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Jun 10: The Vancity Theatre

Vancouver International Film Festival and Vancity Announce Film Centre Theatre Sponsorship

Vancouver, June 10, 2003 - Lights, camera, action...and sponsorship.

The Vancouver International Film Festival, Western Canada's pre-eminent film festival, and Vancity, Canada's largest credit union, today announced a significant sponsorship that gives Vancity the right to name the 183-seat theatre at the future Vancouver International Film Centre the Vancity Theatre.

"This partnership is an ideal fit for both of us," said Bruce Ralston, Chair of Vancity's Board of Directors. "We are both strong local organizations with a long-standing relationship, and a commitment to supporting the cultural diversity and the exchange and expression of new and fresh perspectives and ideas."

Vancity CEO Dave Mowat added, "We are already a strong player in the film industry. Vancity, and our subsidiary Vancity Capital, provide financing for many of Vancouver's most innovative and successful small, independent film companies and we see our support of VIFF and the Film Centre as an important extension of our commitment to the art and business of film."

Michael Francis, Chair of VIFF's Board of Directors, said, "We applaud Vancity's leadership and long history of community involvement. This is a pivotal show of support for the arts in Vancouver. The Film Centre will provide an important missing piece of the infrastructure in the development of the film industry. In addition, Vancity will be involved as a partner of the Film Festival for the next four years. Along with VISA and AGF, Vancity will be front and centre for years to come."

Vancity has a history of supporting the arts through sponsorships and grants, including the $1-million Vancity Award, which last year went to the Vancouver East Cultural Centre for the revitalization of its theatre; 'Out on Screen' - the gay and lesbian film festival; the Bard on the Beach Shakespearean Festival; and the Vancouver Folk Festival.

As part of the partnership and in keeping with its commitment to its corporate social responsibility areas of focus, Vancity will also sponsor films and film series focusing on the environment.

Jane MacDonald, VIFF's Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs, said that Vancity's sponsorship is a significant part of the capital campaign for the new film centre. She says that they are in discussion with other corporations and expect to announce additional corporate partners soon.

The new three-story, 14,000 sq. ft. (1300m 2) film centre, designed by Hewitt + Kwasnicky Architects Inc., is on target to meet its fall 2004 completion date. Built by developers Amacon and Onni Groups, it is between the two towers of the Brava Residences at 1181 Seymour Street, which are a near sell-out; all but 10 of the 430 units are sold. The film centre has been made possible by the City of Vancouver's Amenity Bonus Program, whereby the developer builds a facility for a non-profit arts organization in exchange for the right to exceed the city's density limits.

The Vancouver International Film Festival celebrates its 22nd anniversary September 25 to October 10. Last year's festival screened 304 films from over 50 countries to a record audience of over 150,000. The festival's purpose is to encourage understanding of other nations through the art of cinema, to foster the art of cinema, to facilitate the meeting in British Columbia of cinema professionals from around the world, and to stimulate the motion picture industry in British Columbia and Canada.

Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, with $9.3 billion in assets, 305,000 members, and 41 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity was chosen as the best place to work in Canada for 2005 by Maclean’s Magazine as part of its annual Canada’s Top 100 Employers issue. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility, and to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.