Skate Canada brings 100th anniversary event to Ottawa and welcomes Canadian Tire, Mark's and L'Équipeur as new partners

2014 event to be named Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships

OTTAWA, Dec. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Skate Canada today announced a new partnership with Canadian Tire, Mark's and L'Équipeur that will help promote and celebrate the country's passion for skating in communities across the country. The partnership, which is effective through 2018, includes support for Skate Canada's CanSkate program as well as title sponsorship of the 100th anniversary event to take place in the nation's capital and, beginning in 2014, the national competition for novice, junior and senior figure skaters in Canada will be known as the Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships.

"We are absolutely thrilled to have joined with Canadian Tire, Mark's and L'Équipeur for what I know will be a truly remarkable and ground-breaking partnership," said Benoît Lavoie, Skate Canada President. "We share similar values, similar goals. Their vision to celebrate skating right across the country, where we have over 1,200 clubs and skating schools, aligns with the goals for our association.  Having Canadian Tire as our title sponsor for this event, which draws the best skaters from across the country to compete for Canadian titles, is just the beginning of a true celebration of our sport, as we work together to help all Canadians learn to skate."

The partnership comes into effect for the 2013 event, scheduled January 14-20th at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.  In 2014, the Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships move to Ottawa, and Scotiabank Place, where a major celebration is planned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the competition, which began in 1914 at the Minto Skating Club in Ottawa.

"Skating is a Canadian tradition and we believe there is power in sport to bring family, friends and communities together," said Landon French, Vice President of Sport Partnerships for the Canadian Tire family of companies. "We're thrilled to partner with Skate Canada and, along with CanSkate, will encourage families across Canada to get out to their local arena or community rink, be active, and have fun together."

More than 250 skaters compete for novice, junior and senior Canadian titles at the event, in four disciplines, men's, women's, pair and ice dance.  The event helps determine the senior competitors at the world championships, and in 2014, is the final qualification opportunity for the athletes who will be named to represent Canada at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.  Each year CanSkate teaches more than 125,000 people from children through to adults to learn to skate.

Mayor Jim Watson of Ottawa attended the announcement, and is thrilled to see this event coming back to the nation's capital where it was last held in 2006.

"We are pleased to be chosen by Skate Canada to host their 100th national championship here," said Mayor Jim Watson. "The City of Ottawa and figure skating have such a long history together. I know that from the many volunteers who will help with the event, the business community and the fans of the sport will certainly embrace the 2014 Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships and do everything they can to make this event hugely successful."

This is the 14th time the event will be held in Ottawa. The 100th anniversary event will take place in Ottawa, Ontario, January 9-15, 2014 at Scotiabank Place.  The practice facility will be the Bell Sensplex. Tickets for the event will go on sale in the spring of 2013.

Skate Canada, the national governing body responsible for the development and administration of skating in Canada, is the largest figure skating association in the world. With over 5,000 registered coaches, skating programs for athletes of all ages are offered at nearly 1,300 skating clubs and schools across the country. Skate Canada is an association dedicated to providing every Canadian the opportunity to learn life skills while experiencing the power, strength and creativity of one of Canada's premier sports.

In 2012, Skate Canada produced two world champions, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in ice dance and Patrick Chan in men's. This is the first time Canada has produced two senior world champions since 1993.

"Skate Canada… teaching Canadians to skate for 125 years"

About Canadian Tire Corporation
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX:CTC.a) (TSX:CTC) is one of Canada's most-shopped general retailers and the country's largest sporting goods retailer, with more than 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets from coast-to-coast. Our primary retail business categories - Automotive, Living, Fixing, Playing and Apparel - are supported and strengthened by our Financial Services division, which offers such products and services as credit cards, retail deposits, in-store financing, product warranties, and insurance. Nearly 68,000 people are employed across the Canadian Tire enterprise, which was founded in 1922 and remains one of Canada's most recognized and trusted brands.

SOURCE: CANADIAN TIRE CORPORATION, LIMITED

For further information:

Emma Bowie Public Relations Coordinator, Skate Canada
613.747.1007 ext. 2547
ebowie@skatecanada.ca 

Leah Gaucher
Communications Advisor, Canadian Tire
416.544.7785
leah.gaucher@cantire.com


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