Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation and National Bank join forces

Montreal, 5 June 2007 - 

The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation, in cooperation with the National Bank, is launching a province-wide breast-health awareness initiative, the Allure Rendezvous.   Through the support of its Allure MasterCard credit card holders, the National Bank was able to make a $400,000 donation, part of which will serve towards the establishment of the Allure Rendezvous.

The Breast Cancer Foundation is delighted with the 2006 contribution and the support of the National Bank’s Allure card holders.  A percentage of each purchase made using this card is automatically donated to the Foundation.  Since the Allure card was launched in June 2005, the National Bank has donated more than $650,000 to the Foundation via its cardholders.

The National Cancer Institute’s 2007 publication, Canadian Cancer Statistics 2007, shows that the mortality rate for breast cancer has declined by 25% over the past 20 years. “This is a very significant decline. It is also encouraging, since this decrease can be attributed notably to various prevention and awareness-raising programs,” said France Margaret Bélanger, president of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. Awareness of breast health is a key element in the fight against cancer. Thanks to the National Bank’s support, we are able to promote our programs in over 10 regions across Quebec and to make use of the network of National Bank branches throughout the province. We would like to thank Allure cardholders for their great generosity in 2006. Without them, the Allure Rendezvous would not exist. Solidarity with our cause enables us to provide information to more women throughout Quebec,” added Ms. Bélanger.

The Allure Rendezvous tour will begin in November 2007, with two presentations per month. The speakers will make stops in many cities, including Montreal, Laval, Chicoutimi, Jonquière, Quebec City, Sherbrooke and Trois Rivières. Quebec women will be invited to meet speakers from the Quebec Breast Cancer Society as well as breast cancer survivors. The goal is to make women aware of the importance of adopting better breast health habits to help them detect any anomalies more quickly and easily.

It comes as no surprise that the National Bank supports the QBCF: almost 80% of the Bank’s employees are women. “We are very close to women and sensitive to their health concerns,” said Kathleen Zicat, National Bank’s Vice President, Sales and Personal Banking, Laval/Northern and Western Quebec. “We believe in the need to make women aware of the importance of adopting healthy habits. During the Allure Rendezvous, which will visit National Bank branches, women who have survived breast cancer will talk about their experience and explain such things as breast self-examination,” she explained.

Despite progress in the past two decades, in Canada and elsewhere around the world, breast cancer continues to be a major health issue. It is the most common form of cancer affecting women and represents 22% of all new cancer diagnoses in women. It kills more than 5,000 Canadians every year and one in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.

Fortunately, many women have survived breast cancer, including Anna Capobianco of Montreal. “I’m a survivor, and I’m proud to be a speaker in the upcoming Allure Rendezvous. I want to draw on my experience to give hope to women and encourage them to adopt lifestyle habits such as healthy eating and food choices, regular exercise and good breast health habits, including breast self-exams. But, first and foremost, you have to enjoy life, laugh, relax, treat yourself well and share your joys,” said Ms. Capobianco.

Show your Allure
The National Bank’s Allure credit card was designed with women in mind. First, a percentage of the purchases is donated to a cause that affects them closely. In addition, they receive a 10% discount on all purchases made at the card’s retail partners, with more than 250 outlets, including San Francisco, Terra Nostra, La Vie en Rose, Aqua, marie claire boutiques, CF, Émotions and Epiderma. Other partners also offer attractive promotions. To remind women they are supporting the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation, the Allure MasterCard sports the pink ribbon, the Foundation’s logo.

About the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation
The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation’s mission is to fund breast cancer research, to promote breast health through education and awareness and to offer support for people affected by the disease. Over the past 13 years, the organization has given nearly $10 million to Quebec research teams and has created the Sérénité support program and the Harmonie program, which raises awareness about healthy breast practices and early detection methods such as mammograms and ultrasounds. To learn more, please visit the Web site at www.rubanrose.org.

About National Bank of Canada
National Bank of Canada is an integrated group which provides comprehensive financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations in its core market, while offering specialized services to its clients elsewhere in the world. The National Bank offers a full array of banking services, including retail, corporate and investment banking. It is an active player on international capital markets and, through its subsidiaries, is involved in securities brokerage, insurance and wealth management as well as mutual fund and retirement plan management. National Bank has more than $130 billion in assets and, together with its subsidiaries, employs 16,852 people. The Bank’s securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA:TSX). For more information, visit the Bank’s website at www.nbc.ca.

A photo is available. To obtain a copy, please contact the undersigned.

Information (The phone number below is exclusively for journalists and other media representatives):

Denis Dubé
Director, Public Relations
National Bank
514-394-8644