33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards Launch New Format - March 31 Awards Ceremony will be Open to the Public

Toronto, ON – The True Sport Foundation today announced that the 33rd Canadian Sport Awards (CSA), presented by Investors Group, will take place on Friday, March 31, 2006 at Yonge Dundas Square in Toronto. For the first time ever, the general public is invited to participate in this celebration of excellence in Canadian amateur sport.

The awards will be hosted by Sylvie Bigras (former CEO of Volleyball Canada and Canadian Olympic Chef de Mission) on the Yonge Dundas Square stage from 5 pm to 6 pm. Following the awards ceremony, the doors to the Olympic Spirit Toronto attraction (located at the east side of the square) will be thrown open to the public free of charge from 6 pm to 9 pm.

“The True Sport Foundation and Investors Group invite all Torontonians and visitors to the city to join us at the Canadian Sport Awards on March 31st to help us recognize and support Canada’s great amateur athletes,” said Victor Lachance, Chair of the Board, True Sport Foundation.

Continued Lachance: “This is a fun way for families to celebrate sport and interact with athletes on a personal level. We are thrilled to have access to Olympic Spirit Toronto where visitors can experience the thrill of summer and winter sports with our CSA finalists and winners.”

Marnie McBean, Canada’s multi gold winning Olympic and World Championship rower, past CSA winner and current Director, Athlete and Corporate Programs, Olympic Spirit Toronto, says, “We are delighted to work with the True Sport Foundation in support of the CSA and help spread the word about the achievements of Canada’s amateur athletes, including the 2006 CSA winners. Like the CSA, Olympic Spirit Toronto is a tribute to the passion, drive and commitment of Canada’s athletes and our country’s Olympic spirit.”

The annual CSA brings together leaders from the sporting and corporate communities to honour Canada’s best amateur athletes, coaches, sport leaders and volunteers. The awards will feature five categories: Athletic Performance, Leadership in Sport, Corporate Excellence, Investors Group Spirit of Sport Story of the Year and Bell True Sport Community Award.

The schedule for the 33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards will be as follows:

5:00pm – 6:00pm 

33rd Annual Canadian Sport Awards - Yonge/Dundas Square

Join master of ceremonies Sylvie Bigras, and some of Canada’s finest amateur athletes as Investors Group presents the 33rd Canadian Sport Awards.

6:00pm – 9:00pm 

Olympic Spirit Toronto Open House - 35 Dundas Street

The public is invited to the Olympic Spirit Toronto open house to experience the interactive sports simulators and get up close and personal with Canadian Sport Award winners from past and present.

About the True Sport Foundation
The True Sport Foundation is a charitable organization committed to ensuring that sport makes a positive contribution to Canadian society, our athletes, and the physical and moral development of Canada’s youth. Powered by the Foundation, the Canadian Sport Awards boasts a strong relationship with its modern day founding partners, which include Athletes CAN, the Commonwealth Games Canada, the Canada Games Council and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. 

About Olympic Spirit Toronto
The Olympic Spirit Toronto Discovery Centre, the first facility of its kind in the world, uses state-of-the-art Olympic Games simulators, high-energy multimedia presentations and authentic Olympic artifacts and memorabilia to inspire, educate and entertain. Entire floors are devoted to both the Summer and Winter Games, and a 200 seat theatre. 

About Investors Group
Investors Group Inc. is a Canadian leader in providing personal financial planning services, and is dedicated to building lasting client relationships. Their primary objective is to assist Canadians plan for financial security by providing quality financial planning advice and products through a network of Consultants. For more information, visit www.investorsgroup.com.

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For more information, contact:
Jennifer Kitchen or Kristen Rector, JKR Communications
416-576-5892 or 416-486-2286
jkitchen@jkr.ca or krector@jkr.ca