The Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, congratulates Vanessa Pampalon of Montreal as the winner of the exciting TV documentary-adventure series, Operation Unplugged, which followed a group of young Canadians who gave up their personal techno-gadgets, and experienced incredible adventures in the wild of Canada’s national parks and national historic sites.
“Kudos to Vanessa Pampalon on being chosen the Operation Unplugged Explorer,” said Minister Kent. “When I met all the contestants, I was truly impressed by their energy and enthusiasm to ‘Unplug’ and explore Canada’s national parks and national historic sites. I encourage all Canadians to do the same.”
Vanessa Pampalon, a 21-year-old self-described Social Network Diva was one of eight “techno-dependent” post-secondary students who participated in Operation Unplugged. The participants explored Parks Canada places in nine national parks and national historic sites and competed in missions along the way under the guidance of host Alan Bishop and Parks Canada staff.
“I discovered that my success was not about my physical strength but about the strength of my character,” said Vanessa Pampalon. “Experiencing Canada’s wilderness, its beauty and vastness, and also its history, heightened my awareness of this great land. I feel a connection and an appreciation that wasn’t there before.”
“Congratulations to Vanessa Pampalon for this outstanding achievement,” said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, Minister of State of Agriculture and Regional Minister for Quebec. “Her victory will certainly be an inspiration and an encouragement to all Canadians to connect with Canada’s natural and historic treasured places.”
Parks Canada collaborated with GlassBOX Television, HLP+Partners, and Via Rail Canada to produce this six-episode weekly documentary-adventure show, which began airing on February 21, 2012 on the Travel + Escape channel and is available online.
“It’s been an incredible adventure watching the entire cast unplug and trek across Canada,” said Marcia Martin, Senior VP Creative Content, Commissioned & In-House Programming, GlassBOX Television. “From the first episode right through to the finale, Vanessa has grown considerably in her personal journey and proved that anyone can accomplish what they set out to do. We’re unbelievably proud of her.”
Broadcast initiatives like Operation Unplugged, as well as other flagship Parks Canada youth initiatives, such as My Parks Pass, Xplorers and the recently-announced Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Parks Canada Youth Ambassador Program all provide excellent opportunities for young Canadians to be inspired to better connect with our natural and historic heritage.
Parks Canada works to ensure Canada’s historic and natural heritage is protected and, through a network of 43 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas, invites Canadians and people around the world to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery at our treasured natural and historic places.