The True Sport Foundation Announces Finalists For the 34th Annual Canadian Sport Awards

(OTTAWA, ON) Today, the True Sport Foundation officially announced the finalists for the 34th Annual Canadian Sport Awards (CSA), presented by Investors Group. Response to the call for nominations was overwhelming, with more than 70 submissions received from individuals, athletes, coaches and corporations across the country.

The 34th Annual Canadian Sport Awards, which recognizes achievement in Canadian sport, will take place in Winnipeg on Friday, March 23rd, 2007 and will kick off a community-oriented celebration of sporting excellence co-hosted by event partners Sport Manitoba, the University of Manitoba and Destination Winnipeg. 

“We were extremely impressed by the number and quality of this year’s submissions,” said Paul Melia, President of the True Sport Foundation Board of Directors.  “These finalists are the cream of the crop in Canadian sport and we applaud them for their commitment to excellence and selfless contribution to sport in this country.” 

The awards will take place at the Investors Group Athletic Centre from 7:00pm – 9:00pm on Friday, March 23rd.  Traditionally held as a semi-formal affair, this 34-year-old tradition will now be open to the public to attend and will involve a series of interactive experiences to engage the public in recognizing and supporting Canada’s top level athletes.

"Investors Group is proud, once again, to honour, recognize and support the value of our Canadian athletes,” said Richard Irish, vice-president of Community Affairs & Area Marketing, Investors Group. "The nomination process revealed a variety of extraordinary stories about the commitment and expertise of our Canadian athletes. Congratulations to all of the finalists and we will look forward to welcoming them to Winnipeg, our corporate home city."

The Sport Festival will occur over two days and will be co-managed by The True Sport Foundation and Sport Manitoba.  Sport Manitoba will also use this opportunity to celebrate the Manitoba Sport Awards in concert with the national awards.  The Sport and Active Living Centre at the University of Manitoba will host the event.  Destination Winnipeg will provide resources and services support to help make it all a successful and meaningful experience.  The city of Winnipeg won the opportunity to host the annual event this year through a bid process which included a number of other cities.

“Winnipeg is honoured to throw open its doors to the community and visitors to the city for the Open House Sport Festival,” said Jeff Hnatiuk, President and CEO, Sport Manitoba. "The combination of the caliber of these athletes and the enthusiasm for sport in Manitoba will make for an awesome event."

The five award categories for the Canadian Sport Awards are: Athletic Performance, Leadership in Sport, Corporate Excellence, Investors Group Spirit of Sport Story of the Year and True Sport Community Award. Independent juries selected the Athletic Performance, Leadership and Corporate Award finalists from nominations from sports associations and individuals across Canada.

CSA 2006 Finalists

Athletic Performance Awards  
The finalists in the Athletic Performance category for the 34th Annual Canadian Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating outstanding athletic performance in 2006 are:

Male Athlete of the Year
Duff Gibson, Skeleton
Brian McKeever, Cross-country Ski
François-Louis Tremblay, Short Track Speed Skating

Female Athlete of the Year
Chandra Crawford, Cross-county Ski
Jennifer Heil, Free Style Ski - Mogels
Cindy Klassen, Long Track Speed Skating

Junior Male Athlete of the Year    
Brian Barnett, Athletics
Stefan Guay, Alpine Ski
Justyn Warner, Athletics

Junior Female Athlete of the Year    
Christelle Doyon, Snowboard Cross
Valerie Grand’Maison, Swimming
Kirsten Sweetland, Triathalon
 
Male Team of the Year      
Men’s Olympic Curling Team (Brad Gushue Rink)
Men’s National Sledge Hockey Team
Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team

Female Team of the Year      
Junior Women’s Curling Team (Mandy Selzer Rink)
Women’s National Hockey Team
Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team
 
Partners of the Year      
Pierre Lueders/Lascelles Brown, Bobsleigh
Mixed Wheelchair Curling Team (Chris Daw Rink)
Jane Rumball/Darcy Marquardt, Rowing (W2)

