Finalists set for CanWest CanSpell National Spelling Bee



    
     41 of Canada's brightest young students heading to Ottawa-Gatineau
                       to see who will be top speller

       FIRST EVER LIVE GLOBAL TELEVISION BROADCAST OF NATIONAL FINALS
                       SATURDAY, APRIL 14 @ 7PM ET
                                   - PLUS -
               PRELIMINARY ROUNDS WEBCAST ON www.canspell.com
                         FRIDAY, APRIL 13 @ 1PM ET
    

    WINNIPEG, March 26 /CNW/ - Who is Canada's top speller? Who will be
crowned champion of the country and take home the coveted CanWest Cup? The
Finalists for the third annual CanWest CanSpell National Spelling Bee have
been determined and preparations are underway to test their skills in the
pressure cooker that is the Canadian spelling championship.
    This past weekend the last six finalists earned their place on the
national stage through regional spelling bees in Toronto, Montreal and Sydney,
Nova Scotia. In total, 20 regional finals were held from coast-to-coast to
arrive at the final group which will converge in Ottawa April 10-14. The
national competition begins with preliminary rounds on Friday April 13th at
1 pm ET which will be webcast live at www.canspell.com, brought to online
viewers by Telus. The successful spellers will move on to the national finals
showcased live on Global Television and NTV in Newfoundland and Labrador on
Saturday April 14th, at 7 pm ET (please check local listings).
    The 2007 competitions began at the school-level at the beginning of the
year as close to 210,000 students across the country registered to test their
spelling skills; of that, approximately 1200 spellers made it to the
20 regional competitions. Now it's down to the final 41.
    "These students represent the best of the best across the country. To get
this far in the competition is a tremendous accomplishment already," said
Leonard Asper, President and CEO, CanWest Global Communications Corp., the
company behind the CanWest CanSpell Spelling Bee. "We are thrilled to support
this individual commitment to academic achievement and to advancing language
skills. Promoting a more informed society by celebrating literacy is the
cornerstone on which CanWest CanSpell has been built."
    The winner of the CanWest CanSpell National Spelling Bee will receive the
CanWest Cup, $10,000 in RESPs courtesy of AIC Limited, and the honour of
leading the Canadian contingent of 20 regional winners to Washington D.C. to
compete at the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee in May.
    The entire CanWest CanSpell Spelling Bee program was made possible this
year through the participation and contribution of Canada Post as the
presenting sponsor. CanWest would like to congratulate Canada Post for its
dedication to promoting literacy and academic excellence through this program
and the others in which it has taken a leadership position.
    "Canada Post is proud to be associated with the CanWest CanSpell National
Spelling Bee and especially proud to be associated with a group of such
accomplished and inspiring young Canadians," said Moya Greene, President and
CEO Canada Post. "Having attended the regional bee in Newfoundland, I know
firsthand how incredibly prepared these students are and how intense the
competition can become. The CanWest CanSpell program celebrates and promotes
literacy across the country, something that Canada Post and all its employees
have enthusiastically embraced."
    The CanWest CanSpell National Spelling Bee broadcast team is also
preparing for the national finals. Once again, Gemini-award winning, Global
National's Kevin Newman, will host the broadcast and will be joined by a
colour commentary team featuring two-time CanWest Cup Champion and 2006
Scripps runner-up Finola Hackett and 2006 Manitoba CanSpell Champion Emily
Diehl. Finola and Emily will be providing expert analysis and insights gleaned
from their experience at or near the top of the spelling bee world.
    During the live broadcast of the CanWest CanSpell National Spelling Bee
Saturday, April 14, on Global Television, viewers will also be invited to play
along at home through the TELUS Spell It contest. This unique interactive
component will give viewers coast-to-coast the opportunity to compete along
with Canada's most brilliant spellers through text-messaging on their TELUS
Mobility cell phones or online at www.canspell.com. As of April 2, contestants
can go to the CanSpell website for information on how to play along in
real-time for a chance to win one of five RESP packages from AIC Limited.
Canadians of all ages will be eligible to play in British Columbia, Alberta,
Saskatchewan, Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Eligibility in Quebec is limited to
13 years and older.
    CanWest would also like to acknowledge the significant contribution of
aircanada.com as the CanWest CanSpell airline partner. Spellers and their
chaperones will travel to Ottawa from all corners of this vast country
courtesy of Air Canada.

    CanWest Global Communications Corp. (www.canwestglobal.com), (TSX: CGS
and CGS.A, NYSE:   CWG) an international media company, is Canada's largest
media company. In addition to owning the Global Television Network, CanWest
also owns, operates and/or holds substantial interests in Canada's largest
publisher of daily newspapers, and conventional television, out-of-home
advertising, specialty cable channels, web sites and radio stations and
networks in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Singapore, the United
Kingdom and the United States.

    CanWest CanSpell 2007 National Finalists
    ----------------------------------------

    EDMONTON: Winner Nate Gartke and runner-up Samantha Fraughton

    KELOWNA: Winner Leila Clark and runner-up Brennan Phillips

    PRINCE GEORGE: Winner Athena Nghi and runner-up Sonja Olssen

    SASKATOON: Winner Anqi Dong and runner-up Keaton Schmidt

    CHARLOTTETOWN: Winner Jonathan Schut and runner-up Daniel Bevan-Baker

    HALIFAX: Winner Amrit Sampalli and runner-up Patrick Leclair

    OTTAWA: Winner Katherine Silins and runner-up Prashanth Srinivasan

    WINDSOR: Winner Zachary Lucier and runner-up Alexandra Morand

    KAMLOOPS: Winner Curtis Bogetti and runner-up Daniel Leonhardt

    CALGARY: Winner Cody Wang and runner-up Jacob Stucken

    VICTORIA: Winner Theo Terry and runner-up Matthew Anderson

    VANCOUVER: Winner Haley Unger and runner-up Rachael McDaniel

    ST. JOHN'S: Winner Chris Stanbridge and runner-up Katy Warren (also
    representing St. John's in Ottawa: Mallory Fisher)

    REGINA: Winner Dakota Thiel and runner-up Elijah Sylvestre

    WINNIPEG: Winner Aidan Geary and runner-up Patrick Gutowski

    SAINT JOHN: Winner Alex Warman and runner-up Deason Connolly

    LETHBRIDGE: Winner Andrea Lynn Kwan and runner-up Katherine Kapcsos

    SYDNEY: Winner Rebecca Blakeney and runner-up Daniel Boutlier

    MONTREAL: Winner Anna Bronshteyn and runner-up Tabitha Hartropp

    TORONTO: Winner Soohyun Park and runner-up Umayangga Yogalingam





For further information:

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Bruce
Leslie, Vice President, Community and Public Relations, CanWest Global
Communications Corp., (204) 956-2025, bleslie@canwest.com

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