Hbc Announces $2.9 Million Donation to Support Canadian Olympic Hopefuls



    - 200 athletes and training facilities in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto,
    Saskatoon, Calgary and Vancouver to receive funds -

    TORONTO, Jan. 24 /CNW/ - Hudson's Bay Company (Hbc) today announced it is
donating $2.9 million to Canadian Olympic hopefuls, $2 million of which was
raised through its annual Hbc Run for Canada campaign. The funds will go
directly to 200 Canadian athletes, various national training centres and the
country's top sport organizations, in an effort to provide Canadian athletes
with direct financial assistance and resources to help them reach the podium.
    "As one of Canada's leading retailers, we are proud to support the
development of Canadian athletes working towards reaching their medal goals,"
said Rob Johnston, President, Hbc. "Not only are we proud to dress the
athletes competing at the Games, our commitment to raise over $20 million will
have a direct impact on the ability of our athletes to compete on the world
stage."
    The $2.9 million donation is the third installment of the $20 million Hbc
has committed to raise by 2012, primarily through the annual Hbc Run for
Canada event. To date, the Company has already raised nearly $6 million
towards its goal. The funds were raised by the more than 13,000 Canadians who
participated in the 2007 run, which will expand from 13 to 15 cities across
the country in 2008. Edmonton and Quebec City will become the new host cities.
    The remainder of the funds were raised through in-store activities and an
annual golf tournament in support of the athletes. In addition to raising
$20 million, Hbc hopes to build awareness for Canadian athlete funding and
encourages Canadians to become involved in supporting their local athletes by
participating in the annual Hbc Run for Canada in July.
    "Talented athletes are constantly struggling to pay for the training,
equipment and living expenses that are required to compete at the
international level," said Marc Gélinas, COC Director of Athlete and Community
Relations. "The COC believes that all Canadian high performance athletes
should be able to focus on their training and competitions. Hbc's continued
support ensures that they receive the much needed financial support leading up
to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and also for many years to come."
    A total of $1 million will go directly to 200 competing Canadian athletes
chosen by the Canadian Olympic Committee in consultation with the Canadian
Paralympic Committee, Commonwealth Games Canada and the National Sport
Federations. Each Federation has identified their medal hopefuls, including
their up-and-comers for the 2010 Games and beyond. The remaining funds will go
to organizations and training centres, which directly impact Canadian
athletes.
    For a complete list of the 200 Canadian athletes selected to receive
funds through Hbc's Run for Canada program, please visit:
http://www.hbcrunforcanada.ca/2008/athletes.php

    
    Funding Breakdown
    -----------------
    $1,000,000      200 Canadian athletes

    $300,000        "Own the Podium" - an initiative supporting athletes
                    training for the Olympic Winter Games

    $300,000        "Road to Excellence" - an initiative supporting athletes
                    training for the Olympic Games

    $300,000        Canadian Paralympic Foundation

    $400,000        Commonwealth Games Canada

    $300,000        Pacific Sport Institute

    $50,000 (each)  Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic (Halifax)
                    Centre National Multisport-Montreal
                    Canadian Sport Centre Ontario
                    Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba
                    Canadian Sport Centre Saskatchewan
                    Canadian Sport Centre Calgary
    

    About Hbc
    ---------
    Hbc is Canada's largest diversified general merchandise retailer,
operating in department store (the Bay), mass merchandise (Zellers), specialty
(Home Outfitters and Designer Depot) and discount (Fields) formats. With more
than 580 retail locations and nearly 70,000 associates located in every
province in Canada, Hbc provides Canadians with stylish, quality merchandise
at great value, through retail banners focused on exceptional customer
service. Hbc is a Canadian retail leader in corporate social responsibility,
and the fifth annual Hbc CSR report can be found at www.hbc.com.

    About the Canadian Olympic Committee
    ------------------------------------
    The Canadian Olympic Committee is a national, private, not-for-profit
organization committed to sport excellence. It is responsible for all aspects
of Canada's involvement in the Olympic movement, including Canada's
participation in the Olympic and Pan American Games and a wide variety of
programs that promote the Olympic Movement in Canada through cultural and
educational means. For more information see the COC website: www.olympic.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Sofia Hondrogiannis, Harbinger, (416) 960-5100
x 248


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