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Press release from CNW Group

Canadian Tire Unveils Canada's First Tree Powered By The Christmas Spirit

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Canadian Tire Unveils Canada's First Tree Powered By The Christmas Spirit14:21 EST Tuesday, December 13, 2011Interactive & innovative Christmas Spirit Tree reflects Canadians' holiday cheer  TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2011 /CNW/ - Canadian Tire is lighting up the holiday season and spreading Christmas cheer across the country with the launch of its state-of-the-art, 30-foot Christmas Spirit Tree. The tree, unveiled today at Toronto's Union Station, has 3,000 LED lights that are powered by messages of positive Christmas spirit on social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and posts to"At this time of the year, everyone's talking about holiday spirit. We wanted to show it," says Rob Shields, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Canadian Tire. "Canadian Tire is thrilled to see the Christmas Spirit Tree come to life and celebrate the joy of the holiday season with all Canadians."According to a recent survey* commissioned by Canadian Tire, 37 per cent of Canadians won't mail cards this year, but rather will use online channels. In fact, 28 per cent said they share their Christmas spirit by posting messages on social networks; 16 per cent send e-cards and 8 per cent use Skype or iChat. The research conducted by Canadian Tire also found that in 2010 more than 1.6 million social media messages were posted about the Christmas season in Canada.The Christmas Spirit Tree will capture all real-time blog posts, tweets, public Facebook messages and other online content containing specific Christmas keywords and transform them into data that is then visualized via the lights on the tree. Canadians may also text message "Christmas" to 70734 to affect the lights on the tree.The brightness and colour of the lights will vary depending on the source of the messages. For example, posts from Twitter and other social media are represented as white lights on the tree, whereas messages from or text messages are visualized as a spiral of blue lights moving up the tree accompanied by flashing strobe lights all over. And, the brightness of the lights represents the total number of per-minute messages being shared across the country, so at times when online sharing is at its highest, the tree will shine at its brightest.Canadian Tire's Christmas survey also provides a glimpse into Canadians' feelings about the festive season and their own Christmas spirit:Putting up the Christmas tree (93%), holiday shopping (92%) and attending children's holiday pageants (86%) are the activities that most spark their Christmas Spirit27 per cent feel that Santa Claus most represents their Christmas spirit because he's a jolly gift-giver18 per cent most relate to Santa's elves because they are busy finishing last-minute Christmas errands50 per cent claim that they can name every reindeer that pulls Santa's sleighThe majority (84%) of Canadians unwrap gifts with their families on Christmas Day with only 44 per cent reporting they do it on Christmas EveThe Christmas Spirit Tree will be on display at Toronto Union Station from December 12-26 from 6:00 a.m. to midnight EST daily and can be viewed via live stream at and on screens at Yonge-Dundas Square. Media are welcome to film and photograph the tree. Daily Spirit Tree metrics and statistics, including provincial breakdowns, are available on request.About Canadian Tire Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX:CTC.a) (TSX:CTC) is one of Canada's most-shopped general retailers, offering everyday products and services to Canadians through more than 1,200 retail and gasoline outlets from coast-to-coast. Our primary retail business categories - Automotive, Living, Fixing, Playing and Apparel - are supported and strengthened by our Financial Services division, which offers such products and services as credit cards, in-store financing, product warranties, and insurance. Nearly 57,000 people are employed across the Canadian Tire enterprise, which was founded in 1922 and remains one of Canada's most recognized and trusted brands.*About the surveyFrom December 7 to December 8, 2011, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 1003 Canadian adults 18 years plus, who are Angus Reid Forum panel members.  The Angus Reid Forum is owned and operated by Vision Critical. Individuals were sampled according to Census data to be representative of the Canadian national adult population. The full dataset has been statistically weighted according to the most current gender, age, region, education (and in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. The margin of error is ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.Image with caption: "Canadian Tire's innovative Christmas Spirit Tree on display at Toronto Union Station from December 12-26, 2011. The 30-foot tree has 3,000 LED lights that are powered by Canadians' positive social media messages about the Christmas season. (CNW Group/CANADIAN TIRE CORPORATION, LIMITED)". Image available at: further information: For interviews, images and/or real-time metrics and statistics, please contact: Leah Gaucher, Canadian Tire, 416-544-7785 (office), 647-924-2614 (mobile), April Brown, High Road Communications, 416-644-1793 (office), 416-895-3933 (mobile),