HBC Foundation and Canadian Olympic Foundation Announce $2.5 Million Grant for Canadian Athletes with HBC Athlete Bursary Program

TORONTO — Today, HBC Foundation and the Canadian Olympic Foundation announced a new bursary program which marks a significant commitment to Canadian athletes. HBC Athlete Bursary Program will award 50 Canadian athletes $10,000 per year beginning in 2016, through to 2020.  This $2.5 million investment will help contribute much needed funding to Olympic hopefuls across Canada.

HBC Athlete Bursary Program is the latest initiative in HBC’s ongoing commitment to sports excellence, helping Canadian athletes as they strive to compete at the highest level and achieve their goals and dreams.  Today’s announcement falls on the day of HBC’s 15th annual Charity Golf Tournament, and Spa, being held today in Toronto.  A portion of the funds raised from this corporate initiative will support HBC Athlete Bursary Program, in addition to other Canadian athlete programs.  Since 2005, HBC has raised $42 million through fundraising programs like the Red Mittens, an ongoing annual initiative that is symbolic of HBC’s commitment to Canadian athletes.

“We are proud to launch the HBC Athlete Bursary Program and the significant contribution we are able to make toward helping our Canadian athletes achieve their goal of reaching the podium,” says Liz Rodbell, President, Hudson’s Bay.  “There is no better investment than enabling young people to achieve their potential and realize their dreams.”

Many Canadian athletes struggle to cover costs involved with Olympic training.  The HBC Athlete Bursary will provide each athlete recipient with $50,000 over the course of the five years.  Athletes can then invest the dollars toward activities that will benefit their development such as international competition, sport science support, daily training programs, new equipment, coaching and nutrition.

“HBC Athlete Bursary Program is an incredible initiative and provides substantial support to the selected athletes,” says Leanne Nicolle, Executive Director, Canadian Olympic Foundation. “The group is an exciting mix of Olympic medallists and veterans, and up and coming talent. We are so excited to see the things that they can accomplish with the help of these funds.”

“I am honoured and grateful to be a part of the HBC Athlete Bursary Program,” says Ivanie Blondin, Sochi 2014 Olympian and 2016 women’s speed skating mass start world champion. “On behalf of the other 50 athletes in the program, thank you to the HBC Foundation and the Canadian Olympic Foundation for the opportunity. This financial help will go a long way toward helping us achieve our athletic goals.”

HBC Foundation worked with the Canadian Olympic Foundation on a call for applications that went out to all National Sports Federations.  A selection committee consisting of representatives from the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Olympic Foundation and HBC Foundation reviewed the applications and selected 50 Olympians and Olympic hopefuls that met the following performance criteria:

  • Athletes who have qualified by name to the next Olympic Games;
  • Athletes who have achieved a top-16 at the most recent world championships and are considered Olympic hopefuls;
  • Athletes who were on the official roster at the time a sport qualified for the Olympics via a qualification event AND are still being considered for final team selection for the Games;
  • Athletes who are on the national team roster of a team sport that is targeted by Own The Podium (OTP);
  • Athletes identified by the COC and NSF who have strong future potential for the Olympic Games but did not meet the criteria as described above
  • Athletes must be endorsed by their NSF to secure athlete is in good standing with their NSF and must be an Olympian or Olympic hopeful

HBC Foundation is proud to announce the 50 successful bursary candidates for 2016:

•            Jennifer Abel, Diving
•            Meghan Agosta, Ice Hockey
•            Heather Bansley, Beach Volleyball
•            Khamica Bingham, Athletics
•            Melissa Bishop, Athletics
•            Ellie Black, Artistic Gymnastics
•            Ivanie Blondin, Long Track Speed Skating
•            Jamie Broder, Beach Volleyball
•            Mandy Bujold, Boxing
•            Karol-Ann Canuel, Road Cycling
•            Ryan Cochrane, Swimming
•            Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Water Polo
•            Dustin Cook, Alpine Skiing
•            Charle Cournoyer, Short Track Speed Skating
•            Simon d’Artois, Freestyle Skiing – Halfpipe
•            Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Freestyle Skiing – Moguls
•            Philippe Gagné, Diving
•            Travis Gerrits, Freestyle Skiing – Aerials
•            Samuel Girard, Short Track Speed Skating
•            Magali Harvey, Rugby
•            Taylor Henrich, Ski Jumping
•            Gilmore Junio, Long Track Speed Skating
•            Mikaël Kingsbury, Freestyle Skiing – Moguls
•            Melissa Lotholz, Bobsleigh
•            Conlin McCabe, Rowing
•            Kimberley McRae, Luge
•            Erin Mielzynski, Alpine Skiing
•            Christabel Nettey, Athletics
•            Nam Nguyen, Figure Skating
•            Emily Overholt, Swimming
•            Joseph Polossifakis, Fencing
•            Taylor Ruck, Swimming
•            Ben Russell, Canoe/Kayak Sprint
•            Matthew Sarmento, Field Hockey
•            Chaim Schalk, Beach Volleyball
•            Kelsey Serwa, Ski Cross
•            Darcy Sharpe, Snowboard
•            Jacqueline Simoneau, Synchronized Swimming
•            Cameron Smedley, Canoe/Kayak Slalom
•            Nathan Smith, Biathlon
•            Kirsten Sweetland, Triathlon
•            Marielle Thompson, Ski Cross
•            Benjamin Thorne, Athletics
•            Yuki Tsubota, Freestyle Skiing – Slopestyle
•            Antoine Valois-Fortier, Judo
•            Chantal Van Landeghem, Swimming
•            Elisabeth Vathje, Skeleton
•            Rudy Verhoeff, Volleyball
•            Erica Wiebe, Wrestling
•            Carling Zeeman, Rowing

Hudson’s Bay Company is one of the fastest-growing department store retailers in the world, based on its successful formula of driving the performance of high quality stores and their all-channel offerings, unlocking the value of real estate holdings and growing through acquisitions. Founded in 1670, HBC is the oldest company in North America. HBC’s portfolio today includes ten banners, in formats ranging from luxury to better department stores to off price fashion shopping destinations, with more than 460 stores and 66,000 employees around the world.

In North America, HBC’s leading banners include Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gilt, and Saks OFF 5TH, along with Find @ Lord & Taylor and Home Outfitters. In Europe, its banners include GALERIA Kaufhof, the largest department store group in Germany, Belgium’s only department store group Galeria INNO, as well as Sportarena.

HBC has significant investments in real estate joint ventures.  It has partnered with Simon Property Group Inc. in the HBS Global Properties Joint Venture, which owns properties in the United States and Germany.  In Canada, it has partnered with RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust in the RioCan-HBC Joint Venture.

Established in 2007, the Canadian Olympic Foundation gives to priority partners that drive high performance athletic achievement for Canada’s Olympic podium potentials and for our next generation of Olympic athletes. Learn more at or follow Canadian Olympic Foundation on Facebook.

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