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August 1, 2012

Cranbrook (BC), High River (AB), August 1, 2012
– The largest sports and entertainment venue in the Kootenays has a new name. Today, the Cranbrook RecPlex became Western Financial Place, in recognition of the facility’s new sponsor, Western Financial Group (Western).

Western—an insurance and financial services company based in Alberta—won naming rights for the next 10 years and plans to work with the City of Cranbrook, the facility operators, and the company’s regional partner, Falkins Insurance Group (Falkins), to build on the longstanding tradition of providing the residents of Cranbrook and surrounding areas a first-class destination for entertainment, recreation, and community involvement.

The 10-year partnership agreement, including naming rights and other sponsorship and usage commitments, totals $750,000, including an advance of $500,000.

“We’re delighted to make a commitment of this magnitude to the people of Cranbrook and the Kootenays,” said Western Financial Group CEO Scott Tannas. “Our company is rooted in the values that westerners cherish, and we intend to be a part of this terrific city and region for a long time to come.”

“We’re thrilled to have the support of Western and Falkins in this venture and in our community,” said Cranbrook Mayor, Wayne Stetski. “They’re only going to enhance what we can do with the building and bring to the people throughout our city and region.”

Director of Leisure Services, Chris New added, “Securing a naming rights holder is an important step in ensuring long term success for our operations. Not only does the agreement provide financial support, but the relationship with Western Financial Group will open up more opportunities to promote the facility, develop community activities, and secure additional special events for our region.”

The complex, which opened October 13, 2000, has a lap and wave pool, racquet ball/squash courts, an ice rink that’s home to the Kootenay Ice Western Hockey League team, and hosts world class events, such as the upcoming Bob Dylan concert.

Western Financial Place signage will be unveiled on the building and ice later this summer, and the Falkins Group will participate in sponsorship and branding opportunities throughout the building. As part of its succession plan, Falkins has begun the process of joining Western Financial Group.

“For nine years, we’ve been planning for the next phase of our 115 year old business, and we’re excited to be partnering with Western because they share our values and culture and know what’s important to people here in the west,” said Bob McGill, CEO, Falkins.

Mayor Stetski said, “Planning first started for a community recreation center back in 1993. Seven years and 5,000 signatures later, that dream became a reality. Today, we take another bold step forward by solidifying Western Financial Place as a premier destination for the people of Cranbrook and everyone throughout the Kootenays.”

The City of Cranbrook, British Columbia is a thriving community with an exciting future and proud history. Cranbrook was founded in 1898 with the arrival of the Crowsnest Railway and has evolved into the supply centre of the East Kootenay region. 18,500 people live in the city, and nearly 80,000 live in the surrounding area. Cranbrook’s magnificent location and first-class facilities also attract thousands of visitors each year who participate in cultural and outdoor activities, such as live theatre, hockey, hiking, boating, fishing, cycling and snowmobiling.

Western Financial Group is a western Canada based, diversified, financial services company serving more than 600,000 customers. Founded in 1996 and headquartered in High River, Alberta, Western provides insurance, banking and investment products and services through more than 120 office locations, the Internet ( and other distribution channels. With a skilled team of approximately 1,500 employees, and backed by the strong resources of its owners, Western is committed to building the strongest financial services company in western Canada.

Western Financial Group is a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada.

Falkins Insurance Group has been providing peace of mind to its customers for 115 years. The brokerage began selling insurance in the Gold Rush town of Fort Steele, British Columbia in 1897 and relocated to Cranbrook in the early 1900s, where it continued to expand and meet the needs of the region for the following 100 years. Falkins Insurance is the largest general insurance brokerage in the Kootenays, with 11 offices and more than 100 professionals. The company sells personal, travel, auto, and commercial insurance and operates its own claims service.

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