Can a chair help our nation celebrate the diversity of Canada on Canada Day?

This Canada Day, Nathan Phillips Square will serve as the backdrop to an adventurous and eye-opening photographic exhibition called Take Your Seat, Canada.

The outdoor exhibit will showcase thirteen images representing every province and territory, each captured over a 24-day cross-country expedition. The name, Take Your Seat, comes from the Director’s chair creatively placed in each shot as both an invitation and a challenge to appreciate our incredible country.

Madeline Ziniak, Chair of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association, and Dominic Campione, President of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, both lead sponsors of the national photographic journey, believe that a chair can get Canadians to appreciate this great country. ‘The natural beauty of Canada is something we all can agree on. What Take Your Seat, Canada does is draw our attention to the geographic diversity that makes this country the envy of the world while reminding us that the diversity of our people is equally worth celebrating’ says Ziniak.

‘A picture says a thousand words’ adds Campione. ‘In this case, those thousand words all speak with one unified voice. Canada, its cultural mosaic that we so often take for granted, is now celebrated through the parallel between our collective love of nature and our love of people all expressed through the photography of Take Your Seat, Canada.

‘What makes this exhibition compelling, is its use of a red and white Director’s chair as an inspirational thread of unity that weaves this remarkable country of ours together’ says Randy VanDerStarren, the expedition’s leader. ‘As Canadians, we readily embrace the natural and diverse beauty of this country but have yet to extend that embrace as freely to the diversity of our people.’

VanDerStarren believes that Canada Day is a rare opportunity to tap into a much-needed wave of national pride and shared identity. ‘We tend to take this incredible country for granted. The photography of Take Your Seat, Canada draws attention to the awe-inspiring geography our country while inspiring Canadians to go out and explore it for themselves.

The Trans Canada Trail served as the roadmap for the Canada-wide expedition. Flight Centre, Henry’s Camera, the McMichael Gallery, The Lake Superior Group of Seven Trail and Nikon have all joined to bring this national journey to the heart of Toronto on July 1st.

For more information, please contact:

The Canadian Ethnic Media Association
Averill Maroun at or 647 974-4557

The Canadian Ethnocultural Council
Dominic Campione at or or at 905 761-9100

Take Your Seat, Canada
Randy VanDerStarren at or at 416 580-1249.

About CEMA
The Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA), formerly the Canadian Ethnic Journalists and Writers Club, is an organization for professionals engaged in the field of print, radio, television and online journalism, and creative writing.CEMA upholds the principles of Canadian citizenship and multiculturalism; and maintains the right of freedom of expression without ethnocentric bias. The emphasis of CEMA is on the exchange of ideas rather than lobbying. However, when necessary statements are made on pressing topics, such as the exclusion of ethnic journalists from sources of news and information

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