Lottery corporation sponsors Olympic bid to tune of $1.5 million 

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation has joined the team of corporate supporters trying to bring the 2010 Olympic Winter Games to Vancouver and Whistler by becoming the bid’s second Founding Supporter.

"Lotteries have been an integral part of the B.C. landscape since 1974. We’ve supported a myriad of worthwhile community events throughout the province over those 27 years" says Mervyn Romilly, Chair of BCLC’s board of directors. "We are delighted to now be able to provide support to the bid for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games."

Don Calder, CEO of the Vancouver Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation, said: "As support builds in B.C. for our bid, so do our chances of producing a winner for 2010. BC Lottery’s financial support and commitment to work together with us to create a volunteer recruitment program are very important."

BCLC will commit $1.5 million to the bid over the next three years in a combination of cash and in-kind sponsorship. Corporate contributions made by organizations like BCLC help finance the bid’s activities.

"I am very pleased that the Lottery Corporation will be supporting the

Vancouver Whistler Olympic Bid," says Joan Smallwood, Minister of Labour and minister responsible for the BC Lottery Corporation. "This is an endeavour that will bring enormous job creation and economic benefits, as well as a tremendous sense of pride and achievement to all of B.C."

Working together with the 2010 Bid Corporation, BCLC will play a key role in the recruitment of volunteers to support the bid and the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. BCLC kicks off this effort in April by circulating a specially designed volunteer/supporter book throughout the province as part of the seasonal launch of BCLC’s Community Stage program. The Community Stage and the book will travel to community festivals and events this summer, giving people all over B.C. the opportunity to sign it in support of the Vancouver Whistler 2010 Bid, and to put their names forward as potential volunteers.

In addition to BCLC, a number of other organizations and companies have also recently signed on as corporate supporters. They include Tourism Richmond, Harbour Air and West Coast Air. TELUS is the Bid’s premier founding supporter.

Meanwhile, the province announced an additional $500,000 for the bid on March 23. The funding is in addition to the $3 million provided to the Bid Corp. for LegaciesNow, a province-wide sport and athlete development program, and to support the bid process.

LegaciesNow, in turn, announced it was providing $450,000 over three years for the National Sports Centre of Greater Vancouver. The money will go toward sport and athlete development.

With the new corporate contributions, the Vancouver Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation is now approximately two-thirds of the way towards its fundraising goal of $22 million.

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