Official schedule of the 1st World Outgames Montréal announced

May 10, 2006

MONTREAL, Canada — “We are proud to announce the official schedule of the 1st World Outgames. The Organizing Committee and the Montréal community are ready to welcome the expected 250,000 visitors from over 109 countries,” said Louise Roy, Chief Executive Officer of Montréal 2006, who was joined by Jean-Marc Fournier, Minister of Education, Sport and Recreation, and Gérald Tremblay, Mayor of Montréal, for a press conference yesterday.

“We are pleased that our regular registration period has yielded a result of over 12,000 participants. We can already say that this will be the biggest happening of the summer and the most important sporting event in Montréal since 1976.” Organizers believe the 1st World Outgames will be an extraordinary international gathering as they will "unite sports, culture, and human rights for the first time in the same event."

“We invite all Montrealers to participate in and attend the 1st World Outgames. With 52 activities scheduled, there is something for everyone,” added Roy. The 1st World Outgames will be held from July 26 to August 5, 2006 on 40 sites around Montréal. Several sport sites, such as the Olympic Stadium, the Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard and the Parc Jean-Drapeau will be used for the event.

Among the activities, over 1,200 athletes are expected for the swimming competitions; in cycling, time trials, a road race, a criterium and mountain biking are scheduled; a marathon with over 1,200 runners expected will be run through the streets of Montréal on Sunday, August 5; at the Palais de Congrès de Montréal, the International Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Human Rights will welcome over 2,000 participants; and last but not least, the Choral Festival will unit voices from around the world at the Salle Pierre-Mercure.

An impressive 30 of the 35 scheduled sports are sanctioned by Canadian and Quebec sporting federations. These sanctions support the objective of the Outgames 'to play for real', as the organisation’s slogan indicates.

“The majority of events are easily accessible to Montréalers, with an all-access bracelet available for a minimal cost, valid for the duration of the Outgames. As well, tickets for seven events are available now through the ticket sales office at reasonable prices,” added Roy.

Sport competitions requiring tickets for entry are Figure Skating, DanceSport and Physique. Tickets will also be required for the Choral Festival, the Grand Ball, Outsplash and Masquerade on Ice. The latter three shows will offer unique performances that are not to be missed: Outsplash combines Swimming, Synchronised Swimming and Diving; the Grand Ball is a ballroom dancing extravaganza; and Masquerade on Ice, a thrilling Figure Skating show. Tickets for these activities are on sale now. Likewise, tickets for the three official parties have been available since last March. For more information concerning ticketing, visit www.montreal2006.org.

In conclusion, Roy underscored the importance of dedicated volunteers in delivering an event on this scale, one which will have economic impact of close to $170 million, and also an important social impact, notably through the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights. Close to 600 volunteers are already involved in 42 organising committees and more than 5,000 volunteers will work together during the games to guarantee an exceptional success.

“We already have 3,500 volunteers who have stepped up to the challenge and we are positive that we will attain our objective, knowing Montrealers’ pride in their city and passion for welcoming visitors from around the world,” saidRoy.

“This exceptional international event that brings sports and human rights together will further enhance Montréal’s image as a tolerant, open and inclusive city. We would also like to affirm that Montréal is a welcoming city, one where differences may be freely expressed and respected. Here, all our citizens can live together in harmony, each respecting the others’ individual rights. In hosting an event like this, Montréal will continue to be associated with the advancement of human rights,” said Mayor Gérald Tremblay.

The City of Montréal has provided the Organising Committee with a team of seven people specialising in the logistics of competitive sporting events. In addition, the City has made municipal sites and technical equipment, both interior and exterior, available to the Committee to produce sports competitions of the highest calibre. The City will also lend its support to the activities that will take place on the streets of Montréal.

Mayor Tremblay also announced that the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) will partner with the Outgames as the official transporter. The STM, in collaboration with Montréal 2006, will operate a bus shuttle service for athletes and spectators alike who will travel to the Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard for the various competitions.

“Montréal offers comprehensive and efficient public transport systems, permitting the city to host major events like the Outgames and contribute to the success of the many different sport and cultural events the city has to offer,” said Claude Trudel, President of the Board of Directors of the STM. “I invite all Montrealers and visitors to use public transport to come out and cheer on our athletes and to attend the numerous festivities associated with the Outgames.”

At the press conference yesterday, Fournier, Minister of Education, Leisure and Sports, called on Quebecers to support events like the Outgames, which promote participation in physical activities.

“An event like the 1st World Outgames Montréal 2006 encourages people to get active and take part in physical activities. The Outgames also promote the 35 sports disciplines represented in the programme. Supporting this event is for me a way to invite the population to be more active, and to get out and take advantage of the summer season,” said Minister Fournier.

For more information: www.montreal2006.org. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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