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Documentary looks at successful Canadian anti-racism campaign

<p>The face of Canada has changed drastically and — nine years on — anaward-winning anti-racism campaign is still whittling away at Canadianbigotry: Once explicit, now inadvertent, but still just as real.</p>

The face of Canada has changed drastically and — nine years on — an award-winning anti-racism campaign is still whittling away at Canadian bigotry: Once explicit, now inadvertent, but still just as real.


The Canadian Race Relations Foundation launched the third phase of its See People for Who They Are campaign in Alberta yesterday.


The 48-minute documentary — called Directors Speak — follows the lives of five videographers instrumental in the development of 15 anti-racism television spots released as Phase 1 of the project in 1999.


Those spots are being re-released in nine languages and as the largest anti-racism campaign in the nation’s history, the visionary nature of the old productions ensure they are still pertinent, said Gail Picco, the campaign’s director and producer.


“The issues in Canada today are not dissimilar to what they were nine years ago,” she said at the Calgary launch.


It’s all part of an ongoing battle CRRF executive director Ayman Al-Yassini hopes will both breed tolerance and diminish ignorance.


“In the past, racial discrimination used to be quite crude, sort of up in your face, now it’s becoming more subtle,” he said, noting workplace glass ceilings are preventing minorities from getting promotions while racial profiling is sweeping through the streets.


-neil.mackinnon@metronews.ca

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