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RBC Insurance leads search for Canada’s most dedicated hockey volunteers

Thirteen regional RBC Local Hockey Leaders® to be recognized in the Hockey Hall of Fame, awarded $10,000 and a team spot in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay

TORONTO, January 19, 2009 — RBC Insurance, with support from Hockey Canada and the Hockey Hall of Fame, today launched its annual nationwide search for outstanding hockey volunteers.

"For the past six years the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program has recognized unsung volunteers who dedicate their time to supporting minor hockey in their communities," said Neil Skelding, president and CEO of RBC Insurance. "We believe it's important to recognize these volunteers because without them, hockey in our communities simply would not happen."

Regional winners, one from each of the 13 Hockey Canada branches as well as one RBC employee winner, will receive $10,000 towards a registered charity/hockey cause in their community, a signed Team Canada jersey and trip for two to Toronto, where they will be recognized in the Hockey Hall of Fame. In addition, all of this year's winners will receive a Team Spot in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, which will give them and up to 20 individuals the opportunity to collectively carry the Olympic Flame. This Team Spot will enable the Local Hockey Leaders to recognize others who have come together to help them make a difference to minor hockey in their communities.

"Through the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program, we're able to acknowledge the efforts of these important Canadians, who are crucial to minor hockey in Canada," said Bill Hay, chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame. "RBC Insurance is investing in Canadian communities through hockey, and we are happy to be a part of this effort."

Over the past six years RBC Insurance has awarded more than $600,000 to grassroots hockey activities across Canada through the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program. Grants have been used to replace aging equipment, make hockey more accessible, train coaches, improve facilities and for many other causes close to the hearts of Canada's grassroots hockey leaders.

"We're asking all Canadians to nominate those tireless hockey volunteers who help make hockey possible in their community," said Bob Nicholson, president of Hockey Canada. "These leaders may maintain the rinks, coach teams, organize fundraisers, or teach life skills - all things that make hockey such an important part of community life in Canada."

A panel including National Women's Team member Jayna Hefford, National Men's Sledge Hockey Team captain Jean Labonté, hockey legend Ron Ellis, Dave Cobb, Executive Vice President, Revenue, Marketing and Communications, VANOC and Dr. Allan Morris, chairman of the Board, Hockey Canada will select winners from nominations submitted through the program website. Nominations will be accepted until midnight (EDT) on April 17, 2009. To nominate a dedicated minor hockey volunteer from your area, go to www.rbcinsurance.com.

RBC Local Hockey Leaders are the behind-the-scenes volunteers who make hockey a positive, safe, and enjoyable activity in their communities. Hard work, dedication, commitment and impact on the community will be amongst the criteria considered when evaluating submissions.

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For further information, please contact:
Katie Hammill or Brian Findlay, 416-603-9452
Andre Brin, Hockey Canada Communications, 403-777-4557
Jackie Braden, Media Relations, RBC, 416-974-2124
Kelly Masse, Hockey Hall of Fame, 416-933-8212


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01/19/2009 11:09:56