We Day returns to Vancouver on October 18th to inspire and celebrate youth who make a difference in their community and around the world. This is the 4th year that We Day has come to Vancouver, filling Rogers Arena with 20,000 school kids and motivational celebrities and storytellers on the main stage thanks to Free The Children.
Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner that has more than 1.7 million young people involved in its programs in 45 countries. Founded in 1995 by international activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children believes in a world where young people are free to achieve their fullest potential, and empowers youth to remove barriers that prevent them from being active local and global citizens.
This year’s special guest speakers at We Day Vancouver include:
- Dr. Holly Branson – Free The Children ambassador, daughter of Sir Richard Branson
- A performance by ONE DROP, a Cirque du Soleil Founder’s initiative
- Premier Christy Clark – Premier of British Columbia
- Shawn Desman – Platinum selling and Juno Award winning recording artist
- Magic Johnson – Basketball Hall of Fame legend
- My name is Kay – Canadian singer and songwriter
- Demi Lovato – Singer-songwriter and X Factor judge
- OneRepublic – Platinum selling, Grammy nominated, American pop/rock band
- Tyler Shaw – 2012 Coca Cola COVERS MuchMusic Video Award winner
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu – Nobel Peace Laureate
I’ve had the pleasure of covering We Day live for the last three years, here are some of my highlights from each event:
We Day 2009:
Quotes: Dr Jane Goodall: “Every individual makes an impact every day.”
Mia Farrow: “I can be tempted toward despair but I feel it’s more productive to be galvanized and take action.”
Jason Mraz: “There’s something about music. When you put a message with a melody it seems to travel so much further.”
We Day 2010:
Quotes: Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr. “Often people say at rallies like this that the youth are our future. The reality is that the youth are right now.”
Martin Sheen quoted Robert F. Kennedy: “Each time a man stands for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
We Day 2011:
Quotes: Mia Farrow “Even if a fraction of them [the children here today] make good on the feelings they have now then the world will be a better place.” “With knowledge comes responsibility. We are what we do, not what we say.”
Dr. Holly Branson “Helping someone is about giving them the opportunities to lift themselves out of hardship.”
Craig Kielburger tweeted last year that in 2010 the efforts of students and youth, through Free the Children, raised $5.7 million, volunteered 1.7 million hours, and collected 619,000lbs of food.
Last December We Day inspired a group of students from West Vancouver’s Gleneagles Elementary to start We Blogs, an internal blogging program at their school. I was invited out to their class to talk about blogging and how they could share their stories.
We Day is taking place in Toronto (September 28th), Vancouver (October 18th), Calgary (October 24th), Winnipeg (October 30th), Waterloo Region (November 14th), Montreal (November 20th) Saskatoon (February 27th, 2013), National We Day (April 29th, 2013), and Halifax (Fall 2013). These are the most We Day events to ever happen in Canada. They are all free to attend but applications must be submitted and approved for classes and students to attend. “Priority is given to school groups who commit to the We Schools program, which includes engaging in one local service action and one global service action, and submitting two action reports.”
For those unable to attend, I will once again be covering We Day in Vancouver through a live blog and live tweets, sharing messages from each of the speakers. I’ll have a special guest of my own as my niece, who is in Grade 7, will join me as a junior reporter. You can also watch online through MuchMusic and they will also air television broadcasts on Sunday, November 11th and Sunday, November 24th 2012 starting at 3:00pm Pacific Time.
You can download the We Day application for iPhone for more information and follow the conversations on Facebook and through @FreeTheChildren #WeDay #Vancouver on Twitter.