TVO is 50! The milestone anniversary marks five decades of growth and transformation for TVO—from a public TV station to a leader in digital education, current affairs, kids programming, and documentaries.
The official anniversary—Sunday, September 27, 2020—was marked for millions to see with TVO’s signature colours of red and blue lighting up five major Ontario landmarks: Niagara Falls; Toronto’s CN Tower and the Toronto City Hall 3D “Toronto” sign; and Kingston’s City Hall and Springer Market Square.
The 50th anniversary celebration will continue on October 17 and 18 when all Ontarians will be invited to participate in the TVO Telethon via broadcast or livestream at telethon.tvo.org, and TVO Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels. The telethon will be hosted by TVO on-air personalities Steve Paikin and Nam Kiwanuka, as well as Jeyan Jeganathan and TVOkids hosts Lucas Meeuse, Laura Commisso and Greg Liow. Featuring the premiere of the TVO Original documentary Margin of Error, special interviews with legendary TVO alum like Martin Short, plus Odd Squad and Wild Kratts marathons for the kids, as well as treasures from our vault, there will be something for everyone!
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During the telethon, our donors will be celebrated for their generous support, which is integral to TVO’s success, and all viewers will be invited to make tax-deductible donations to TVO via telethon.tvo.org. These donations will help ensure that TVO can continue to deliver powerful moments of learning to Ontarians of all ages.
When TVO first went on the air on September 27, 1970, the idea that public television could have a positive influence on learning was visionary—and the impact has been significant. Generations of Ontario children have grown up with TVO productions such as The Polka Dot Door (1971-1993) and co-productions like TVOkids Originals Dino Dana and Big Top Academy, as well as live, interactive programming blocks and programs like The Crawlspace (1994-2005) and That TVOkids Show (2019-present). For our adult audience, TVO has broadened perspectives and encouraged understanding with its popular primetime programs like Saturday Night at the Movies (1974-2013) and The Agenda with Steve Paikin (2006-present), as well as in-depth Ontario Hubs journalism on TVO.org (2017-present). Since the very beginning, TVO has been a leader in the application of technology to enhance learning—from 1977 when TVO was among the first to use the Hermes satellite for educational teleconferencing, to today as the home of the province’s largest online high school, TVO ILC. TVO has enriched the lives of millions with the very best lifelong learning opportunities.
“In the 50 years since TVO was formed, the world has changed so much—and TVO has been on the leading edge of that change,” says Jennifer Hinshelwood, TVO’s acting chief operating officer. “We work every day to meet the province’s lifelong learning needs and to prepare Ontarians for what the future may bring. It is a mission that inspires all of us at TVO, and will continue to guide the organization for generations to come.”