TELUS Corporation
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TELUS Corporation

September 18, 2014 09:00 ET

A Salty Success Story-Vancouver Island Salt Co. Wins $100,000 Award From TELUS and Sets its Sights on Global Expansion

British Columbia-based small business wins "The Challenge" contest with environmentally friendly plans to take Canadian artisan sea salt global

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 18, 2014) - TELUS and the Globe and Mail today announced the winner of the fourth annual installment of The Challenge - the contest that help a Canadian small business overcome its greatest challenge with a $100,000 award from TELUS. After reviewing more than 1,000 entries and watching passionate pitches from the four finalists, the judges have selected Vancouver Island Salt Co. as this year's winner.

"The entries submitted this year by small businesses across Canada were exceptional and demonstrated tremendous innovation across a number of industries," said Suzanne Trusdale, vice-president of TELUS Small Business Solutions. "The four finalists all made very compelling cases; however Vancouver Island Salt Co. rose to the top with a proven product, a sustainable approach, and a thoughtful national and ultimately global strategy."

Based in Cobble Hill, British Columbia, Vancouver Island Salt Co. is Canada's leading producer of artisan sea salt. Recognized by chefs as one of the top artisan salt producers in the world, this small business hand harvests salt from the pristine shores of Vancouver Island and uses recycled cooking oil to fuel its dehydration process, making it one of the globe's greenest producers. The company believes the cold clear waters of Canada produce a world-class product and sees huge opportunity in U.S. and Asian markets, however they are challenged to keep up with demand in an environmentally sustainable manner. The $100,000 award will help them expand production capabilities and ramp-up marketing efforts to drive global demand for Canadian sea salt.

"We know we've got a great product, and it's amazing to be recognized by TELUS and The Globe and Mail as a great business. Two years ago we invested everything we had to avoid burning wood or fossil fuels, and this recognition is validation that going green was the right thing to do," said Vancouver Island Salt Co.'s founder Andrew Shepherd. "This award will not only enable us to double our production and find international distributors, it will help us build an industry for Canadian sea salt around the world."

Conducted in partnership with The Globe and Mail, The Challenge is an annual opportunity for Canada's brightest entrepreneurs to showcase their unique business ideas and share their biggest challenges. Between March and May of this year, more than 1,000 small businesses from across Canada submitted entries and earlier this summer, the four finalists pitched their plans for how they would use the $100,000 to a panel of small business experts in Toronto. The other finalists included 4Deep Inwater Imaging (Halifax, Nova Scotia), Imbibitive Technologies (Welland, Ontario) and Stathletes (St. Catherines, Ontario). This year, an additional ten regional prizes will be awarded during Small Business Month in October.

"The Challenge is more than a contest, it's become a platform for Canadian entrepreneurs to share their innovative ideas with the greater small business community," said Sean Stanleigh, Product Manager of The Globe and Mail's Report on Small Business. "We're proud to help champion the growth of small businesses in Canada and foster the entrepreneurial spirit that is driving the Canadian economy."

About TELUS

TELUS (TSX:T)(NYSE:TU) is Canada's fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $11.7 billion of annual revenue and 13.4 million customer connections, including 7.9 million wireless subscribers, 3.2 million wireline network access lines, 1.4 million Internet subscribers and 865,000 TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video, and is Canada's largest healthcare IT provider.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $350 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 5.4 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

About The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail, through its newspaper, magazine, online and mobile platforms, is Canada's foremost news media company. Each day, The Globe leads the national discussion by engaging Canadians in its award-winning coverage and analysis of news, politics, business and lifestyle. The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, founded in 1844, Report on Business, Canada's most influential business magazine, and globeandmail.com, the newspaper's online and mobile media hub, reach a combined 6 million readers every month. The Globe has received numerous journalism awards, including the international 2011 prize for General Excellence in Journalism from the Online News Associations, nine Michener Awards for Public Service Journalism, and more National Newspaper Awards than any other newspaper in Canada. The Globe and Mail is 85% owned by Woodbridge, the investment arm of the Thomson family, and Bell Canada (15%).

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