Canada in a Day’s poor marketing campaign

Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros
Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros

Filming for Canada in a Day happened September 10 and, although it certainly will be a moving display when completed, it seemed to miss the mark with students.

Canada in a Day is a film project by CTV to showcase what citizens love most about Canada by asking them to film their day and submit the clips. It’s based on the 2010 Ridley Scott film, Life in a Day, which has also garnered spin-offs in six other countries, including Britain, Italy and Japan.

The contributed film pieces, shot by Canadians on September 10, will be chosen and compiled by award winning director, Trish Dolman. Then it will be broadcasted as a feature-length special to be aired on CTV next year. Its release is scheduled to coincide with the 150 anniversary of the Constitution Agreement, a milestone in Canadian history.

This presentation hopes to capture the lives of Canadians “from sea to sea” through ordinary people. From special events like weddings to everyday occurrences like walking your dog, Canada in a Day wants to see it all.

“There are no limits as to what you need to be or need to do. It’s just a way of sharing your experience,” said Chris Luciantonio, president of the Wilfrid Laurier University Film Society.

Going to campus on September 10 to film what I love about Canada, I expected at least a few other proud Canadians to be looking through their lenses, but I didn’t come across anyone else. I’m optimistic that I just hit an odd time, but it was still a bit disheartening.

Strikingly, Laurier’s film students weren’t even involved in this project as a group. A normally enthusiastic group of young filmmakers missed an opportunity to film, simply because they weren’t aware of the project.

In my experience, it was mainly marketed on CTV news channels, especially during the nightly news. A lot of students get their news through social media, alienating a large section of the everyday citizens the film is targeting.

Photo by Andreas Patsiaouros

“We’re living in a time that not a lot of people have cable anymore, especially not students,” Luciantonio said. “If the point is to show an average Canadian in a day, or at least get a barometer reading on that, you need to survey a much greater number of people than what they’re trying to connect with by how they’re promoting it.”

With a stunning website and a great premise, perhaps Canada in a Day was a bit too trusting of the word-of-mouth reputation of millennials. At least with the Laurier student body, the film seemed to greatly miss its market.

Though it’s too late now to participate in the filming, I still have high hopes that the film will be touching and beautiful, simply because of the nature of the content.

What people filmed on the day will be incredibly personal. It’s what people are passionate about and the beauty they see in our “home and native land.”

In a time where nearly everyone is carrying around a camera wherever they go, there should be diverse representation of all the great people and cultures Canada has to offer. The film itself aims for this diversity.

What do Canadians love most about Canada?

I anticipate seeing footage of parks and green-spaces, LGBTQ pride, healthcare and beautiful scenery from the Rockies to the Atlantic. I’m also looking forward to being surprised by people’s love and innocent nationalism. It’s a heartwarming thought to see the best pieces of ordinary life for our brothers and sisters coast to coast.

“We really enjoy being empathetic or seeing another perspective on things,” Luciantonio said.

A film like Canada in a Day should give a unique perspective on everyday people from all walks of life.

Like the footage itself, it’s attempting to bring Canadians together as one group of people and one voice.

The participants are proud of our country and want to share that with the rest of the world.

If you have anything filmed from September 10, it can be submitted through the Canada in a Day website until October 10.

“Note: Chris Luciantonio is a staff writer for The Cord.”

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