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Media Advisory – March 21, 2013

Media Advisory

Circle 21 Coordinates Canada’s Celebration of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st

(Toronto, Ontario) March 21st , 2013. March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day.

The date (3/21) is significant as the genetic condition Down syndrome (DS) results from a triplication of the 21st chromosome. The aim of the day is to raise awareness and understanding of this condition affecting 1 in 691 babies born in Canada each year. Over 35,000 Canadians have Down syndrome.

Tonight Circle 21 will coordinate Canada’s celebration of World Down Syndrome Day with an inspiring evening event, 7 to 10 p.m, at Crescent School’s Centre for Creative Learning (2365 Bayview Ave Toronto, ON). This sold out event will host hundreds of people, including people with Down syndrome. Media are welcome to attend. This event is supported by Ontario’s Premier Kathleen Wynn and Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford. The event features:

  • An excerpt from RARE. This important piece of theatre was co-created by Judith Thompson and features 9 remarkable ensemble members who all have Down syndrome
  • the global unveiling of the Circle 21 song “One Heart At A Time” a heartfelt inspirational song written from a mother’s perspective and performed by award winning vocalists
  • the world release of the film Extra-Ordinary ( by Circle 21, Sons and Daughters, and Juniper Park. With the goal of increased acceptance for the Down syndrome community, this film was created to challenge the associated stigmas.

This event will be attended by the who’s who from the Down syndrome community from across Canada including: Judith Thompson, Playwright and artistic director Rare Theatre Company; Dr. David Chitayat, world renowned Geneticist and Steven Finlay, CEO Surrey Place Center

Karen Blott and Leslie Diening co-founded Circle 21 in 2012. Both Moms to 4 children and each with their youngest child surprising them by being born with Down syndrome, Circle 21 has become a global phenomenon and an overnight success story. Circle 21’s Facebook page, launched only months ago, has connected the global community with over 75,000 people following them from over 35 countries ( Today, Circle 21 is proud to announce the launch of its website

Colin Carrie, Canadian Parliamentary Secretary for Health will be speaking today in the House of Commons recognizing the 35,000 people with Down syndrome who live in Canada and acknowledging Circle 21’s work.

Karen Meredith Blott / Leslie Diening: