CIBC continues to invest in Youth Leadership Training Aboard Tall Ships

Bank's support of Toronto Brigantine's Bursary Fund enables less fortunate youth to benefit from unique maritime programs

TORONTO, June 30 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX;NYSE) has made a $3,000 contribution to the Toronto Brigantine Inc. (TBI) Bursary Fund that will provide youth ages 13-18 with unique and valuable experiential skills and leadership development aboard two traditional, Canadian designed and built brigantines STV Pathfinder and TS Playfair. This brings CIBC's total financial support of the TBI Bursary Fund to $36,500 in the last five years.

TBI's programs encourage community involvement and volunteerism, create direct impact including developing leaders, accelerating change, creating high-performance teams, engaging sponsors and members, developing talent, coaching for performance, increased diversity and inclusion, gaining accreditation, outdoors engagement, and ascertaining successful social enterprise.

Youth from diverse communities seldom consider engagement in such activities, funding being one of the principle barriers. As part of its commitment to support youth in underserved communities, CIBC will cover the costs of tall ship sail training for youth with aptitude and leadership potential during the 2010 Summer Program, including transportation to and from the vessels, food and accommodation. Selected young people are expected to continue the learning experience in the 2010-2011 Winter Program.

"At CIBC, we invest in Canada's youth to help them achieve their full potential," said Larry Tomei, CIBC's Senior Vice-President of Retail Markets for Central Canada. "We are pleased that these funds will remove financial barriers that may prevent less-fortunate youth from participating in this wonderful program. It's a great opportunity for young people to develop leadership and teamwork skills, build self confidence and experience the joy and challenge of working and sailing aboard a tall ship."

Captains Julian Schroer and Rhys Weed, both alumni of TBI programs, observe that there is no greater reward in working with youth than being a witness to the team and skill building amongst a group of 18 strangers in a challenging and foreign environment, who, within a short period of time, work and play as if they grew up together.

Program participants also benefit from the sense of belonging and shared responsibility for each other and the vessels, respect and appreciation of the environment, knowledge of the heritage of the Great Lakes, the impact of the shipping industry on economic development, the discovery and confrontation of their limits and fears.

"It's this entire crew working together against the elements, wind and waves in your face. Taming this tall ship that is getting tossed around, you really feel like you're doing something important" says Tessa Alexanian, a Senior Watch Officer. "Where else would I be trusted with such great level of responsibility?"

Toronto Brigantine is a registered Canadian charity founded in 1962 by individuals who believed deeply in the development of youth through the demanding and challenging requirements of tall ship sailing. In the 48 years since, more than 20,000 young people have participated in the programs, which have assisted many to transcend the difficulties of adolescence through finding their vocational calling and developing courage, confidence and life-long relationships.

CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. With a strategic focus on youth, education and health, and employee commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure, the CIBC Children's Foundation and United Way, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2009, $26.8 million was contributed through the CIBC group of companies to charitable and non-profit initiatives in Canada, supporting a wide variety of national, regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit www.communitymatters.cibc.com.

SOURCE TORONTO BRIGANTINE INC.

For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Marguerite Pyron, Chief Development Officer, Toronto Brigantine Inc., 416-596-7117, marguerite.pyron@torontobrigantine.org or Doug Maybee, Director, External Communications and Media Relations, CIBC, Tel: 416-980-7458, doug.maybee@cibc.com

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TORONTO BRIGANTINE INC.

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