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Hugh Jackman, Yoko Ono and David Guetta kick off #IMAGINE project with UNICEF to mark 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

2014-11-19

People everywhere invited to record “Imagine” alongside celebs and be part of a global version of Lennon’s iconic anthem of hope and peace, to be released in lead up to New Year’s Eve   

TORONTO, November 20, 2014 – During a musical event at the United Nations General Assembly today, UNICEF will kick off the #IMAGINE project as part of celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The #IMAGINE project brings together artist Yoko Ono, renowned music producer and DJ David Guetta, UNICEF Ambassadors – including Katy Perry, Angélique Kidjo, Daniela Mercury, Priyanka Chopra, Yuna Kim – and a host of other high profile supporters with the aim of creating a unique moment in music history that will highlight the tremendous challenges children face all over the world.

#IMAGINE calls on all global citizens to lend their voice:

A new interactive digital experience, powered by TouchCast, will allow people across the globe to record their own version of Imagine, John Lennon’s iconic anthem of hope and peace, alongside their favourite stars, in what UNICEF hopes will be the largest-ever global sing-along.

These individual recordings, and those of UNICEF’s Ambassadors and other artists, will be made into a multi-lingual ‘world’ version of Imagine, produced by David Guetta. Everyone who records the song has the chance to have their vocals and videos used in the new UNICEF version of Imagine and in the accompanying interactive music video, created by TouchCast and TheBridge.co – both of which will be released in the lead up to New Year’s Eve 2014.

Celebrities taking part in today’s event:

The event at the United Nations General Assembly will include live performances by Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo, Brazilian singer-songwriter Daniela Mercury, Swedish-Iranian pop sensation Laleh, cellist Trey Lee from Hong Kong, Nigerian musician Don Jazzy and Kristian Kostov, the winner of the Russian The Voice.

Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor Hugh Jackman, Yoko Ono and Björn Ulvaeus from ABBA will also make special appearances during the event.

Quotes:

“A dream you dream alone may be a dream, but a dream two people dream together is a reality,” said Yoko Ono.

“The Convention on the Rights of the Child asked us all to imagine a better world for children – and calls on all of us to make that vision a reality,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “The #IMAGINE project gives people across the globe a chance to join a global movement for children, lending their ideas, their visions and, not least, their voices to advance the rights of every child, everywhere.”  

 “I’m really excited to be working with UNICEF on this incredible new project. Our ‘world’ version of Imagine will be like no other – I am proud to be a part of this collaboration,” said David Guetta. “We have to get the word out that every voice counts and every child counts too.”

Sharing the dream of #IMAGINE:

#IMAGINE participants can share their own recording of Lennon's classic song with friends and family on social media and encourage others to perform Imagine too. They can also record personal messages describing what they imagine a better world for children would be like.

Participants will also have the opportunity to donate to UNICEF. Funds raised through the #IMAGINE project will support the organization's programs providing education, nutrition, healthcare and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, protection and emergency relief for children in more than 150 countries and territories.

The #IMAGINE digital experience will be available via the TouchCast app for iOS on the App Store on 20 November or at http://imagine.unicef.org

To participate in #IMAGINE, individuals follow three easy steps:

  • Download the TouchCast app for iOS via Apple's App Store or at http://imagine.unicef.org;
  • Record your version of Imagine with John Lennon and a host of celebrities simply by tapping the red record button;
  • Record personal messages describing what you imagine a better world for children would be like;
  • Share your recordings with friends with the hashtags #EVERYVOICECOUNTS and #IMAGINE.

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About TouchCast

TouchCast is a New York-based video technology platform that brings the interactivity of the web into video. TouchCast is a fully featured creator’s workbench - with virtual sets, green screen, teleprompter, telestration, visual and sound effects and built-in titles and graphics - that democratizes video production and envelopes the viewer in an immersive, engaging experience. Prolific inventor and entrepreneur Edo Segal founded TouchCast in June of 2013. Learn more at www.touchcast.com

About TheBridge.co

TheBridge.co connects artists and brands through creative, content and code. #IMAGINE – led by director/producer Michael Jurkovac, social director/stategist Paul Kuhn, producers Bill Boyd, Pantera Sarah, Polo Molina, and Venus Brown – is the latest in a long line of artists collaborations including YES, WE CAN (will.i.am), #THEWORLDNEEDSMORE (David Guetta), ELV1S 30 #1 HITS (RCA), WORLD of BETTERS (Alicia Keys, K'Naan, Sunihdi Chuhan, John Legend and Pitbull), #URBANJUNGLEWORKOUT (Adriana Lima) and others that have helped raise awareness and funds for worthwhile causes. Learn more at www.TheBridge.co

About bMuse

bMuse builds companies and products that reshape the way people create and consume media. Our products span from new forms of video and mobile gaming to physical toys and digital publishing. We’ve built an entire digital studio system that scales product ideas into viable standalone businesses in a replicable manner. Simply put, we use technology to reimagine media. Learn more at www.bmuse.com

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.