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Press release from CNW Group

Celebrating volunteerism and citizen engagement at Luminato

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Celebrating volunteerism and citizen engagement at Luminato08:00 EDT Thursday, June 14, 2012TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC   SEHK:945  TORONTO, June 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Today Manulife Financial celebrates volunteering and citizen engagement at Luminato 6, Toronto's Festival of arts and creativity.As one of the preeminent arts festivals in North America, Luminato has commissioned over 50 new works of art and featured 6,500 artists from over 35 countries. New this year, the festival will host a citizenship ceremony featuring unique roundtable discussions led by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC). The discussions connect new citizens with community volunteers to help reflect upon what it means to be an active and engaged citizen."We have been proud supporters of Luminato for many years," remarked Nicole Boivin, Senior Vice President and Chief Branding and Communications Officer for Manulife Financial. "At Manulife we believe that every volunteer, every volunteer act and every hour given back is an investment in the future of all Canadians. It takes many volunteers to make a festival like this successful and today we are at Luminato to promote and celebrate individuals who make a difference by investing their time and talent."Individuals can visit Manulife Financial's Volunteer Hub at the festival to learn more about the importance of volunteering and share their own volunteer story. They can also pledge volunteer hours for the Drive to 125 initiative - a social-cause campaign Manulife Financial is promoting on the Get Volunteering page on Facebook. As part of Drive to 125, one lucky organization will win $10,000 as each person who makes a pledge will have their name entered into a special draw and the winner chooses a deserving charity.During the roundtable discussions at the citizenship ceremony, Manulife Financial executives will join other community leaders as hosts, guiding conversations about citizenship, belonging and community engagement."The ICC is excited to bring the magic of our Building Citizenship program to Luminato," said Gillian Hewitt Smith, Institute for Canadian Citizenship's Executive Director and CEO. "Our roundtable discussions have the ability to bring together people from many different walks of life to talk about citizenship, a topic that's not usually part of one's daily conversation. It's an amazing experience for all involved, and I can't think of a better way to welcome new Canadian citizens into their community.""We are thrilled to have the opportunity to inspire new Canadians," added Ms. Boivin. "Our country welcomes more than 170,000 new citizens each year and we must work together to ensure they feel a part of their community and get involved in causes that matter to them."To learn more about the Luminato Festival visit www.luminato.com. For more information about the ICC visit www.icc-icc.ca. And, to pledge volunteer hours for Drive to 125 visit www.facebook.com/GetVolunteeringAbout Manulife's commitment to volunteerismPreparing for the future is something Manulife gets behind every day. The Manulife Volunteer Commitment focuses on helping Canadians build a better future on three important levels: by inspiring Canadians to want to get involved and give back; by supporting initiatives that help Canadians match their unique skills and talents with meaningful volunteer opportunities; and by engaging Canadians in the idea of volunteerism and its value to the future of our country.  To learn more, visit www.manulife.ca or Get Volunteering on Facebook.About Manulife Financial Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, we celebrate 125 years of providing clients strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$512 billion (US$512 billion) as at March 31, 2012. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.For further information: Media contact:  Tracy Van Kalsbeek Public Relations Consultant  Manulife Financial Canadian Division 519-594-4697 tracy_vankalsbeek@manulife.com