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Bringing our Cultures Together

by Archives January 17, 2007

It started three years ago, but the long wait is about to conclude as Nuevo Mundo Television moves closer toward becoming the first Latin American channel, 100 percent in Spanish, created and produced in Canada.

According to marketing director Ada Henriquez, creators Claire Bourgeois and Maria Teresa Calderon, who work together representing Spanish channels produced in Latin America and broadcasted in Canada with the company Terra Terra Communications, developed the idea of the channel due to the demand for a channel produced in Canada and entirely in Spanish.

On April 11, 2005 the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) granted the license for them to continue with the project. Henriquez explained that the most difficult obstacle Nuevo Mundo TV has had to confront has been doing everything as a small group. They are currently working with a group of approximately 30 collaborators from different Hispanic countries.

Nuevo Mundo TV has no competitive market because it differs from other Latin American channels in its content and commitment of broadcasting only in Spanish. Although the public has been enthusiastic about this prospect, some Latin Americans show concern over the content of the channel and its presentation.

Elena Vilchez, member of the Latin American organization Proyecto Cultural Sur, said that when the idea was initially presented to the organization, public response was positive.

However, she is concerned that recently immigrated Latin Americans might have more difficulty learning the local languages of French and English with an available 24-hour Spanish channel.

Carolina Favreau, 22, emigrated from Costa Rica. She said it would have been easier to cope with the new cultural environment when arriving to Canada if she would have had somebody to help her connect with the new culture.

“The channel will succeed depending on how it is presented, how it brings the two different cultures together,” Favreau said.

A member of the Dominican Republic Cultural Center, Rafael Veras, said that it would have made a difference in his arrival to Canada if there had been a center to turn to for assistance on how to start out as a recent immigrant.

“Being informed is important,” he said. Fortunately, Nuevo Mundo TV has been working to incorporate the expectations of the Hispanic public by planning to include interviews with other Latin Americans to facilitate the adaptation of recent immigrants to the new Canadian culture.

“The purpose is to respond to the needs of the Latin American immigrants in Canada helping them cope with the change in environment from one country to another,” Henriquez said.

Henriquez explained the channel would include documentaries, Hispanic cinematography, “telenovelas” (Latino-American soap operas), and the coverage of Canadian news and events translated to Spanish.

Throughout the development of the channel, its target audience has been redirected towards not only Latin Americans, but also to all Spanish speakers that are interested in the Hispanic culture and language.

“It is a way of bringing us together, respecting the differences between our countries and cultures,” said Henriquez.With the community’s opinions and expectations in mind, the channel has no determined launching date, but is expected to be ready by the beginning of next year and will be available through cable company Videotron.

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