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BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Canalside announce multiyear partnership

by jmaloni


Mon, Dec 8th 2014 04:50 pm

BCBS named official health plan of four-season waterfront venue

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and Canalside today announced a multiyear partnership. The three-year agreement establishes BlueCross BlueShield as the official health plan of Canalside, a four-season regional destination and entertainment district occupying 21 acres.

The partnership is centered on a number of initiatives and events held at the revitalized waterfront destination, including presenting sponsorship of "The Ice at Canalside" - open-air ice skating and other ice activities on the historically aligned canals. During the summer months, the company will be the exclusive sponsor of the "Canalside Summer Fitness Series," a 10-week series of weekly fitness classes including Zumba, yoga, Pilates and more.

"As a Buffalo-headquartered company, located only a stone's throw from Canalside, we've witnessed the development of the waterfront for seven years," said Dave Anderson, president and CEO, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. "We are proud to be a founding-partner in Canalside and offer the community and visitors a unique location for healthy and engaging events."

More than 1 million individuals visited Canalside in 2014. This agreement ensures BlueCross BlueShield will be present and visible at what is quickly becoming the healthiest public venue outside of the Buffalo Olmsted Park System, which the health insurer also supports.

"Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. is thrilled to partner with BlueCross BlueShield to provide visitors to The Ice at Canalside with a unique winter experience," said ECHDC President Tom Dee. "With ice skating, curling, pond hockey, broomball and more, this partnership will provide Western New Yorkers and our friends with fun and fitness on the waterfront."

BlueCross BlueShield served as the exclusive sponsor of Zumba at Canalside throughout this past summer, which drew 23,350 individuals to participate in these weekly free fitness events.

"BlueCross BlueShield has a long history of investing in our community in ways that improve the overall health and wellness of the region," Anderson said. "Our company mantra, 'Healthy Changes Everything,' is not just a slogan. It's our passionate commitment to our members and our community to support a healthier life."

The multiyear partnership will kick off Friday, Dec. 18, at "The Ice at Canalside Grand Opening & Holiday Celebration" presented by BlueCross BlueShield. BlueCross BlueShield will participate in the ceremony with local skater and former U.S. international Carly Donowick representing the health plan in a two-minute skate to Visit Buffalo Niagara and Paget Films "Let It Snow: A Buffalo 'Frozen' Parody." The viral music video was created as a tribute to the resiliency of Buffalo through the recent winter storm "Knife."

Open public ice skating will be held throughout the winter season at Canalside. BlueCross BlueShield members receive a $1 discount on each open-skate admission and skate rental by showing their membership card.

For regular updates on BlueCross BlueShield events taking place at Canalside, individuals can follow BCBS of WNY on Facebook and Twitter.

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