Canadians have  new Catholic TV

The Toronto-based Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation is dedicated to bringing the Gospel message back into mainstream Canadian culture with 100 per cent Catholic broadcasting 24 hours a day.

The Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation is a non-profit national organization, committed to providing Catholics with the opportunity to connect with their beliefs and to celebrate their faith. It was established in 2003 and has since received the endorsement of the Canadian and U.S. bishops and the Vatican Television Centre.

“I believe that Salt and Light provides the opportunity for Catholics to be engaged in their faith and receive the hopeful and encouraging message of the Church,” said Fr. Thomas Rosica, the foundation’s CEO. The Basilian Father was the CEO and national director of World Youth Day 2002.

The foundation’s function is twofold: it is both a producer and a distributor of Catholic programming. Salt Light Television Productions will develop and produce shows for worldwide distribution to networks and specialty channels. And Salt Light Television, the foundation’s licensed, digital television network, will broadcast programming in Canada. The station received its broadcast license from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) Nov. 17.

The television station features diverse programming to both young and mature audiences, primarily in English. Its five major programming streams – Prayer and Devotion, Liturgy and Worship, Faith and Reason, Action and Justice, and Community and Media – are intended to celebrate Canadian Catholics who make a difference in their communities.

A number of shows already in production include: Salt Light Magazine, Living Proof and “In Conversation”… with Fr. Rosica and Gaetano Gagliano. Gagliano is the founder and owner of St. Joseph Corporation, the largest privately owned communications company in Canada, which made the license application to the CRTC on behalf of Salt and Light Media Foundation.

“In Conversation” is a 13-episode series broadcast weekly (Sunday at 1 p.m.) on Telelatino (TLN), which reaches more than three million households across Canada. Other shows under development include “Cooking with Saints” and “Courage to be Catholic”.

Salt and Light Television will be accessible across Canada on a subscription basis. It is currently available on Rogers Digital Cable, Channel 617, in major markets of Southern Ontario, and it is in discussions with Bell ExpressVU, Star Choice, COGECO, Shaw, Videotron and Eastlink for availability on digital TV by the spring of 2004.

The foundation also envisions a French television counterpart, “Télévision Sel Lumière”, and Web-based programming in the near future.

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