Canadian Olympic Foundation Announces Gift from John Bitove and Family to Support Indigenous Athletes – Team Canada

TORONTO (March 14, 2023) – The Canadian Olympic Foundation is pleased to announce a $250,000 donation from John Bitove and his family to establish the Bitove Family Diversity Programs.

Through this gift, the foundation created the Bitove Indigenous Awards, an annual scholarship program in support of Team Canada’s indigenous athletes. Each year, five athletes are awarded $5,000 each to help cover financial costs for training and competition. In addition, this gift enables the Bitove Diversity Internships, awarded annually to five candidates from underrepresented groups, to gain work experience with the Canadian Olympic Committee.

“I am very pleased to announce this generous gift from John Bitove and his family,” said Jacqueline Ryan, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Olympic Foundation and Chief Brand and Commercial Officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “John is passionate about our mission to transform Canada through the power of sport. This inspiring donation will help us activate the Team Canada Impact Agenda and build a safe, inclusive and accessible sports system for more athletes across the country.”

Last year, the COC unveiled the Team Canada Impact Agenda, a commitment to make sport safe, inclusive and accessible so more young people can play and stay in sport. These awards are part of that commitment and recognize the need to lead a more diverse and inclusive Team Canada to podium success.

“I’ve spent much of my professional life in sport and I never cease to be amazed at how it can bring communities and our country together,” Bitove said. “My family and I hope these awards will allow more people to experience the power of sport and achieve their Olympic dreams.”

Bitove is Chairman of Obelysk, a diversified holding company that invests in and operates companies. In 1993 he founded the Toronto Raptors Basketball Club. In addition to overseeing several other philanthropic initiatives, Bitove currently sits on the board of directors of the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

The Canadian Olympic Foundation began awarding Bitove Indigenous Awards in 2021 and the grant has been received by 10 athletes so far. These include:

Trinity Ellis (luge)
Amiel Flett-Brown (cycling)
Brigette Lacquette (ice hockey)
Jocelyne Larocque (Hockey)

Charles-Étienne Chrétien (cycling)
Justina Di Stasio (wrestling)
Margo Erlam (diving)
Liam Gil (Snowboard)
City of Alexandria (wrestling)
Eden Wilson (Bob)

To learn more about the Team Canada Impact Agenda, visit



Peter Salzman
Senior Manager, Public Relations
C: 647-382-6986
E: [email protected]

Thomas Hall
Director, Communications and Public Relations
C: 514-709-1054
E: [email protected]

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