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Suncor Energy Inc.

01 oct. 2008 23h59 HE

Suncor Energy Foundation partners to build Fort McMurray performing arts centre

Suncor's $2.5 million investment will help meet combined need for school and community performance capacity

Fort McMurray, Alberta (October 1, 2008) — The Suncor Energy Foundation today announced a $2.5 million investment in a new performing arts centre in Fort McMurray that will meet both school and community needs.

Being developed in partnership with the Fort McMurray Catholic Board of Education and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, the new performing arts centre will be attached to the Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Timberlea, which is currently under construction. The centre is planned to include a 350-seat theatre, a professional dance studio and associated facilities.

"Suncor and our partners are approaching this project in an innovative way, helping find a solution that satisfies the needs of the Catholic Board of Education and those of the community," said Kirk Bailey, executive vice-president of Suncor's oil sands business. "As a member of the community, Suncor has a role in helping enhance the quality of life in Fort McMurray."

Fostering partnerships and meeting community needs are the driving forces behind the foundation's investment. The Catholic Board of Education in Fort McMurray offers an excellent fine arts curriculum but has had limited access to performance facilities. Similarly, there are few venues for community arts groups within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. This new shared-use facility allows for school use during the day and community use in the evenings and weekends.

"This is a win-win situation for the school district and the community, and takes advantage of the financial synergies that exist in building the Holy Trinity High School," said Kim Jenkins, superintendent of the Fort McMurray Catholic School District.

This partnership complements Suncor's investments in other performing arts initiatives in Fort McMurray, such as Alberta Ballet's Northern Tights Tour; Word Power, a tour of Aboriginal authors; Esther Honens International Piano Competition Foundation; and, Sing for Your Supper, a fundraising tour led by Canadian singer Tom Jackson.

"The Suncor Energy Foundation has been contributing to the community now for ten years," Bailey added. "I'm proud of the work Suncor has done and the leadership role we will continue to take."

The Suncor Energy Foundation, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2008, is a private, non-profit charitable foundation established by Suncor to receive Suncor's contributions and support registered Canadian charitable organizations. Its funding priorities are educational, environmental and community-based initiatives that primarily support Suncor's operating communities. By the end of 2008, the Foundation will have contributed more than $57 million to Canadian communities.

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For further information, contact:
Shawn Davis
(403) 920-8379