Canada’s leading speakers’ forum has chosen the co-CEOs of Research In Motion, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, as Canadians of the Year. This is the first time the century-old organization has named two people to this honour since the award launched in 1992.
“These men have exhibited an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit that makes them role models,” commented Canadian Club President Rod Phillips. ” BlackBerry has become a business staple in the few short years since its creation.”
“I’m grateful to call Canada my home and honoured by the Canadian Club’s recognition,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at RIM. “BlackBerry is one of many Canadian success stories and I believe Canada’s collective commitment to technology, science and education will secure many more victories in the decades ahead.”
“It’s an honour to be recognized by The Canadian Club,” said Jim Balsillie, Chairman and Co-CEO at RIM. “RIM’s global success is rooted in Canada and global expansion remains a key component of our plans this year. I’m proud to say that Canada is highly respected around the world and well poised to continue competing in the global technology sector.”
Mr. Balsillie and Mr. Lazaridis will accept the award and address The Canadian Club of Toronto on 2 May 2006 at noon at the Hilton Hotel, 145 Richmond St. W., Toronto. Individual tickets are available for $65 each or $55 for members; tables of 10 for $650 and $550 for members from The Canadian Club: www.canadianclub.org or (416) 364-5590.
The Canadian Club of Toronto created The Canadian of the Year Award in 1992 to honour Canadians of distinguished character who have been outstanding in promoting Canada, particularly in their field of endeavour. Previous winners include Olympic rowing champion Silken Lauman (1992), Oscar-winning filmmaker Norman Jewison (1994), CBC broadcaster Peter Gzowski (1996) and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour (2005).