Are you smarter than a CanWest speller?

Spelling bees. Good fun for kids, parents, teachers and, now, telcos. Telus wants in on the word games for CanWest's national contest.

CanWest has been promoting this year’s CanSpell National Spelling Bee (broadcasting live for the first time this year) on multiple platforms for months, and Telus is adding a mobile component to the mix. As the national contestants compete on-air, the Telus Spell It contest will allow viewers to participate in their own contest in real-time via text messaging. At-home spellers must watch and listen for eight Telus Spell It words and send their text messages in before 6 am the following day. Five winning at-home spellers get to take home RESP contributions worth $4,000 each, provided by CanSpell sponsor AIC. The winners will be selected at random and will be announced on Global’s ET Canada on April 16.

This year’s microsite,, includes features word games aimed at building online audiences and participation from students. Main sponsor Canada Post (alongside Air Canada and AIC) will present a webcast of the April 13 preliminary rounds, as well as the April 14 main events, which air at 7 pm on Global Television (and NTV in Newfoundland and Labrador). is currently tracking the school-level regionals underway across the country.

Promotion began in June 2006 with direct mail to schools, followed by a registration drive through 10 CanWest metro dailies, plus partner papers across the country (including some owned by Transcontinental Media, Irving, and Glacier Newspaper Group). Two 15-second spots promoting registration and another pushing the interactive website started airing on Global and CH in throughout the winter.