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RBC Insurance, Hockey Canada Hockey Hall of Fame Announce 2006 RBC Local Hockey Leaders
Thirteen RBC Local Hockey Leaders to be recognized in the Hockey Hall of Fame and receive $10,000 each towards grassroots hockey in their community
March 7, 2006

RBC Insurance, with support from Hockey Canada and the Hockey Hall of Fame, today recognized Canada’s most dedicated hockey volunteers as part of the third annual RBC Local Hockey Leaders program.

Thirteen RBC Local Hockey Leaders – one from each regional Hockey Canada branch – will be recognized in a special display at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Each winner will receive $10,000 towards grassroots hockey in their community and a signed Team Canada jersey. A banner recognizing the achievement will also be raised in the winner’s local arena.

“RBC Insurance is very proud to reward Canada’s ‘behind-the-scenes’ hockey volunteers,” said Neil Skelding, President and CEO, RBC Insurance. “The efforts of these selfless individuals often go unnoticed and seldom result in trophies or awards, so we are proud to turn the spotlight on their efforts through the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program. Hockey is an important part of Canadian communities, and volunteers are the ones who keep it going.”

A panel of experts including Hockey Hall of Fame Director of Public Affairs Ron Ellis, Chair of the Board for Hockey Canada René Marcil, and 2002 Olympic gold medalists Ryan Smyth and Kelly Béchard select the winners based on guidelines that include dedication, leadership, commitment and impact on hockey and hockey players in their community.

“Each fall we team up with RBC Insurance and the Hockey Hall of Fame to search Canadian communities for those tireless hockey volunteers who go beyond the normal call of duty and inspire others,” said Bob Nicholson, President, Hockey Canada. “This year we received more than 1,000 outstanding nominations for leaders that organize, administer, fundraise, coach and do whatever it takes to keep hockey vibrant in their communities.”

RBC initiated the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program in 2003-2004 to recognize individuals who dedicate their time to hockey at the community level. To date, the program has donated more than $300,000 to grassroots hockey initiatives across Canada.

“We applaud RBC Insurance for investing in Canadian communities through the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program,” added Nicholson.

For more information and biographies on all of the RBC Local Hockey Leaders, please visit

2006 Regional RBC Local Hockey Leaders:

Region RBC Local Hockey Leader Community
Région Chef de hockey RBC Communauté
Hockey North Gregory Rowe Hay River, NT
British Columbia Vince Harriott, North Vancouver, BC
Alberta Randy Bouvier Edmonton, AB
Saskatchewan Dennis Todd Regina, SK
Manitoba Eileen Swerdyliak Ritchot, MB
Ontario Tom Fairbairn Stratford, ON
Northwestern Ontario Irwin Nicol Nipigon, ON
Ottawa District Marion Budarick Amherstview, ON
Quebec Ghislain Dumais Montreal, QC
New Brunswick Dave Wheaton Sackville, NB
Nova Scotia Sherry Ritcey Lunenburg, NS
Prince Edward Island Cedric Gallant Wellington Station, PEI
Newfoundland & Labrador Eric Clarke Blaketown, NFLD

About RBC Insurance

RBC Insurance provides a wide range of creditor, life, health, travel, home, auto and reinsurance products and services to more than five million clients in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. These products and services are offered through a wide variety of distribution channels, including the telephone, independent brokers, travel agents, a proprietary sales force and the Internet. More information is available at

For further information, please contact:

Brian Findlay or Bob Stellick, 416-603-9452

Jackie Braden, Media Relations, RBC Financial Group, 416-974-2124

For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada

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