BMO Contribution to Athlete Fund tops $1.2 Million



    VANCOUVER, Jan. 17 /CNW/ - Tonight at the 2008 BMO Canadian Figure
Skating Championships, the title sponsor presented a $100,000 donation to the
Skate Canada Athlete Fund. Bill Downe, President and CEO, made the
presentation on behalf of BMO Financial Group.
    "As Canada's First Bank and Canada's skating bank, BMO Financial Group is
extremely proud of the ongoing perseverance and ambition that our skaters
demonstrate at all levels of the sport right across the country. On behalf of
all of us at BMO, it's rewarding that our donation today of $100,000 to the
Athlete Fund will help young skaters to pursue their aspirations and strive
for competitive excellence," said Bill Downe, President and Chief Executive
Officer, BMO Financial Group.
    Skate Canada CEO William Thompson acknowledged the significance of BMO's
long-standing contribution to the Athlete Fund. "This cheque is indicative of
BMO's commitment to developing skating here in Canada. Their long-term
financial support, now spanning over 12 years, has directly contributed to our
skaters' training, travel, and coaching. With their combined donations to the
Fund now reaching $1.2 million, we want to express our sincere appreciation on
behalf of all the skaters they have assisted through the years."
    Olympic bronze medalist, and co-captain of Canada's Senior National Team,
Jeff Buttle, who is defending his Canadian Men's title at the event, accepted
the cheque from Bill Downe.
    The Skate Canada Athlete Fund was established in 1982 to encourage the
development of figure skating in Canada by providing financial assistance to
athletes. Grants from the fund assist athletes with their training and
development. The support of corporations and individual donors through the
fund allows Skate Canada athletes to pursue and achieve their goals. More than
$600,000 are distributed to athletes every year.
    Skate Canada, the national governing body responsible for the development
and administration of figure skating in Canada, is the largest figure skating
association in the world. With skating programs for athletes of all ages,
offered at 1303 clubs and 60 skating schools(*) across the country, Skate Canada
is an association dedicated to providing every Canadian the opportunity to
experience the passion, spirit and triumph of skating.

    (*) As at August 30, 2007.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





For further information:

For further information: For Information: Brenda Gorman, Director,
Corporate Communications, Cell: (613) 853-8952, Media Room: (604) 252-3700;
Media Contacts: Laurie Grant: (604) 665-7596, mobile: (604) 318-0735,
laurie.grant@bmo.com; Lucie Gosselin: mobile: (514) 240-5361,
lucie.gosselin@bmo.com


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