Downtown Montreal Hosts Parade of Olympic and Paralympic Athletes This Friday at 11:30 a.m.

Montrealers are invited to come and celebrate excellence!

It is with great enthusiasm that Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) President-Elect Marcel Aubut invite all Montrealers to celebrate their Olympic spirit at a parade involving more than 150 Olympic and Paralympic athletes. It will run Friday, April 23, beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Sainte-Catherine Street.

The City of Montreal seized this unique opportunity to extend the enjoyment and excitement of the Vancouver Games by organizing a historic parade with the Canadian athletes who will be in the city from April 22 to April 24 for the COC’s Hall of Fame Weekend. On April 23rd, the “Celebrating Excellence 2010” parade will convene at 11:30 a.m. on Sainte-Catherine Street at the corner of Du Fort. The parade will head east and will end at Phillips Square, at the intersection of Sainte-Catherine and Union, where a large Olympic celebration will be held animated by Grégory Charles. Police will be along the route to provide assistance and ensure the safety of the event.

“Montreal has been an Olympic city for nearly 35 years,” said Mayor Tremblay. “We are very proud to join forces with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee to offer Montrealers the opportunity to relive the passion of the Games, and to see and meet the athletes who gave us some unforgettable moments this year in Vancouver! I invite members of the public to come in large numbers to celebrate excellence this Friday on Sainte-Catherine Street. It will be the best way to demonstrate our admiration for the remarkable accomplishments of our Olympic heroes.”

“Our athletes put on one of the greatest shows ever in Canadian sport history, and we are bringing that excitement east to Montreal for this once-in-a-lifetime celebration,” said Aubut. “This vibrant city is sure to welcome with arms wide open these outstanding Canadians who carried the country’s hopes on their shoulders.”

Road Closings
Sainte-Catherine Street will be closed on Friday, April 23 as of 10:45 a.m., between Du Fort and Phillips Square. Intersections along the route will also be closed during the parade. Only emergency vehicles will be able to circulate in this area. Sainte-Catherine Street and intersecting streets will gradually be reopened as the parade progresses along its route.

The following streets will be closed from 10:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Sainte-Catherine between University and Aylmer; Union between De Maisonneuve and René-Lévesque; Phillips Square / Phillips Place / Saint-André Place between Sainte-Catherine and René-Lévesque; and Cathcart between University and Phillips Square Place.

Notice of closure signs will be installed along the parade route the day before the event and will be removed within 48 hours of its completion. No parking signs will be removed after the passage of the parade. Tow trucks will be on site to remove vehicles parked illegally.

Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Induction Gala
The Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday evening at the Bell Centre where more than 1,200 guests are expected, including the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, who will be the event’s Honourary President. The COC aims to generate more than $1 million from this event for its athletes. The gala will be broadcast nationally on CTV and V.

Two of the inductees, Bruny Surin and Walter Sieber, are well-known and influential Montreal sports personalities who are still contributing to high performance sport in the city. They are role models for their commitment, inspirations for Montrealers, and real ambassadors of Montreal’s excellence in sports, both in Canada and on the international stage.