07/31/2012 10:26 EDT | Updated 09/30/2012 05:12 EDT

Sparking a Flame: Introducing HuffPost Canada Impact


I'm delighted to announce the launch of HuffPost Canada Impact. Impact has always been a key part of HuffPost's DNA -- not only telling stories but starting conversations around our shared passions and inviting our readers to connect, engage, and make a difference in the lives of others.

HuffPost Canada Impact joins a growing global Impact family that includes the U.S. edition and UK Impact, which launched last year. As HuffPost continues to expand internationally, and as our ability to connect and engage with others becomes less and less constrained by borders, we believe Impact has tremendous potential to help us all widen the circle of our caring.

In Canada, there's no better time than now to use all the tools at our disposal to widen that circle. HuffPost Canada has already featured stories highlighting the multiple crises Canadians face, from the recent Toronto gun violence to the divisive Quebec student protests -- both of which pose larger questions about the country's future. Through a combination of original reporting and comprehensive aggregation, Impact will be telling the stories that matter most -- and, just as important, helping people tell their stories themselves -- from poverty and immigration to education and aboriginal communities.

While Impact will spotlight problems, it will also focus on solutions, featuring stories of Canadian resilience in the face of adversity and offering real opportunities for readers to connect and take action. By launching Impact, which will include our popular Greatest Person feature, HuffPost Canada will be able to spotlight more inspirational Canadians like Hélène Campbell, the 21-year-old Ottawa woman who received a double lung transplant and sparked a growing international organ donation movement. It's a perfect manifestation of HuffPost Canada Impact's motto: "One story can spark a flame, one person can make a difference."

True to its spirit, HuffPost Impact comes to life thanks to a team of editors led by HuffPost Lifestyle managing editor Lisa Yeung, who has been involved in every HuffPost Canada launch to date.

HuffPost Canada Impact's original reporting kicks off with a story on solutions to the gang problem in Toronto after the most recent spate of shootings, a feature called "If I Could #ChangeCanada" that asks what Canadians would do to make the country a better place, and the first installment of our popular weekly Greatest Person feature. Later this week, watch for a slideshow of photos featuring people in Canada making a difference and a survey of Canada's most charitable Olympic athletes.

Our lineup of launch-day bloggers includes Habitat for Humanity Canada's Phil Kloer with a profile of the organization's first family home in Nova Scotia, Free the Children co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger on deciding which causes to support, World Vision's Cheryl Hotchkiss on shopping ethically, journalist Sydney Loney on how Canadians can feel connected to crises in faraway countries, and Kirk and Kris Tobias on the Toronto cycling event they started to honor their mother and raise money for cancer charities.

So, please join me in welcoming Impact to the HuffPost Canada family. And as always, please use the comments section to let us know what you think.

Add your voice to the conversation on Twitter: