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Sep 27: 2004 New Spirit of Community Partnership Awards

Celebrates outstanding partnerships between Canadian businesses, nonprofits and charities

Toronto, Ontario, September 21, 2004 – Imagine’s 2004 New Spirit of Community Partnership Awards were announced today at an event held in Toronto during the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy’s Annual Symposium.

"The awards showcase the wide range of benefits that result when companies become engaged in their communities and invest time, money and resources to collaboratively find solutions to social challenges," says Chris Pinney, Director of the Centre’s Imagine initiative.

This year’s winning partnerships are making significant impacts on communities across the country:

More than 500,000 youth in 700 schools across Canada have been trained in CPR through the ACT High School CPR Program a partnership between the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation of Canada, AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharma Inc. and Pfizer Canada.

More than 400 individuals from the business sector are now serving on charity boards and have learned good governance skills through BoardMatch Fundamentals™, a partnership between Altruvest Charitable Services and Bell Canada.

More than three million blind, visually impaired and print disabled Canadians now have access to a new world of information through the CNIB Digital Library, a partnership between the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and Microsoft Canada.

Entrepreneurs from economically challenged rural and aboriginal communities in coastal BC are building new businesses and creating sustainable jobs through the Conservation Financing Program, a partnership between Ecotrust Canada and Vancity Credit Union.

Almost 1.1 million tonnes of goods have been collected and distributed by STUFF Canada, a partnership between Cooper’s Office Supply Co. Limited and more than 80 Toronto charities, including Redwood Shelter, the Yonge Street Mission and Eva’s Place to name just a few.

In addition to the five winning partnerships listed above, Imagine recognized five honourable mentions.

Imagine’s "New Spirit of Community" Partnership Awards were established in 1996 to recognize and celebrate outstanding partnerships between Canadian businesses, nonprofit organizations and charities that are making a significant contribution in Canadian communities. Each year, a jury of senior leaders from across the country selects five award-winning partnerships and five honourable mentions.

The Imagine jury looks for partnerships that demonstrate creative, sustainable solutions that meet community needs; have the active involvement of both partners in the design and implementation of the project or program; employ a wide spectrum of resources brought by both partners; and can demonstrate a measurable benefit to the community.

The jury for this year’s awards was chaired by Michael J. Norris, Deputy Chairman, RBC Capital Markets and included Frank Clegg, President, Microsoft Canada; Colleen Kelly, Executive Director, Volunteer Vancouver; Hilary Pearson, President, Philanthropic Foundations of Canada; Lucie Remillard, Présidente et directrice genérale, Foundation de l'Hôpital Sainte-Justine; and, David Stewart-Patterson, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

Launched in 1988 by the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, Imagine is Canada’s champion for corporate citizenship. Imagine engages business and its leaders and sets benchmarks for corporate citizenship and philanthropy. More than 585 companies subscribe to Imagine’s benchmark, committing to give a minimum of 1% of their domestic pre-tax profit to charity and to encourage employee giving and volunteering. This has translated into over a billion dollars in increased support for charity since Imagine began, making it one of the world’s most successful corporate citizenship initiatives.

For more information on Imagine and its award winners, please visit Profiles of the award winners can be requested from the contact listed below.

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.