Press Releases

The National Bank Challenge – Hiking the Chic-Chocs Bank employees raise more than $30,000 for the Ernest-Simard Foundation

Rimouski, 25 September 2012 -

The first National Bank Challenge – Hiking the Chic-Chocs, which took place in the parc national de la Gaspésie from September 20 to 22, was a resounding success. About 100 National Bank employees from the Lower St. Lawrence–Gaspé–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region embarked on either a one- or three-day mountain trek to raise more than $30,000 for the Ernest-Simard Foundation.

The event’s honorary chairman, Éric Bujold, President – Private Wealth 1859 at National Bank, and Louis Khalil, founder and president of the Ernest-Simard Foundation and Vice-President of National Bank Financial in Rimouski, both participated in the three-day, 43 km hike. All the hikers met up at the Gîte du Mont-Albert where an official celebration was held to mark the end of this first fundraising activity of its kind.

“This remarkable initiative by the region’s employees is the result of wonderful collaboration across all Bank sectors. Over these three days, I saw how proud all the participants were to be a part of this amazing experience and to show their commitment to the region’s young people by supporting the Ernest-Simard Foundation,” said Éric Bujold.

“I am delighted with how enthusiastically my colleagues participated and their willingness to step out of their comfort zone to take part in this challenge. As president of the Ernest-Simard Foundation, I am very pleased to receive these donations on behalf of underprivileged children in the Lower St. Lawrence–Gaspé region. I am extremely grateful to Mr. Bujold and the numerous donors and volunteers for their contribution,” said Louis Khalil.

The amounts collected by the National Bank employees will help the Ernest-Simard Foundation pursue its mission of providing health and education-related assistance to underprivileged children. Since it was created in 1999, the Foundation has made a difference in the lives of many young people and families through its support programs. The Bank is extremely proud to support this organization that is dedicated to the well-being of the community.

Every year, through its donations and sponsorships program and the initiatives of its employees, National Bank helps support hundreds of organizations across Canada. It focuses primarily on four main areas of activity – health, education, arts and culture, and community outreach – with the goal of generating positive benefits for communities. To find out more about National Bank’s involvement in the community, consult its Social Responsibility Report at

About National Bank of Canada
With $180 billion in assets as at July 31, 2012, National Bank of Canada (, together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada’s leading integrated financial groups, and was named among the five strongest banks in the world by Bloomberg Markets. The Bank has more than 20,000 employees and is widely recognized as a top employer. Its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). Follow the Bank’s activities via social media and learn more about its extensive community involvement at and

Information (The telephone number provided below is for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives.):

Joan Beauchamp
Senior Advisor – Public Affairs
National Bank
Tel.: 514-394-6500