November 1, 2002

Canadian “sleuths” chosen for “MISSION MINI” team

Whitby, Ontario – MINI Canada announced the three amateur sleuths selected to join Canadian Olympian Marc Gagnon as part of Canada’s MISSION MINI team. Christine Atallah (Montreal), Raymond Ludwin (Toronto) and Tosh Fujito (Vancouver) will join Gagnon in Barcelona, Spain from November 7 –
11, 2002 for MISSION MINI. MISSION MINI began as a mystery story, written by best-selling author Val McDermid, about artwork stolen from a Barcelona gallery. The story begins as six actual (and very valuable) masterpieces, created by Peter Halley, are stolen from a contemporary gallery in the Spanish metropolis of Barcelona.

The fictional story continues as private investigator, Sam Cooper, is
hired to solve the mystery. Along the way he discovers he needs assistance —
and here is where reality comes in… To help find the stolen art, Sam called
upon the general public — real people from all over the world — to join him
in Barcelona to search for clues. In November, the fictional story will have a
real life ending as 80 amateur sleuths from 17 countries, including Canada,
compete to solve the crime and recover the stolen art.

“We had an incredible response to MISSION MINI in Canada,” explains
Manfred Braunl, National Marketing Manager, BMW Group Canada. “More than 4000
Canadians entered either by mail, at MINI retail centres, or online at
for a chance to win a spot on Canada’s MISSION MINI team.”

It was only after a careful selection process that involved a combination
of a random draw and skill-testing questions about the MISSION MINI case and
the MINI car itself that MINI Canada selected Atallah, Ludwin and Fujito to
accompany Gagnon to Spain.

“I’m thrilled to be leading such a strong group of Canadians to
Barcelona,” says Marc Gagnon. “I love to compete, but I always plan to win. So
we are heading over to Barcelona to do exactly that!”

To assist in the investigation, each team will be equipped with a MINI
Cooper S identified with its national flag on the roof. As a special added
feature, the car will be equipped with the MINI Personal Digital Assistant
(MINI PDA) to assist the team in navigating the streets of Barcelona, sharing
information and communicating with other teams.

Canadians can learn more about the MISSION MINI case and follow details
of the investigation on the interactive website.

Connect with