Don’t show a photo of David Suzuki: How WE Charity tried to keep its donors happy

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A parade of public figures, musicians and activists crossed the stage in front of 16,000 youth gathered in Calgary in October 2016 for the annual WE Charity arena show, known as WE Day. But away from the stage, conflict was brewing. An image of environmentalist David Suzuki flashed on the big screen at the Saddledome — one face in a montage of “Canadian heroes” intended to inspire young people to go out in the world and do good deeds. That picture angered one donor, say former staff of WE Charity, the organization founded by brothers Marc and Craig Kielburger to end child labour and empower children to change the world. “I’ll never forget it,” one source told the CBC’s The Fifth Estate. “The man was livid, screaming [in] the halls.” After the show, the producers were “demoralized and deflated,” the source said. The result was that Suzuki’s image was pulled from some future shows, sources say.