Media Advisory - Business Development Bank of Canada



    167 Aboriginal students from across Canada arrive in Kelowna to present
    their projects at the ninth edition of E-Spirit Business Plan Competition

    BDC's E-Spirit and Aboriginal students promote youth entrepreneurship in
    Canada

    KELOWNA, BC, May 11 /CNW Telbec/ - 167 Aboriginal high school students
qualified to attend BDC's annual E-Spirit national Aboriginal Business Plan
Competition that will take place in Kelowna from May 12 to 14. The grade 10 to
12 students represent nine provinces and two territories.
    For 16 weeks leading up to this Internet-based competition, students
concentrated on developing viable business plans and perfected their
presentation skills. Following the award ceremony on May 14, three teams will
take home the Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes, while other twelve teams will
receive Special Achievement awards. Over the past nine years, E-Spirit has
exposed more than 4,000 Aboriginal youth to the potential of entrepreneurship.

    
    Media opportunities include:

    1. E-Spirit Trade Show

    Media are welcome to visit the E-Spirit trade show, meet with the student
teams and review business ideas that range from innovative environmental
solutions to lifestyle services.

    Date:     Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Time:     9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Opening Ceremony
              10:00 a.m - 12:30 p.m. E-Spirit Business Tradeshow

    Location: Gymnasium, Athletic Facility, University of British Columbia
              Okanagan - Kelowna
              333 University Way, Kelowna, BC

    2. BDC E-Spirit Awards Gala

    Media are invited to attend the BDC E-Spirit Awards Gala.

    Date:     Thursday, May 14, 2009

    Time:     7:00 p.m. - 7.30 p.m.  Special opening performance, honour song
                                     and Elder blessing
              7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.  Awards Gala Ceremony. Entertainment
                                     provided by Fara Palmer and The 7th
                                     Generation
              9:30 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. D.J. Dance Party

    Location: Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water Street, Kelowna, BC

    Interviews may be arranged with:

    a) Aboriginal students and teachers from across Canada
    b) Wilson Neapew, National Director, Aboriginal Banking, BDC
    c) Cheryl K. Watson, E-Spirit Project Manager, BDC
    d) Margaret and Jules Lavallee, E-Spirt Elders
    e) Aaron Rae, E-Spirit Alumnus

    The following schools will attend the E-Spirit Business Plan Competition
    in 2009:

    Alberta
    Canmore Collegiate

    British Columbia
    Chase Secondary School
    Clearwater Secondary School
    Grand Forks Secondary School
    J.V. Humphries (Kaslo)
    North Peace Secondary School (Fort St. John)
    Salmon Arm Secondary - Sullivan Campus and Jackson Campus
    Stein Valley Nlakapamux School (Lytton)

    Manitoba
    Children of the Earth High School
    Gordon Bell High School
    St. John's High School (Winnipeg)
    Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute (The Pas)

    New Brunswick
    Bonar Law Memorial School (Rexton)
    Southern Victoria High School (Perth-Andover)

    Newfoundland and Labrador
    Lake Melville School (North West River)

    Nova Scotia
    Chief Allison M. Bernard Memorial High School (Cape Breton)
    Sydney Academy
    Wagmatcook School
    Unama'ki High School (Eskasoni First Nation)

    Nunavut
    John Arnalukjuak High School (Arviat)
    Nuiyak School (Sanikiluaq)

    Ontario
    Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School (Thunder Bay)
    Espanola High School
    Saugeen District Secondary School (Port Elgin)
    Wasse Abin High School (Wikwemikong)

    Quebec
    Ecole Manikanetish (Sept-Iles)
    Kitigan Zibi Kikinamadinan (Maniwaki)

    Saskatchewan
    Regina Christian School

    Yukon
    Del Van Gorder School (Faro)
    

    The E-Spirit program was developed by BDC and is supported by the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Indian and Northern Affairs
Canada (INAC).

    About BDC

    BDC is Canada's business development bank. From 100 offices across the
country, BDC promotes entrepreneurship by providing highly tailored financing,
venture capital and consulting services to entrepreneurs. Visit www.bdc.ca for
more information.

    For more information on E-Spirit, visit www.bdc.ca/espirit.




For further information:

For further information: Maria Constantinescu, BDC, Media Relations
Coordinator, (514) 496-7146, maria.constantinescu@bdc.ca; Johanne Bissonnette,
BDC, Media Relations Manager, (514) 283-7929, johanne.bissonnette@bdc.ca;
On-site in Kelowna: May 12-14, 2009 only: Media room, (250) 807-9174,
maria.constantinescu@bdc.ca


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