Leadership Awards
The finalists in the Leadership Awards category for the 34th Annual Canadian Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating an individual’s outstanding contribution to the betterment of sport in 2006 are:

Athlete Leadership Award     
Tom Jones, Ottawa, ON
Beckie Scott, Vergreville, AB
Dan Thompson, Toronto, ON

Volunteer Achievement Award    
Phyllis Berck, Toronto, ON
Bruce Robertson, Manotick, ON
Walter Sieber, Saint Julie, QC

Leadership in Sport Award
Max Gartner, Calgary, AB
Victor Lachance, Navan, ON
Doug Leigh, Barrie, ON

Coach of the Year Award
Tamas Buday Senior, Mississauga, ON
Neal Marshall, Calgary, AB
Tim Frick, Port Coquitlam, BC

Corporate Excellence Awards
This year’s finalists for the Corporate Excellence Awards for the 34th Annual Canadian Sport Awards, recognizing and celebrating corporations who provided outstanding support to Canadian sport in 2006, are:

National Team Support Award
General Motors of Canada
Pacific Custom Brokers

Individual Athlete Support
Hudson’s Bay Company
Les Restaurants McDonald du Canada Limitée
RONA Inc.
 
National Initiative Support
BMO Financial Group
Camp Green at Farnham
Kubota Canada Ltd.

Investors Group Spirit of Sport Story of the Year
The finalists for the Spirit of Sport Story of the Year Award, created to recognize and celebrate a Canadian hero who, in the pursuit of sporting excellence, has demonstrated values such as dedication, perseverance, sportsmanship, respect for others and a true love of sport in 2006, are:

Jason Dunkerley, Hamilton, ON
Clara Hughes, Winnipeg, MB
Ian Mortimer, Ottawa, ON

The CSA brings together leaders from the sporting and corporate communities who represent the pinnacle of commitment and competition: Canadian amateur athletes, coaches, sport leaders and volunteers. The annual event promotes sporting excellence across Canada, and reminds Canadians how sport lifts the human spirit. It is a tribute to the hard work, the dedication and the victories of our country’s finest athletes.

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, athletes and the physical and moral development of Canada’s youth.  Managed by the Foundation, the Canadian Sport Awards boasts a strong relationship with its modern day founding partners, which include Athletes CAN, the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada, the Canada Games and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.  

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.

About Sport Manitoba
The home of amateur sport in the province of Manitoba, Sport Manitoba is the lead planning, programming and funding agency for the development of amateur sport in Manitoba. The primary focus of Sport Manitoba is on the development of athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers. Visit the website at www.sportmanitoba.ca.

About the University of Manitoba
The Sport and Active Living  (SALC) within the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Manitoba provides first class athletic facilities that are all attached to one another making it convenient to move between venues. These include: The Investors Group Athletic Centre: the 70,000 square foot building has a fully retractable seating area for over 3,000 spectators, an athletic therapy unit and high quality acoustics. The Max Bell Centre has a year-round ice rink, an indoor track and field area and a research centre for athletic performance.  The ice rink seats over 1,600 spectators and the Fieldhouse can accommodate 1,200 spectators for Indoor Track & Field events. The Frank Kennedy Centre (FKC) contains a fitness centre, strength training area, gymnasiums, squash, racquetball and handball courts, judo-wrestling room and attaches to the Joyce Fromson Pool.

About Destination Winnipeg Inc.
Destination Winnipeg Inc. is Winnipeg’s economic development and tourism services agency, an arm’s length organization led by a private sector board with core funding from the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba. Destination Winnipeg markets the city and provides services to facilitate economic development and tourism opportunities for Winnipeg in collaboration with partners.

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For more information, please contact:

Robin Turnbull
Canadian Sport Awards, Program Director
1.800.672.7775 ext 4000
rtevent@sympatico.ca

Kim Browning
Director of Marketing, Sport Manitoba
204-925-5606
browning@sport.mb.ca