As each year comes to a close, it gives me an opportunity to look back and see just how far we have come. I am particularly proud of TVO’s achievements over the past 12 months. We are now seeing how our transformation to a leading digital media organization is making a difference in the lives of Ontarians – creating high-quality learning opportunities and building a more informed engaged citizenry.
Here are my moments of wonder as I look back on the year:
Reaching more than 25,000 students on mPower – Earlier this year we launched TVO’s mPower, a creative online game that teaches fundamental kindergarten to Grade 6 math skills while enabling students to have fun and learn more about the world around them. We are very excited to take our games into Ontario classrooms and reach so many students! We feel incredibly proud to have co-created and co-developed an amazing digital learning resource with Ontario’s teachers and students, and look forward to rolling out more mPower resources for grades 3-6 in the New Year. (If you’re an Ontario educator, you can register for mPower here.)
Connecting and collaborating with Ontario’s educators - mPower would not have been possible without the input, expertise and support of Ontario’s educators. We count educators as our strongest ambassadors. From concept to prototyping and pilot, each step of mPower’s development was informed by the ideas, expertise and input of Ontario’s educators.
Providing a digital public space for in-depth current affairs – At the beginning of 2016 we unveiled a dynamic new format for The Agenda with Steve Paikin. And we are building a virtual digital public space – a reimagined public square for citizens – offering in-depth current affairs. Through tvo.org and social media accounts, we provide content, context and conversation enabling Ontarians to become informed on the big issues defining our world.
Understanding the world around us through ground-breaking documentaries – A powerful documentary can illuminate complex issues and help us see the world in a new light. This year, we proudly presented the world broadcast premiere of Migrant Dreams, a compelling doc about the rights of people who work to bring food to our tables. This great film was selected as a top 20 audience favourite at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, and elicited strong support from viewers online.
Celebrating our founder, Bill Davis - TVO hosted the official launch of Steve Paikin’s newest book, Bill Davis: Nation Builder, and Not So Bland After All. We were honoured to be joined by TVO’s visionary founder himself, Bill Davis, and enjoyed his lively and poignant remarks about his life and years in office.
Honouring visionary filmmaker, Deepa Mehta – In November, TVO hosted the 5th Annual TVO Tribute Gala presented by Enercare. It was an extraordinary evening honouring Deepa Mehta, one of the great filmmakers of our time. The Gala is a key component of TVO’s fundraising efforts, helping us to deliver innovative educational products, in-depth current affairs, ground-breaking documentaries, and award-winning TVOKids resources.
Creating an Award-Winning Online Community of Educators – We were pleased to officially launch TeachOntario, TVO’s award-winning online community for educators, alongside our education partners – the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and its Affiliates, and the Ministry of Education. TeachOntario represents an ever-growing community of more than 7,000 educators who are connecting and sharing every day in order to make a greater impact with students in the classroom. Earlier in 2016, TeachOntario was awarded the platinum 2015 Deloitte IPAC Public Sector Leadership Award by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, in recognition of outstanding leadership.
Empowering Our Students through Civic Engagement - At TVO, we think that it’s crucial to make learning about civics truly engaging. Recently, TVO’s Independent Learning Centre (ILC) launched a new grade 10 online distance learning course titled, Civics and Citizenship. As students start their lessons for this course, they are greeted by an introductory video featuring Steve Paikin. It sets the stage for learning about civic engagement and highlights how we can all participate as citizens in our democracy.
Celebrating a Love of Learning – TVO delighted crowds of enthusiastic families once again at the 2016 Word on the Street festival - a wonderful showcase of books, reading and learning. TVOKids hosts led the festivities as swashbuckling “bookaneers” in a rousing pirate-themed stage show, and cast members from the popular series, Paw Patrol, Hi Opie, Science Max, and Odd Squad met their legions of fans. It’s just one way that TVO helps kids get excited about learning in order to set them up for success, in school and in life.
Providing Trusted, Smart TVOKids Content on New Platforms – Last year, our award-winning TVOKids content reached even more children on the Canadian YouTube Kids channel. With more 15 million video views within the first year, we knew that we had a major success and so this year, we expanded our offerings with a new TVOKids Preschool YouTubeKids channel. We continue to provide learning opportunities and smart content on every screen.
As we move forward with our transformation, we are committed to helping all Ontarians realize their potential through learning, and to strengthening citizen engagement to build strong communities across the province.
Here’s to a wondrous New Year ahead!