News releases

Snow Leopard Sightings…in Canada - Canadian Tourism Commission’s Connecting with Canadians Program

Vancouver, BC, July 24, 2009 – The Snow Leopard has landed.

Before Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, aka the “Snow Leopard from Ghana” steals the show at the 2010 Winter Games as the sole member of the Ghanaian Olympic team, he’ll be Connecting with Canadians in Whistler and Quebec this week.

Kwame began his remarkable uphill climb while working at an indoor ski dome in the U.K. where he became hooked on downhill. After many years of training and competing in world cup slalom and giant slalom events, Kwame is preparing for his first Olympic competition in Whistler.

This week in Whistler and Québec there will be Snow Leopard sightings as Kwame and his family get their first glimpse of the snow-peaked Coast Mountain Range, then a chance to savour the flavours of Quebec.

Through the Connecting with Canadians program, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) and its tourism partners are sending elite international athletes and their families to Canada. The families and athletes have the chance to meet locals, have adventures and make memories before the competitors return in February to make Olympic history. The CTC will share their experiences with key media markets around the world.

“We are very pleased that Kwame and his family have arrived to experience the beauty of Whistler and Quebec for themselves,” said Michele McKenzie, president and CEO of the CTC. “Seeing Canada through their eyes is a way to share our tourism message with the world and just one more way the 2010 Winter Games are helping to put the spotlight on Canada.”

“The support of my family as I have trained for the Winter Games has been invaluable and I am really pleased to share this experience with them,” said Kwame. “I am so happy to be here in Canada to see the place where I hope my Olympic dream will come true.”

“This trip to Canada is a truly momentous occasion for Kwame and his family, and we are very excited that they will be spending time in Whistler during their stay,” said Rod Harris, President and CEO, Tourism BC. “Tourism BC is proud to be a part of the Connecting with Canadians program that brings together athletes with locals and allows them engage in unique BC experiences before they return for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”

“We’re excited that Kwame and his family are getting a chance to see all that Whistler has to offer as a year-round resort,” said Arlene Schieven, Vice President of Marketing for Tourism Whistler. “Through the Connecting with Canadians program, countless people will get a glimpse of the summer experience in the Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Winter Games—from exploring Whistler’s pedestrian village and canoeing the local lakes, to biking along our many trails, experiencing one of our snow-covered glaciers and riding the new world-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.”

About the CTC
The CTC is Canada’s national tourism marketing organization. Our vision is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we advertise and market Canada in 12 countries around the world, conduct industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development. For weekly updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail.


Kwame “Snow Leopard” Bio
Video-on-demand and photo release available week of August 3


For further information, please contact:

Jitka Licenik
Corporate Communications Advisor / Conseillère en communications
Canadian Tourism Commission / Commission canadienne du tourisme
Tel/ Tél 604 638-2482
Fax/ Téléc 604 638-8438
licenik [dot] jitka [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca