When the train tragedy occurred in Lac Mégantic, Québec, in July 2013, CBC/Radio-Canada journalists were on the scene first. They knew that their job was to cover the story for national and international audiences, but they also understood the need to help Canadians, across the country, to comprehend the enormous emotional suffering of the townspeople. From afar, Canadians looked on in shock, with few means to assist their fellow citizens.
Around the globe, in the face of tragedy, many turn to music for solace and resolution. Thus, to help the citizens of Lac Mégantic, the families and friends of the tragedy’s victims, and all Canadians, employees of Radio-Canada’s Espace musique brought together musicians from the Orchestre symphonique de Sherbrooke with violinist Élaine Marcil and soprano Lyne Fortin, for a concert at the St-Zénon-de-Piopolis Church of Lac Mégantic, under the direction of Stéphane Laforest. Entitled De tout coeur avec vous / Our Hearts Are With You, the free, public concert was presented live on Espace musique; live and on-demand on Espace.mu; streamed soon afterwards, accompanied by a photo gallery, on CBCMusic.ca; and repeated in excerpts on CBC Radio One and CBC Radio 2. The concert remains available on Espace.mu and CBCMusic.ca for those continuing to seek comfort.
Our online services also provided a space for messages of condolence for the affected residents, and encouraged donations to the Lac Mégantic Support Fund through the Canadian Red Cross. In addition, CBC/Radio-Canada partnered in airing the Avenir Lac-Mégantic benefit concert from Montreal which raised $775,000 for charities helping people in the community.
For nearly eight decades, CBC/Radio-Canada’s networks and employees have been an integral part of Canadian communities across this country. Our regular and special programming is designed to bring Canadians together for shared experiences that bind and build citizenship, and strengthen Canadian society. These activities contribute to our efforts to further increase our regional presence, as outlined in our strategy, 2015: Everyone, Every way.