Douglas-Coldwell Foundation Launches DVD and $25,000 Cash Prize

Ottawa, ON - In recognition of his being named “the Greatest Canadian” the Douglas-Coldwell Foundation made two important announcements today, both paying tribute to its celebrated founder, the late Tommy Douglas.

The Foundation released a new DVD “The Speeches of Tommy Douglas – Volume 1”. The DVD, introduced by Shirley Douglas, contains eight speeches made by Tommy Douglas from 1959 to 1984.

Douglas’ speeches range from early 1960’s broadcasts as Saskatchewan’s Premier to his 1983 NDP Convention speech that received a twenty minute standing ovation. The DVD closes with a rendition of Mouseland introduced by Tommy’s grandson, Kiefer Sutherland.

The second initiative announced by the Douglas-Coldwell Foundation is a competition for the project that best captures Tommy Douglas’ vision for Canada. The Foundation is offering a cash prize of $25,000 for the winning project and is currently accepting submissions. The results of the competition will be announced at the end of June 2006.

“In today’s Canada, where Tommy’s vision for this country is coming increasingly under attack by American-influenced ideology, we felt it appropriate that Canadians chose Tommy as the “Greatest Canadian,” said Tessa Hebb, President of the Douglas-Coldwell Foundation. “That choice tells us Canadians want to preserve and strengthen the Canada Tommy Douglas left us, not sell it to the highest bidder,” she added.

Foundation board member Alexa McDonough said the DVD and cash prize were an important message to Canadians that “We will not sit by and allow the dismantling of our social programs that Canadians hold so dear. It’s time to revitalise and re-energise. This DVD reminds us of the struggle we won, and the consequences if we lose,” she said. “The competition will encourage active thinking and engagement around Tommy’s vision that has shaped our Canada in such a profound way,” she said.

The Douglas-Coldwell Foundation is a Canadian think-tank that promotes education and research into social democracy.

Founded in 1971 and based in Ottawa, the Foundation was named for and inspired by Tommy Douglas, the first federal leader of the New Democratic Party from 1961 to 1971, and M. J. Coldwell, leader of its predecessor Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) from 1942 to 1960. Both envisioned a Canadian counterpart to the British-based Fabian Society.

In 1987, the Douglas-Coldwell Foundation merged with the Ontario Woodsworth Memorial Foundation of Toronto, named for former CCF leader, J. S. Woodsworth.

The foundation has underwritten biographies of Douglas, Coldwell, Clarence Gillis, Stanley Knowles, and Grace MacInnis, scholarships and lectureships at Canadian post-secondary institutions, and awards to numerous projects across Canada.

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For further information:
Tessa Hebb, President, Douglas-Coldwell Foundation (613) 232-1918
Alexa McDonough, MP Halifax, DCF Board of Directors (613) 232-1918

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