Canada and the world turned off the lights on Saturday night to celebrate the 5th anniversary of WWF’s Earth Hour.

Dubbed the “World’s largest campaign for the planet”, Earth Hour has grown in five short years from a local event in Sydney, Australia, to a global phenomenon that attracted 150 countries, over 6494 cities and global participants from all seven continents in 2012.

Earth Hour Across Canada

2012 saw the highest participation in Earth Hour yet, with 511 Canadian cities participating. Over 100,000 Canadians signed the Earth Hour Pledge on the WWF website, displaying their commitment to switch off for Earth Hour and fight climate change all year long.


Toronto was the first city to adopt Earth Hour after it was launched in Sydney, and the city’s passion for the planet was evident on Saturday night as hundreds turned out at The Distillery Historic District to join in a live performance of the newly minted Earth Hour Anthem “When the Lights Go Down” – Canada’s first ever crowd-sourced song, created just for Earth Hour. The song was created from thousands of lyrics submitted and voted on by Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Click here to download video footage and images of Torontonians joining Choir! Choir! Choir! and composer Andrew Huang in the first live performance of “When the Lights Go Down”. Please note that video and images will be available for download as of 12pm on Sunday, April 1st.


Montreal also celebrated with music – hundreds of Montrealers joined Minister Pierre Arcand and comedian Maxime Martin for an acoustic performance by the award-winning group Chinatown at the Esplanade de la Place des Arts.


The Vancouver Canucks showed the NHL’s support for Earth Hour with an in-game interactive feature between WWF’s Panda mascot and their own mascot, Fin, at Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames.

Earth Hour Across the World

Images of global landmarks switching off their lights for Earth Hour are available at :

Downloadable video footage of the global event are available at:

Additional global highlights include:

  • The International Space Station – astronaut and Earth Hour Ambassador Andre Kuipers kept watch as countries across the globe turn out their lights for Earth Hour. See his photos from space here.
  • Italian pianist and composer Christian Calcatelli played an 8-hour live concert over the Internet after 5,000 people committed to taking up recycling.
  • Just five months after the end of the Libyan uprising, nineteen-year-old Mohammad Nattah organized Earth Hour in his town of Tripoli for the first time.

About WWF’s Earth Hour

WWF’s Earth Hour is an opportunity for individuals, businesses and communities around the globe to unite in a powerful call to action of hope for a better, healthier planet. In Canada, the AIR MILES Reward Program and the Toronto Star are the national sponsors. As lead sponsors for WWF’s Earth Hour, AIR MILES and the Toronto Star will harness their incredible ability to engage employees and reach customers in spreading our message and encouraging individual action.

photo: WWF Mexico Fabian Caballero

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