ABC CANADA, Air Canada, and HarperCollinsCanada Launch SKYword

5th Sep 2002

TORONTO, Sept. 4 /CNW/ - ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation, Air Canada, and HarperCollinsCanada today announced a joint partnership on an
innovative in-flight, audio-book entertainment program, called SKYword, to be
featured aboard all Air Canada flights. The program will launch this month, in
honour of “International Literacy Day”.

The SKYword program will offer all Air Canada passengers access to a new
in-flight audio channel featuring author interviews and exclusive audio-book
excerpts from best-selling Canadian and international fiction, and popular
children`s literature, courtesy of HarperCollinsCanada and HarperAudio. This
program also includes book excerpts in selected issues of “enRoute Magazine”;
promotional collateral on the importance of reading and literacy, developed by
ABC CANADA; and a special coupon offer on books featured in SKYword from, the program`s official retail partner. Program branding and print
collateral were created and designed by Oxygen Design + Communications of

“We are delighted to enhance the in-flight entertainment options for our
customers as a result of this unique partnership,” said Steven Grovestine,
director, Design & Product Marketing at Air Canada. “The SKYword program
promises to be a popular feature that not only promotes literacy but also
supports the very worthwhile projects undertaken by ABC CANADA. We salute our
partners for their participation and look forward to working with them further
to ensure SKYword sets Air Canada`s award winning in-flight entertainment
apart among full service carriers.”

Every month, HarperCollins will provide new content for the audio
entertainment channel including audio-book excerpts, often narrated by well-
known celebrities or the authors themselves. A different theme will be
featured each month, ranging from children`s books (September) and new fiction
(October), to business/motivational books (April) and summer reading (June).
In the first three months, SKYword will feature children`s classics by CS
Lewis and Roald Dahl, Ann Patchett`s award winning novel “Bel Canto”, and “A
Simple Habana Melody”, by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Oscar Hijuelos. “We
are delighted to bring outstanding books by outstanding writers to travelling
families, business people and professionals,” comments HarperCollinsCanada
president and ceo, David Kent. “We applaud our program partners for joining us
in such a creative and imaginative program.”

“We`re excited to be part of this innovative project that reinforces the
importance of reading in such a unique way,” says ABC CANADA president,
Christine Featherstone. “Research confirms that reading aloud to children
helps them build vital communication skills. However, there are important
benefits for adults who listen to audio-books as well. Talking books build
vocabulary, reinforce grammatical skills and help develop good listening
skills - these are important at any age.” Featherstone goes on to explain that
the SKYword program will help promote the larger literacy issue, through
reading and literacy tips included on the audio channel, and on a bookmark,
distributed through “enRoute Magazine” on a quarterly basis. In addition, Air
Canada has provided airtime to an ABC CANADA public service announcement
promoting the importance of family literacy, which will be broadcast
throughout the year alongside its in-flight television programming.


Exclusive online retail partner has created the “SKYword
Boutique” (, making it easy to find all of the books
from the program, as well as a selection of books by authors featured in the
program and other relevant HarperCollins titles, in one online destination.
Additionally, is donating five per cent of sales from books featured
in the program, and purchased through the “SKYword Boutique”, to ABC CANADA to
help promote literacy. “ is proud to be a sponsor of this important
program, and to provide a way for our customers to help us promote literacy in
Canada,” says Paul Curhan, Marketing director for “We believe that
by helping to increase literacy, everyone wins.” is also offering a
discount off books featured in the SKYword Boutique for all first time customers.

The SKYword program (officially named SKYword: An In-flight Audio-book
Adventure) will be promoted through print advertising in “enRoute Magazine”
and “The Globe and Mail”, on partner Web sites and via other communications
vehicles. Together, program partners will explore additional opportunities to
promote and expand SKYword throughout the year.

The “SKYword Boutique” (, or its French equivalent, will go live on “International Literacy Day”, this
Sunday, September 8.




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