Oh Canada! Only one third plan to enjoy the outdoors as part of Canada Day celebrations

    VANCOUVER, June 17 /CNW/ - Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) - Canada's
largest co-operative and leading outdoor retailer - planned to commemorate
Canada Day and its three million member milestone by celebrating Canadians'
plans to experience the outdoors. But a recent Angus Reid Strategies survey
commissioned by MEC shows that only one third (32 per cent) of Canadians plan
to participate in self-propelled outdoor recreation as part of their Canada
Day celebrations. Oh Canada! Why aren't Canadians choosing to enjoy the great
    "Since Canada Day falls on a Wednesday this year, some Canadians may feel
they do not have enough time to get outdoors and participate in self-propelled
activities," said David Labistour, CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op. "Engaging
in self-propelled outdoor recreation can be as easy as going for a hike or a
bike ride in your neighbourhood or on a local trail. I encourage all Canadians
to get outdoors this Canada Day to celebrate all this great country has to
    Canadians who do plan to partake in self-propelled outdoor recreation as
part of their Canada Day celebrations are opting for light-to-moderate
activities such as walking (23 per cent), cycling (12 per cent), hiking (11
per cent) and swimming (9 per cent).
    Residents of the Atlantic Provinces plan to be the most active, with 41
per cent intending to participate in self-propelled outdoor pursuits. There is
a tie between Alberta and Saskatchewan/Manitoba for the runner-up position (36
per cent), while Ontario (35 per cent) and British Columbia (32 per cent)
place close behind. Meanwhile, residents of Quebec plan to be the least
active, with only 22 per cent preparing to engage in outdoor recreational
pursuits to celebrate Canada Day.
    The survey results are even more surprising given that MEC recently
achieved a major milestone, registering three million members. This
accomplishment clearly shows that more and more Canadians are seeking products
and services designed to enhance outdoor experiences. To put the
Co-operative's membership into perspective, there are:

    -   10,067 MEC members for every kilometre of the Cabot Trail (Nova
    -   2,572 MEC members for every metre of height in the Laurentian
        Mountains (Quebec)
    -   53 times more MEC members than there are square kilometres of surface
        area on Lake Ontario (Ontario)
    -   451 MEC members of every square kilometre of land in Banff National
        Park (Alberta)
    -   Six times more MEC members than there are trees in Stanley Park
        (British Columbia)

    "On average 10,000 people become MEC members every month, and in fact one
in ten Canadians is an MEC member," said Labistour. "Thank you to our members
for helping us reach the three million member mark. MEC remains committed to
helping all Canadians enjoy the benefits of self-propelled recreation on
Canada Day and year round. We look forward to attracting new members and
reaching new milestones in the years to come."

    About Mountain Equipment Co-op

    Mountain Equipment Co-op is Canada's leading retailer of outdoor
clothing, gear and services for self-propelled activities. Established in
1971, MEC has more than three million members throughout Canada and around the
world. MEC-brand products are designed to meet the functional requirements of
members and account for 50 per cent of its sales. Widely recognized for its
commitment to sustainability - economic, social, environmental - MEC is a
member of One Percent for The Planet and supports various community-based
environmental initiatives through its grants program. Additional information
about MEC is available online at: mec.ca.

    From June 3 to June 4, 2009 Angus Reid Strategies conducted an online
survey among 1,002 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum
panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/-
3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted
according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to
ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada.
Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

For further information:

For further information: Tim Southam, Mountain Equipment Co-op, (604)
707-4480 (direct), tsoutham@mec.ca; Josie Haynes, Optimum Public Relations,
(416) 934-8012 (direct), (416) 909-0889 (mobile), josie.haynes@cossette.com

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