TORONTO – Today, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) announced that it will be combining, strengthening and fully integrating its business to operate out of two instead of three locations: the existing Toronto corporate office and a new and expanded office in downtown Montreal.

“Today’s announcement is a continued demonstration of our absolute commitment to be ‘best in class’ in everything we do,” said Marcel Aubut, President of the COC. “Our organization has developed a world-wide reputation for excellence. Our plan will only serve to strengthen our position among the elite National Olympic Committees in the world today.”

This plan will also integrate the COC’s current Ottawa operations in Montreal to strengthen the organization, improve the integration of its sport and corporate operations and to continue to nurture the strong collaborative culture that has been developing so visibly over the last several years.

“The Canadian Olympic Committee is experiencing a period of tremendous growth. In the coming months we will combine and strengthen our organization to position for our future. This is a logical next step for our organization as we look to drive efficiency into everything we do for the benefit of the athletes and coaches we serve,” said Chris Overholt, CEO and Secretary General of the COC.

The office will provide a new location for the Canadian Olympic Movement; recognizing Montreal’s place as Canada’s first Olympic city, and the strong contribution of Quebec’s athletes and coaches to the country’s success on the Olympic podium, as well as reflecting the cultural and linguistic realities of Canada.

“This announcement would not be possible without the support of the Government of Quebec. We thank them for their steadfast commitment for sport in our country,” added Aubut.

“In an organization that’s athlete-centred and with sport at its core, the most important thing is to continually improve the services that are being delivered,” said Adam van Koeverden, Chair of the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission. “That’s what these changes are intended to accomplish for the COC and most importantly, for the athletes and coaches it serves.”

“Working as London 2012 Chef de Mission these past few years has allowed me to see an amazing shift in the culture within the COC; one that’s having a huge impact on the whole sport community, said Mark Tewksbury, Canadian Olympic Team London 2012 Chef de Mission. “I can only imagine that this change will keep the momentum going to the continued benefit of Canadian sport.”

“Beyond the significant financial and operational efficiencies we will realize, the integration of our Ottawa and Montreal teams will create a stronger, more unified culture and nurture stronger team relationships,” added Overholt. “This office will reflect the highest expression of the Canadian Olympic Team brand, and will serve as a destination for our athletes and coaches, our partners, and every member of Canada’s Olympic family. This is a very exciting time.”

“I welcome the efforts of the Canadian Olympic Committee to provide the best-possible service for our athletes and coaches,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport).”

“We are pleased that the Canadian Olympic Committee has chosen Montreal for a home. Its presence, along with that of many sport federations such as the Institut national du sport du Québec, will contribute to making Montreal a city of choice for high performance athletes,” said Marie Malavoy, Quebec Minister of Education, Recreation and Sport, regarding the COC Sport Team’s move from Ottawa to Montreal.

“The Canadian Olympic Committee has become synonymous with sporting excellence here in Ontario, across Canada and around the world,” said Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.  “With greater cooperation, collaboration and harmonization, the Canadian Olympic Committee will continue to promote our internationally celebrated athletes so that they may compete in the global arena as true contenders and champions.  As we prepare to welcome the Pan American and Parapan American Games in 2015, we will continue to work with our partners like the Canadian Olympic Committee to ensure that our international sporting events are delivered to the highest calibre.”

“Greatness in sport is achieved through fostering a culture of success for all who are involved in an athletes’ development,” said Greg Mathieu, CEO and Secretary General of the Canadian Cycling Association and Chair of the COC Summer Sport Caucus. “It’s clear from today’s news that the COC is committed to building that culture for their organization, to better deliver for all of us in the Canadian sport community.”

“National Sport Federations look to the Canadian Olympic Committee to continue raising the bar of service and opportunity provided to our athletes and coaches,” said Peter Judge, Chair of the Canadian Olympic Committee Winter Sport Caucus and CEO of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association. “Fiscal accountability is critical in the operation of any business and certainly this will help keep more resources on the field and focused on athletes which is a major mandate for the COC. This plan promises to bring the organization to an even stronger place, which will benefit all of Canadian sport.”

“Excellence in sport is only achieved through a concerted effort to achieve continuous improvement,” said John Furlong, former President and CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) and Chair of Own the Podium. “The plan to strengthen and integrate the COC team in the new Montreal office demonstrates that conviction to improve and leave the world in no doubt that Canada is among the top Olympic nations on the planet.”

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Canadian Olympic Committee Media Office:

Jane Almeida, Manager, Media Relations
Tel: 416-324-4120 / Cell: 416-540-1788

Dimitri Soudas, Executive Director, Communications
Tel: 416-324-4136 / Cell: 289-388-6419