TORONTO, ON - The Canadian International Council (CIC) holds its first fundraising dinner this evening at a gala event in Toronto hosted by Jim Balsillie and Blake Goldring. The CIC is a newly formed non-partisan, nation-wide institution supporting a Canadian foreign policy network.

Funds raised at this evening's event support a roster of CIC fellowships, a program that will install research fellows working on foreign policy issues in major universities and research institutions across the country. The dinner also celebrates Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as "Globalist of the Year."

"The support we've received from private individuals and the Canadian business community is truly remarkable," said Jim Balsillie, chairman of the CIC. "The funds raised are essential for the CIC to fulfill its mandate as a world-class research institution."

Fellowship Level supporters that have pledged $100,000 to date are: AGF Management Limited; Barrick Gold Corporation; Bennett Jones LLP; BMO Financial Group; Jarislowsky Fraser Limited; John and Gail MacNaughton; Magna International Inc.; Marsh Canada Limited; Power Corporation of Canada; RBC Financial Group; Sandra and Joseph Rotman; Scotiabank Group; Sobey's Inc.; Sun Life Financial Inc.; TD Bank Financial Group and The Jim Pattison Group.

Gold Level supporters pledging $10,000 include: Bombardier Aerospace; Borden Ladner Gervais LLP; Canon Canada; CIBC; Deloitte & Touche LLP; Fidelity Investments Canada; Gluskin, Sheff + Associates Inc.; McMillan Binch Mendelsohn LLP; National Bank Financial and the Mosaic Institute.

Memberships allow the Council to create coordinated research programs among universities and think tanks across the country on global issues that matter most to Canadians. Corporations, foundations or private donors who fund the annual $100,000 fellowships are allotted a position in the CIC Senate, a group charged with prioritizing research areas for the coming year.

The Council's goal, led by its Senate, is to enhance participation of Canadian businesses and individuals and provide informed advice to policymakers through high quality research.

The Canadian International Council (CIC) is a non-partisan, nation-wide institution supporting a Canadian foreign policy network that crosses academic disciplines, policy directives, and commercial sectors to advance research and dialogue on the most pressing Canadian foreign policy issues. Privately funded by several major high profile donors, the CIC fellowship program will install research fellows in major universities and research institutions across the country, operating along the premise that applying expert and fact-based research to complex issues is the essential foundation for effective policy-making.

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