Bell Media Invites Canadians to Join Clara Hughes on Epic Road Trip for Mental Health with CLARA’S BIG RIDE, January 28 on CTV

— January 12, 2015

– Centrepiece of Bell Let’s Talk Day special programming is the culmination of an inspiring and emotional 110-day cycling journey through 105 communities from coast to coast to coast –

– CLARA’S BIG RIDE available on demand throughout Bell Let’s Talk Day on CraveTV and –

– Full complement of programming across Bell Media networks to be announced –

“I’ve realized very quickly that this ride is not Clara’s Big Ride as it’s called; it’s actually Canada’s Big Ride.” – Clara Hughes TORONTO (January 12, 2015) – Bell Media announced today the debut of the new original documentary CLARA’S BIG RIDEas its anchor program for the fifth annual Bell Let’s Talk Day. Premiering in primetime on Bell Let’s Talk Day, Wednesday, Jan. 28, the one-hour documentary will be available on demand all day on CraveTV and, before airing at 7 p.m. ET/PTin super-simulcast on CTV and CTV Two and live-streamed on CTV GO. CLARA’S BIG RIDE is a powerful documentary directed by multi-award winning filmmaker Larry Weinstein (Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, Our Man in Tehran,TSN’s THE 13th MAN), chronicling an unprecedented 11,000 km bicycle journey across Canada by six-time Olympic medalist and Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson Clara Hughes. Throughout the journey, Hughes spreads a hopeful message designed to break the silence surrounding mental illness and helps create a stigma-free Canada. Viewers can catch an encore presentation of CLARA’S BIG RIDE on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 12 midnight ET on TSN2. Part catalyst for change, part epic road movie, CLARA’S BIG RIDE is a rousing documentary that tackles the profound conversation on mental health and the stigma surrounding mental illness. Crossing every region of the country, the documentary features brave stories from Canadians whose lives are touched by Hughes’ historic ride.  

**Media Note** Download photos from CLARA’S BIG RIDE at

In the spring of 2014, Hughes embarked upon an exhilarating journey on her bicycle in an effort to unite Canadians in a much-needed conversation on mental health, and to spark positive changes in the way mental illness is perceived. The documentary recounts the epic 110-day journey through 105 communities and 235 events in varied and often extreme weather conditions. “The ride was all about connecting with people and putting them on the podium – elevating every Canadian to take the stage and tell their own unique stories,” said Hughes. “I’m honoured and humbled to invite Canadians in every corner of the country to relive this transformational journey, to share in the many voices and personal stories recounted in the doc. By talking, we can work toward creating a stigma-free Canada.” Over the course of the documentary, CLARA’S BIG RIDE captures the voices of a group of heroic young Canadians as they tell their stories of living with mental illness. These voices include: Stacey, a teacher from Lindsay, Ont.; Marisa, a Media Relations Coordinator from Montréal; Antigonish, N.S. student Dexter; University of Prince Edward Island student Alanna; Dorothy, who runs a community program called “Going Off, Growing Strong” in Nain, a remote town in Northern Labrador; Sally, a practicing artist from Dawson City; Royal Roads University student Megan in Victoria; Canadian Armed Forces Veteran Terry; and Pascale, an outspoken teen and mental health advocate. With Canada’s diverse landscapes serving as the film’s backdrop – from mountains to prairies, major to small cites, and remote communities – Hughes delivers a powerful message of healing to tens of thousands of Canadians in public squares, town halls, and schools from coast to coast to coast. CLARA’S BIG RIDE not only captures the monumental effort of the ride, but also continues the conversation on how to build hope for a stigma-free future. “This epic road movie will leave viewers awestruck at Clara’s tireless determination to tackle the sigma surrounding mental illness head on, while capturing  the magnificence and sheer beauty of this country,” said Kevin Crull, President, Bell Media. “This moving documentary serves to keep the conversation going about mental illness, and to break down the stigma – the very essence of Bell Let’s Talk.” One of the greatest amateur athletes in Canadian history, with six Olympic medals in cycling and speed skating – two distinct sports crossing Summer and Winter Games – Hughes’ athletic prowess brought her national recognition, including the Order of Canada, and, just as she completed the ride, the Meritorious Service Cross. While cycling across the country, Hughes shares her own story of battling depression on the heels of her Olympic success. Visit for additional information about the making of CLARA’S BIG RIDE, featuring a dedicated photo gallery of images from the road trip, fast facts and statistics collected from along the cycling journey, the route Hughes took in circling the country, and more details about the Bell Let’s Talk mission. A full complement of Bell Let’s Talk Day-related programming across Bell Media networks will be announced. CLARA’S BIG RIDE is produced by Culbert Productions (producers Bob Culbert and Scott Harper), in association with CTV. For Bell Media, Tina Apostolopoulos is Production Executive, Factual and Reality, Independent Production. Robin Johnston is Director, Factual and Reality, Independent Production. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production. Mike Cosentino is Senior Vice-President, Programming, CTV Networks. Phil King is President - CTV, Sports, and Entertainment Programming. SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Twitter: @CTV_PR @CTV_Television @Bell_LetsTalk Facebook: Clara Hughes Instagram: The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative Bell Let’s Talk promotes mental health based on 4 action pillars – anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. The initiative supports mental health leaders across the country including the Royal Ottawa Hospital, Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal, Hôpital Charles-LeMoyne, Montreal Jewish Hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the University of British Columbia, the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Queen’s University, La Fondation du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, Concordia University, Brain Canada, Kids Help Phone, Sunnybrook Hospital and Université Laval Foundation. The annual Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund supports front-line mental health organizations in every region of the country. The Fund has provided grants of $5,000 to $50,000 to hundreds of community organizations focused on improving access to programs and services that support people living with mental health issues. To learn more about the Bell Let’s Talk campaign, and to download the Bell Let’s Talk toolkit to help get the conversation started, please visit    Patricia Garcia, Bell Media, 416.384.2645 or Renee Dupuis, Bell Media, 416.384.3154 or

About Bell Media Independent Production

Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit CTV series include ratings success stories SAVING HOPE, THE LISTENER, MOTIVE, and THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, the record-breaking, Canadian-produced complementary version of the hit international series. New to CTV in 2014 are hit international format MASTERCHEF CANADA and multi-cam office comedy SPUN OUT, one of the most-watched new comedies of the season. Among the scripted series on Bell Media pay and specialty channels are the three-time Emmy®-nominated hit DEGRASSI, the internationally acclaimed ORPHAN BLACK, the most-watched original series in Space history BITTEN, Bravo’s most-watched new drama 19-2, TRANSPORTER – THE SERIES, dramedy SENSITIVE SKIN, and the upcoming KILLJOYS. Bell Media specialty channels are also home to hit factual series HIGHWAY THRU HELL and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, among others.


About Bell Media

With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s #1 television network; 35 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada’s most-watched specialty channels in English and French; and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 106 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across Canada. Bell Media owns Astral Out-of-Home, one of Canada’s most dynamic and innovative out-of-home advertising companies with a network of more than 9,500 advertising faces in Québec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with premium subscription on-demand streaming service CraveTVTM, as well as its innovative GO video streaming services including CTV GO, TMN GO, and TSN GO; holds an equity stake in digital startup Hubub; is partners in Cirque du Soleil Media, a joint venture with Cirque du Soleil; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit


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Renee Dupuis-Macht

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