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 Press Release

Partners Support the Organizing Committee of Rendez-Vous Montréal 2006

Montréal, 3 November 2003 - "A thousand days from the Games, the partners of Montréal 2006 have unanimously reiterated their support to the Organizing Committee of Rendez-Vous Montréal 2006," Ms. Lucie Duguay and Mr. Mark Tewksbury, co-presidents of the Games, announced today.

"The partners of Montréal 2006 are in full support of the Organising Committee's commitment to hold the Games in Montréal, if they are produced according to the schedule and on the scale planned, and retain their international flavour. We have the certitude that the 2006 Games with or without the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) sanction will take place in Montréal." said the Honourable Mr. Charles Lapointe, President and CEO of Tourism Montréal, as he left a meeting of the political Group of Ambassadors of the Games which was held this morning in Montréal, presided by Ms. Liza Frulla, Federal Deputy for Verdun - Saint-Henri - Saint-Paul - Pointe-Saint-Charles.

The two major points separating the Organising Committee and the FGG are:

  • the number of participants;
  • financial responsibility for the event.

Montréal 2006 won its candidature for the Games October 25, 2001, with a proposal of 24,000 participating athletes. At the FGG's request, this number was scaled back to 16,000, the minimum number of participants required for the financial viability of the Games. During the Sydney's Gay Games VI in 2002, 13,000 participants attended, and, four years earlier in Amsterdam, 14,500 participants took part. After an absence of 12 years, the Games will be returning to North America, from which 60% of participants come. What's more, the event will take place during the summer holiday season, which will no doubt favour increased participants. In spite of all these positive indicators, the FGG continues to demand that Montréal 2006 reduce the number of participants to 12,000.

However, the more the number of participants is reduced, the more revenue from the Games will drop. Unlike the Olympic Games, participants in the Gay Games have to spend a significant amount of money on registration fees; consequently, revenue is proportional to the number of participants. As well, an event of this scale (opening and closing ceremonies, various galas, number of competitions, etc.) will attract more private sponsors, due to the media attention it will create. All of these factors clearly demonstrate that the Montréal 2006's proposed estimate of 16,000 participants is both realistic and conservative.

With regard to the second point of contention, financial responsibility for the event, Montréal 2006's partners point out that common business sense as well as the basic principles of financial management of public or private funds dictate that the administrators to be held accountable for the financial outcome of the Games must be in Québec and in Canada.

The FGG plays no role in fundraising for the organisation of the Games, provides no services, and has no legal responsibility in the outcome. It cannot pretend to have any financial accountability. What's more, Montréal 2006 is required to pay the FGG 1 million dollars (Canadian) to license the rights to use the "Gay Games" trademark. Already, Montréal 2006 has obtained commitments from the Government of Canada, the Government of Québec, from the City of Montréal, Tourism Montréal and the Société Radio-Canada, covering 35 % of its planned budget. The first fundraising event was a phenomenal success and many other private sponsors have been confirmed, or are about to be confirmed - all of this with three years to go before the Games.

In addition, Équipe Montréal, which represents over a thousand athletes itself, conducted a snapshot-survey of 675 GLBT (Gay - Lesbian - Bisexual - Transsexual) sports teams all over the world to find out if their participation in the Montréal Games was dependent upon the FGG's sanction of the Games. The results of this poll were clear: more than 90% of responding teams confirmed their intention to attend Montréal 2006, regardless of the FGG's approval. Even a conservative extrapolation of these results allows us to predict, three years from the Games, that we are already sure to exceed 16,000 registrants, 43% of which will come from the United States. The financial support secured at this stage, coupled with the sponsorships already confirmed, pave the way for an extraordinarily positive financial outcome for the upcoming Games.

Through the efforts of the Honourable Claude Drouin, Secretary of State, Economic Development Canada, Ms. Michelle Courchesne, Minister of Relations avec les citoyens et de l'Immigration, Ms. Nathalie Normandeau, Delegate Minister for Développement Régional et au Tourisme, and of Mr. Jean-Marc Fournier, Minister of Municipal Affairs, the two governments have confirmed their continuing financial support of the Rendez-Vous Montréal 2006 Games, a major international event that will unfold on scale never before seen. In the same spirit, Mr. Cosmo Maciocia, member of the Executive Committee of the City of Montréal, has also re-confirmed the availability of the City's municipal sporting infrastructure for the hosting of the event. "Obviously, we would prefer to have an agreement with the FGG," Ms. Lucie Duguay and Mr. Mark Tewksbury concluded, "but under reasonable conditions. For two years, we have been preparing to receive participants from all over the world not only because the Games have an important economical value, but also because they are a reflection of an evolution in our societies toward equal human rights all over the world."

Montréal 2006 partners are:

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Jean Héon, Communications
Montréal 2006
Cell.: (514) 999-0915


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