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September 22, 2006


The Royal Canadian Legion Regina Branch 001 today confirmed that respected author and award-winning journalist Pamela Wallin will be the keynote speaker at a November event to celebrate the Legion's 80th anniversary in Canada.

"As the daughter of a Legionnaire, and witnessing the sacrifice our soldiers continue to make today, it is more important than ever to mark this anniversary," stated Ms. Wallin from her office in New York City.

At the news conference, the Legion also announced that SaskEnergy has agreed to be the title sponsor for the event, which will help raise funds to preserve the Legion's historic home at 1820 Cornwall Street in Regina.

The SaskEnergy "Night to Remember" Royal Canadian Legion Branch 001 80th Anniversary Gala will take place at Queensbury Centre in Regina on the evening of November 2. In addition to featuring Pamela Wallin as keynote speaker, other entertainment will include Saskatchewan artists Eileen Laverty, Marny Duncan Cary, La Raquettes รก Claquettes, the Juventus Youth Choir, and Canadian Idol finalist Tyler Lewis.

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be CBC Radio's Shelagh Rogers, host of the national program Sounds Like Canada. CBC will be recording the event for broadcast as the Sounds Like Canada Remembrance Day special on November 10th. As Ms. Rogers put it, "So much of our history is tied up with the Legions across the country. I can't think of our communities without these vital organizations and halls - for all generations."

"With Pamela Wallin coming to Regina to support the Legion, November 2 will definitely be a 'Night to Remember,'" said SaskEnergy President and CEO, Doug Kelln. "SaskEnergy is proud to be the title sponsor of an event that will honour the veterans who have done so much to preserve the freedom all of us in Canada enjoy today."

When the Royal Canadian Legion was formed in 1926, the first branch in all of Canada to receive its charter was the one in Regina - Legion Branch 001. Since 1947, Legion Branch 001 has been based in its historic building at 1820 Cornwall Street - a building that was constructed as a lasting memorial to the men and women of Saskatchewan who gave their lives for our country.

Working out of this building, Legion Branch 001 has been an active part of the Regina community for decades, explained Harold Hague, past-president of the branch.

"In addition to helping improve veterans' care and services, the Legion organizes and conducts Remembrance Day ceremonies each year and maintains more than 3,000 war graves in the veterans' sections of local cemeteries," he said. "Over the years, we have also provided major financial support to create the YWCA, helped establish the Douglas Park Track & Field Facility, and have contributed millions of dollars to other organizations such as the United Way, Telemiracle, the Heart & Stroke Foundation and the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre."

In recent years, however, the Branch has been faced with declining membership, primarily due to the passing of years. At the same time, they have been struggling to maintain their historic memorial building in light of declining revenues and rising operating costs.

Proceeds from the SaskEnergy "Night to Remember" 80th Anniversary gala event will help Legion Branch 001 create a building fund to maintain the operations of its historic building while plans are finalized to preserve the building and renovate it into a new performing arts centre in Regina's downtown. From its offices in the building, the branch will continue to run its annual Remembrance Day Poppy Campaign and provide much-needed services for veterans in Regina.

Through Regina Legion Branch 001's latest generous gift to the community, the historic Legion building will serve as a memorial to Saskatchewan's war dead, while remaining a vital and active part of the community as a new arts centre and museum.

Tickets for the SaskEnergy "Night to Remember" Royal Canadian Legion 80th Anniversary Gala are available by calling 777-9153. The public may also make donations to the Legion by calling this number.

"A Night To Remember" is presented with the generous support of SaskEnergy, Greystone Managed Investments, SaskPower, IPSCO, SGI, Conexus Credit Union, and the City of Regina.

For further information, please call:

Stephen King    
Communications Officer    
777-9763 (office)
535-5941 (cell)