MONTREAL – Today, the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada got off to a roaring start during its “Grand Evening” event which included an impressive list of Canadian Olympians, Formula 1 drivers and team representatives, and Quebec artists. In total, the evening generated close to $750,000 for the Fondation de l’Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur and the Canadian Olympic Foundation, in support of sport research, innovation and the retention of world-class coaching and equipment for Canadian high-performance athletes.
“My sincere thanks to the many dedicated individuals and sponsors who made this an evening to remember,” said Marcel Aubut, Canadian Olympic Committee President and Chair of the Canadian Olympic Foundation. “Together, we are helping to ensure that Canadian athletes, coaches and high performance sport receive the support that they deserve in their quest for Olympic success.”
This year’s event drew an unprecedented amount of athletic prowess. In attendance were 26 of Canada’s finest athletes, spanning various generations, and collectively boasting an impressive 46 Olympic and Paralympic medals.
Members from virtually every F1 team competing in this year’s Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada in Montreal were also present. Among the guests were some of the racing world’s biggest names, including: three-time World Champion, Sebastian Vettel (Team Red Bull); fellow German driver, Nico Hülkenberg (Team Sauber); and Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado (Team Williams).
“Athletes are continually training and competing internationally, so it is rare to have two groups of elite athletes in the same room together,” said Alexandre Bilodeau, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Gold medallist and the first Canadian to win a Gold medal on home soil. “I want to thank the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada organizers and everyone who is supporting this great event and initiative. This is fantastic news for Canada’s future Olympians working to reach the top of the podium.”
“As an athlete who has competed in four Olympic Games, I know how much commitment it takes to constantly stay on form,” added Émilie Heymans, the first Canadian in history to win Olympic medals in four consecutive Games. “I think it’s wonderful that so many different individuals and communities have come together to advance the development of sport in Canada. Supporting and attending events like this is what ultimately will enable countless of young athletes to realize their full potential.”
“The funds raised at this event are made possible through the support of the Formula 1 community and its generous representatives. As an organization, we are truly fortunate to have such wonderful supporters and partners who enable us to be able to give to such deserving local charities each year,” added François Dumontier, President and CEO of Octane Racing Group and President of the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada.
Some of Quebec’s foremost artistic successes were in attendance at this year’s event. The list of artists included: internationally renowned Montréal-born pianist and composer Alain Lefèvre who shared the stage with Elisapie Isaac, Annie Villeneuve and Ima, Grégory Charles, Claude Dubois and Breen Leboeuf.
The “Grand Evening”, an official activity of the 2013 Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, took place at the Arsenal Contemporary Art Gallery in Montreal. All proceeds from the evening were donated to the Fondation de l’Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur and the Canadian Olympic Foundation.