Bell and Bell Aliant taking the conversation on the road - Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk

HALIFAX, April 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Bell Aliant, in partnership with Bell, today announced Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk, a national bicycle tour by Clara Hughes in support of mental health. The tour begins in March of 2014 and will span more than 100 days, 12,000 kilometres and every province and territory of Canada ending in Ottawa on Canada Day, 2014. Bell Aliant will be working with local community organizations to promote Clara's Big Ride and encourage more conversations about mental health.

Bell Let's Talk national spokesperson and six-time Olympian Clara Hughes will ride across the country, inviting people to join the mental health discussion, while sharing her own story of a struggle with depression during her athletic career.

"I'm incredibly excited about bringing even more Canadians into the Bell Let's Talk conversation - the schools, community groups and hometown champions that are really moving mental health forward," said Clara. "I'm looking forward to meeting people across Canada, hearing about their challenges and successes, sharing our stories and embracing new ideas and opportunities in mental health. I can't think of a better way to meet people, from the cities to the coasts to Canada's North, than getting on my bike and taking to the roads of this beautiful country."

"This tremendous initiative gives us an opportunity to build on the progress we have made in the fight against the stigma surrounding mental illness, and accelerate that progress in the communities we serve," said Karen Sheriff, Bell Aliant President and CEO. "Clara's Big Ride will build on the 2013 success of Bell Let's Talk Day and rally Canadians to take the conversation about mental health to the next level."

Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk is supported by Canada's leading mental health organizations. Bell Let's Talk is also proud to announce BMO, Canadian Tire, Samsung and CTV as the first National Partners of Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk.

The Ride will be a catalyst for new events, partnerships and fundraising where every dollar stays in the community for local mental health initiatives. The ride will reach more than 60 per cent of the population, including all three Northern Territories. Extensive plans are already underway to engage with local, regional and national organizations to create hundreds of community events.

Making a difference includes bringing the next generation into the conversation. Schools across the nation will have the opportunity to talk directly with Clara about new ideas to grow the conversation about mental health in their own communities. The Ride will also work with communities to develop their own Bell Let's Talk events, an unprecedented opportunity for local mental health groups to raise funds and awareness for their programs.

Share in the ride at

Every Canadian can participate in Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk through community events and social media. For more information, please visit or follow the latest news on Facebook at or on Twitter at @Bell_LetsTalk.

Clara's Big Ride builds on the growing success of Bell Let's Talk Day when Clara led millions in talking about mental illness to end the stigma resulting in a total of 96,266,266 calls, texts, tweets and Facebook shares by Canadians. This translated into an additional $4,813,313.30 in funding for mental health programs. Bell has now committed a total of $62,043,289.30 to Canadian mental health.

The largest-ever corporate commitment to Canadian mental health, the Bell Let's Talk initiative was launched in 2010 to drive action in mental health based on 4 pillars: Anti-stigma, care and access, research, and workplace best practices. To learn more about Bell Let's Talk, please visit

About Bell Aliant
Bell Aliant (TSX: BA) is one of North America's largest regional communications providers and the first company in Canada to cover an entire city with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology with its FibreOP services. Through its operating entities, it serves customers in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added business solutions. Bell Aliant's employees deliver the highest quality customer service, choice and convenience. 


Christine Manore
Bell Aliant Corporate Affairs