Université du Québec en Outaouais team clinches the VIA Rail Canada Challenge
2010 marketing contest

MONTREAL, Feb. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Now in its seventh year, the VIA Rail Canada Challenge 2010 contest, which asks university students to take on a marketing case study, was won by Thomas Plamondon and Michael O'Farrell, a team of students from the Université du Québec en Outaouais. In all, six Quebec universities took part in the event - the most since the contest began in 2004.

This year, participants had to analyze various potential social network markets for VIA and prepare a communications plan with defined targets. The winning team's understanding of the issues and the quality of its strategy made them stand out from the crowd. Each of the two team members received a prize of $1,000 worth of VIA travel credits. The prize was awarded on February 12th at the École des Hautes Études Commerciale in Montreal (HEC Montréal).

A useful and increasingly popular contest

The VIA Rail Canada Challenge is part of Marketing Week 2010, organized by the business schools of four Montréal universities: HEC Montréal, the John Molson School of Business (Concordia University), ESG-UQAM and McGill. Each year, the contest allows participating students to ponder a concrete case, such as those that actually exist in private or public organizations, and then have their solutions judged by marketing experts.

They have only one week to prepare their solutions.

In fact, as Anick Cesaria, Senior Specialist, Marketing Communications at VIA explains, "this type of competition gives participating students an opportunity to outdo themselves and experience something very unique."

These are the main reasons behind why the VIA Rail Canada Challenge has become a tradition over the past seven years. Moreover, the contest continues to grow in popularity, as witnessed by a first this year: the participation of the Université de Sherbrooke and the Université du Québec en Outaouais, whose teams competed alongside those from the four orginal Montreal-area institutions.

About VIA Rail Canada

As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's mandate is to provide efficient, environmentally sustainable and cost-effective passenger transportation - in both official languages. Every week, VIA operates 503 intercity, transcontinental and regional trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500-kilometre route network. The demand for VIA services is growing as travelers increasingly turn to train travel as a safe, hassle-free and environmentally responsible alternative to congested roads and airports. In 2008, VIA safely transported 4.6 million passengers - the most since 1989 - and set an all-time record of $299 million in revenue.

SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: Elizabeth Huart, (514) 871-6119, Elizabeth_huart@viarail.ca

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