First BMO Centre for Skating Excellence Announced in Kelowna

KELOWNA, BC, Dec. 15 /CNW/ - The BC-Yukon Skate Canada Section today announced the establishment of the first BMO Centre for Skating Excellence in the city of Kelowna.

The Centre was officially opened by Sean Armstrong, Vice-President, BMO Bank of Montreal, BC Interior, North and Yukon District.

"This is a first for Kelowna, a first for BMO in British Columbia and a first for Skate Canada," said Armstrong. "It also speaks volumes about the great partnership that we have forged with Skate Canada."

Hopes are high that the new Centre will produce not only provincial but national and international champions as well and follow on the heels of the Centre of Excellence in Burnaby.

In the eleven years since the development of the Burnaby facility, the Centre has produced 40 national championship medals, 17 national titles, and numerous international medals including an ISU grand final champion, one Olympian in Salt Lake City and two Olympians in Torino.

Also announced at a media conference today was the appointment of Jason Mongrain as the BMO Centre for Skating Excellence's Director of Skating.

Mongrain's credentials are impressive. Over the past few years he has produced ten provincial champions, four national medalists, one national champion and two junior national team members.

Ted Barton, executive-director, Skate Canada BC-Yukon Section said the BMO Financial Group has been the largest contributor to skating over the past 12 years nationally and ten years in BC provincially.

"They are remarkable partners and own a large piece of our success to date."

Sean Armstrong said it best: "BMO, Canada's Skating Bank, is thrilled to help skaters here in the Okanagan turn their dreams into reality with the launching of the BMO Centre for Skating Excellence."


For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Ted Barton, Skate Canada BC/YT, (604) 418-3157,; Laurie Grant, BMO Financial Group, (604) 665-7596,

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