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Press Release -- April 23rd, 2014
Source: Cisco Systems

Clara’s Big Ride Unites Youth for a National Conversation on Mental Health

Bell, Cisco and Northwestel collaborate to bring Clara's message to students across Canada

IQALUIT, NU – April 23, 2014 –On her first stop in Canada's territories for Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk, Clara Hughes will host a national youth conversation on mental health with a special live broadcast from Iqaluit's Inuksuk High School to thousands of students across Canada.Believing that youth can have a powerful impact in uniting Canadians around the issue of mental health, Bell, Cisco and Northwestel have teamed up to deliver the special webcast through Cisco® high-definition video collaboration technologies, Cisco TelePresence® and WebEx® Enabled TelePresence, and bandwidth provided by Northwestel.

Youth from across Canada will be invited to virtually join Clara and Grade 7-10 students on Friday, May 2, at Inuksuk High School for this groundbreaking event. Clara will share the story of her personal struggle with depression, give students a first-hand account of her Ride across Canada and discuss the ways we can all work to achieve a Canada free of the stigma that still surrounds mental illness. Students will also hear from Whit Fraser, president of the Arctic Child and Youth Foundation.

Facts and Highlights:

• Clara's Big Ride is a 110-day, 12,000 km cycling journey around Canada to raise awareness for mental health and create a stigma-free Canada. Clara will make stops in 95 communities across Canada – including nine communities across all three territories from May 1 to 15. To learn more, please visit

• In addition to the national student event, Cisco is providing Clara with Cisco TelePresence technology, WebEx Enabled TelePresence and WebEx to enable her outreach to Canadians and stay connected throughout the tour.

• Cisco TelePresence technology creates a live, face-to-face communication experience over the network that empowers participants to collaborate like never before. Cisco TelePresence solutions help people meet, share content, create high-quality video recordings and events, consult with experts, and deliver powerful personalized services, all using the power of the network for an immersive in-person experience.

• Cisco WebEx Enabled TelePresence enables any user with a standards-based video endpoint or WebEx client to join a meeting. Anyone, anywhere on any video-enabled device, including smartphones and tablets, can join a TelePresence meeting.

Supporting Quotes:

Clara Hughes

"I'm so thrilled with the opportunity to bring students from Iqaluit and across Canada together to talk about mental health and how we can change perceptions around mental illness. In my visits to communities on the Big Ride, I've found that young people are embracing the anti-stigma message and eager to make a difference. To be able to reach so many young Canadians at the same time with the message of a stigma-free Canada will have a powerful positive impact on the cause."

Paul Flaherty, President and CEO, Northwestel

"As a member of this community, Northwestel strongly supports Clara's passion and hard work in working to end the stigma that surrounds mental illness. We're excited to be a partner in this amazing effort and are committed to continuing the conversation that Clara has started."

Mark Collins, VP Marketing, Cisco Canada

"At Cisco we believe that amazing things can happen when we connect the unconnected, and that as new connections form, impact can be multiplied - things that were once silent now find a voice. By leveraging our technology expertise and collaboration solutions to help unite youth in a discussion on mental health, we can empower the next generation of leaders and help enable them to end the stigma attached to mental illness."

About Bell Let's Talk

Bell Let's Talk is a national charitable initiative by Bell, Canada's largest communications company, that promotes mental health with Clara's Big Ride and Bell Let's Talk Day alongside significant funding for community care, research, and workplace best practices. To learn more, please visit

About Northwestel

In 2013, Northwestel contributed more than $580,000 in cash and in-kind donations to a variety of northern community groups. Throughout its history, Northwestel has played a key role in the economic, social and cultural development of the North. Northwestel is recognized as a key contributor to the well-being of northern communities through its community investment program and the volunteer contributions of its employees.

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO, news, filings) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. Cisco products and services are supplied in Canada by Cisco Systems Canada Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc. For ongoing news, please go to and

For media inquiries, please contact:

Jenn Madden

Cisco Canada


Jacqueline Michelis

Bell Media Relations

613 785-1427

Sunny Patch

Community Investment Manager, Northwestel

867 455-4100

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