other entertainment ranging from aerial artists and fire-throwers, to hip-hop dance crews. People can even make a wish for the planet and hang them on the Earth Hour wishing trees to show their desire for a sustainable future.

Also in attendance will be Olympian Shelley-Ann Brown, silver medalist in bobsleigh from the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. Invited to the event by Coca-Cola, a lead sponsor for Earth Hour, Shelley-Ann will speak briefly to the crowd about her wish for the Earth and her role as an environmental athlete ambassador for Clean Air Champions. Shelley-Ann will also be available for autographs.

"We are proud to be the first Canadian city to join Earth Hour, and to host the Earth Hour Unplugged concert and community celebration right here in Toronto," said David Miller, Mayor of Toronto and Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. "Cities are leading the fight on climate change, and Earth Hour reminds us all of the urgent need for everyone to act and for national governments to engage, empower and resource cities on climate change programs."

Here are five activities to make an evening out of Earth Hour:

1. Make a plan: Engage your family and/or friends in a conversation about conservation and come up with ideas on how to save energy, limit waste, and make a positive impact on the environment at home. For ideas visit: www.earthhourcanada.org.

2. Check out what's happening in your community: There are many cities and towns, community groups, and restaurants that host Earth Hour events. Find them online at www.earthhourcanada.org. Being part of a community with purpose can inspire you and others to seek out opportunities for more action.

3. Take a tour: Explore your neighbourhood in a whole new light with a flashlight walk, or tour around your city using "green" modes of transportation. Walk, bike, skateboard, scooter, or take the bus and show your kids and/or friends that travel can be fun, and sometimes faster, when you leave the car at home.

4. Candle-lit games night: Get out the board games, poker chips or play a game of flashlight tag. Gather family and/or friends for some quality time without a computer or TV.

5. Make your voice heard: Join the Earth Hour movement at www.EarthHourCanada.org. Also, until March 25, Canadians are invited to enter a national online contest by submitting a video or photo essay showing how they make every hour Earth Hour. The grand prize winner will receive a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Churchill, Manitoba to first-hand how climate change is impacting people and species, like the polar bear. Complete rules and contest guidelines can be found at www.EarthHourCanada.org.

About Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a global WWF initiative. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. to show their support for action on climate change. The event began in Sydney, Australia in 2007, and has since grown into a global movement reaching more than one billion. In Canada, Coca-Cola, Sears Canada, and the Toronto Star are the lead sponsors. www.EarthHourCanada.org.

About WWF-Canada

WWF-Canada (World Wildlife Fund Canada) is a member of WWF, one of the world's largest independent conservation organizations, active in more than 100 countries. WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature to thrive. In Canada, we create solutions to conservation issues important to Canadians and the world. WWF-Canada works collaboratively with governments, businesses and the public to help fight climate change, the single biggest environmental threat to our planet; conserve our oceans and freshwater resources; and educate and mobilize people to build a conservation culture.

For photos or video please visit http://earthhour.panda.org.

This news release and associated material can be found on wwf.ca.

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