Montreal -Winnipeg student Ashley Olson is the national grand prize winner of $2,000 taking top spot in the 2011 Canadian Securities Administrator's (CSA) Financial Fitness Challenge.

"I feel it is very important for youth to focus on saving and investing because it is an ability that will assist in achieving goals both in the short-term and the long-term," said Ashley Olson. "The contest encouraged me to think more about saving than spending and to consider investment options as well."

More than 9,000 Canadian youth took the challenge to become more "financially fit" by visiting the annual financial literacy contest's website at www.financialfitnesschallenge.ca This link will open in a new window. From February 15 to April 15, 2011, the Financial Fitness Challenge was open to youth across Canada to test their knowledge of personal finance concepts including saving and investing.

"Providing Canadian youth with tools to boost their financial literacy today will make it easier for them to plan and protect their financial futures," said Bill Rice, Chair of the CSA and Chair and CEO of the Alberta Securities Commission. "The CSA's annual contest is a good way to reach youth and we are pleased that so many young Canadians participate in the Challenge each year."

Thousands of visitors from across Canada explored the website's educational resources, used interactive tools and participated in online discussions. Four new entertaining and informative videos on budgeting, credit cards, investing and investment fraud were added to the site's list of resources and can also be viewed through YouTube.

Thirteen other provincial and territorial winners also demonstrated their financial savvy by participating in the Challenge and were awarded an Apple® iPad:

Provincial and territorial winners

  • Brogan Pratt (British Columbia)
  • Brittany Taylor (Alberta)
  • Corissa Ducharme (Saskatchewan)
  • Tyler Ibrahim (Manitoba)
  • Natalee Whelan (Ontario)
  • Joanie Lacroix (Québec)
  • Alyssa Bannister (New Brunswick)
  • Jennifer Tait (Nova Scotia)
  • Pierce Smith (Prince Edward Island)
  • Amber Dyke (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Trey Talbot (Northwest Territories)
  • Adam Jewis (Nunavut)
  • Shellby Fulton (Yukon)

The CSA increased youth engagement through social media tools including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter that allowed youth to share and discuss the Challenge with their Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

While the 2011 Financial Fitness Challenge contest period has ended, the Facebook and Twitter pages, videos, educational resources and interactive tools remain available year-round to youth and teachers who visit www.financialfitnesschallenge.ca This link will open in a new window. To see more of the CSA's free investor materials for people of all ages, visit www.securities-administrators.ca This link will open in a new window.

The CSA, the council of the securities regulators of Canada's provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets.

- 30 -

For more information:

Richard Gilhooney
British Columbia Securities Commission
604-899-6577

Lorinda Brinton
Alberta Securities Commission
403-297-2665

Sylvain Théberge
Autorité des marchés financiers
514-940-2176

Carolyn Shaw-Rimmington
Commission des valeurs mobilières de l'Ontario
416-593-2361

Ainsley Cunningham
Commission des valeurs mobilières
du Manitoba
204-945-4733

Wendy Connors-Beckett
Commission des valeurs mobilières
du Nouveau-Brunswick
506-643-7745

Natalie MacLellan
Nova Scotia Securities Commission
902-424-8586

Barbara Shourounis
Saskatchewan Financial Services Commission
306-787-5842

Linda Peters
Office of the Attorney General
Prince Edward Island
902-368-6288

Doug Connolly
Financial Services Regulation Div.
Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador
709-729-2594

Graham Lang
Registraire des valeurs mobilières
Yukon
867-667-5466

Louis Arki
Bureau des valeurs mobilières
Nunavut
867-975-6587

Donn MacDougall
Bureau des valeurs mobilières
Territoires du Nord-Ouest
867-920-8984