BMO Financial Group wins Canadian Sport Award for Corporate Excellence - National Initiative Support



    OTTAWA, March 27 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group, Skate Canada title sponsor
and partner, won the Canadian Sport Award for Corporate Excellence - National
Initiative Support at the 34th Annual Canadian Sport Awards ceremony, which
was held March 23 in Winnipeg.
    The Canadian Sport Award for Corporate Excellence - National Initiative
Support is presented annually to a corporation that supports a grassroots
program or league and whose support has allowed for design, implementation,
ongoing operations and growth of the program.
    "Skate Canada congratulates BMO Financial Group on this outstanding
recognition," said Skate Canada CEO William Thompson. "BMO Financial Group is
an extremely valuable sponsor and partner to Skate Canada, and we very much
appreciate their support of figure skating in Canada, from the grassroots
level through to the national level."
    As the presenter of Skate Canada's CanSkate program, BMO Financial Group
has been instrumental in helping to provide learn-to-skate programs for
Canadians of all ages and abilities. CanSkate is the feeder program to all
other Skate Canada skating programs for beginners of all ages and is tailored
to each user-group. Participants earn badges while they learn fundamental
skating skills.
    "We are extremely pleased that our long-time partnership with Skate
Canada has been recognized by a Canadian Sport Award for Corporate Excellence.
We wish to thank skaters, coaches, trainers, parents and volunteers from
across Canada for their commitment which is a source of inspiration for BMO
and its employees," said Susan Payne, Senior Vice-President, Corporate
Marketing, BMO Financial Group.
    BMO Financial Group has been involved in figure skating since 1996 and,
in addition to its support of the CanSkate program, is the title sponsor of
several Skate Canada competitive events, such as the BMO Canadian
Championships, BMO Financial Group Skate Canada Junior Nationals, BMO
Financial Group Skate Canada Synchronized Championships, BMO Financial Group
Skate Canada Challenges and BMO Financial Group Skate Canada Sectionals.

    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 1326(*) clubs across the country, Skate Canada is an association
dedicated to providing every Canadian the opportunity to experience the
passion, spirit and triumph of skating.

    BMO Financial Group is the title sponsor of the BMO Canadian
Championships, Junior Nationals and the Synchronized Nationals as well as the
qualifying events that lead to the national championships, the Sectional and
Challenge events. Recognizing the need to support young skaters in their quest
for excellence, BMO Financial Group also supports Skate Canada's
learn-to-skate program, CanSkate, which is taught in over 1,300 skating clubs
and schools across Canada.

    (*) As at August 30, 2006.




For further information:

For further information: Melanie Campbell, Media Manager, (613) 747-1007
ext. 2516


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