Montreal – Mr. Alain Lemaire, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascades Inc., announced that Cascades is renewing its partnership with the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence by investing $270,000 up to 2010, that is, $80,000 in 2008, $90,000 in 2009 and $100,000 in 2010. Mr. Lemaire also seized the opportunity to reveal the names of the 17 athletes who will share $63,000 in bursaries for the fourth edition of the Cascades Bursary Program, administered by the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence.

In 2005, Cascades launched its support program in collaboration with the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence by announcing an investment of $225,000. This amount has been distributed in bursaries to the athletes as well as in funds to the Foundation as follows: $50,000 in 2005, $75,000 in 2006 and $100,000 in 2007. “In light of the success of the first three years of Cascades’ Bursary Program, we are pleased to renew our partnership again this year with the Foundation. The victories, medals and academic transcripts of our young athletes justify our motivation to carry on with our support. They are models of athletic excellence and determination. We are very attached to them and we are committed to proving it to them once again” stated Mr. Alain Lemaire with enthusiasm.

Among the 17 2008 bursary recipients this year, many of them surprised us with their commendable performance: Mathieu Bois and Stéphanie Horner (swimming)who recently made their first Canadian Olympic team for Beijing 2008; Alex Harvey (cross-country skiing), son of Olympian Pierre Harvey, won a silver medal at the junior World Championship in the 10 km classic; Justine L’Heureux (speed skating – long track) was named the second best world junior athlete of the year over all in 2008; Marianne Jodoin (tennis) winner of a Maurice trophy last December (women’s athlete of the year, provincial level) and Émilie Fournel (canoe/kayak sprint), 20 years old, won five gold medals at the last senior national championship and has almost qualified for her first Olympic games this summer.

Two new talents have joined the Cascades team this year; Françoise Abanda (tennis), sister to Elisabeth, another Cascades Bursary recipient and Béatrice Bilodeau (freestyle skiing), sister to Alexandre Bilodeau. Béatrice is the national Canadian champion in simple and duals (15 years old and under).

Receiving a Bursary from Cascades again this year are: Élisabeth Abanda (tennis), double junior national champion (14 and 16 years old and under); Christelle Doyon (snowboarding), 8th at the 2007 snowboardcross World Championship; Raphaël Gagné (cycling – mountain bike), 8th at the 2008 Pan-American Games; Marianne Hogan (triathlon), 11th at the 2007 Junior World Championship (19 years old and under); Keven Lacombe (cycling – road race), 5th at the 2007 Pan-American Games; Valérie Lambert (speed skating – short track), 7th in the 500 m at the 2007 World Cup in Holland; Jean-Philippe Le Guellec (biathlon), senior national champion in the 10 km sprint; Julien Potvin-Bernal (canoe/kayak slalom), 2008 junior national championship silver medallist and Marie-Claude Surprenant (cycling – mountain bike), ranked 5th in Canada in the 23 years old and under category.

Mr. Claude Chagnon, President of the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence is extremely pleased with Cascades’ renewed support. “Cascades bursary recipients still distinguish themselves on the international scene year after year. It confirms the need, the importance and the credibility of the Cascades Bursary Program which focuses on very promising, young and unknown athletes all over Quebec.”