And the Canadian Bachelor is...

Following weeks of viewer excitement and fervent speculation, Citytv announced today that 28-year-old CFL wide receiver Brad Smith is now the country’s most eligible bachelor, and will star as ‘the bachelor’ on The Bachelor Canada, premiering this fall on Citytv.

The highly-anticipated announcement was made earlier this morning on Breakfast Television, Rogers Radio stations across the country, and BachelorCanada.ca.

Smith, who grew up in small-town Hudson, QC, graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, and went on to enjoy a successful career as a wide receiver with the Montreal Alouettes (2007), Toronto Argonauts (2007-2009), and Edmonton Eskimos (2010-2011).

Currently a free agent, Smith is taking time off from sports to find true love. After living out his childhood dream on the football field, the charismatic bachelor is ready to settle down and find his soulmate, taking Canada along on his romantic journey.

“I’m extremely honoured to be chosen as Canada’s first bachelor. I take this experience very seriously, and I truly believe in the process,” said Brad Smith. “I can’t wait to meet all the wonderful Canadian women who have put their lives on hold to experience all of this with me. I hope I can live up to their expectations, as I know they’ll absolutely exceed mine.”

Driven, confident, candid and comfortable in his own skin, Smith, who now makes Toronto his home, is looking to find the right woman who will complement both his fun-loving personality and active lifestyle. He is attracted to women who are independent, intelligent, and just as confident in a ponytail, sweatpants and sweatshirt as they are all dressed up for a night out on the town.

“Brad is the full package – a quintessentially Canadian, down-to-earth man,” said Claire Freeland, Director of Original Programming, Rogers Media, and Executive Producer of The Bachelor Canada. “He is completely committed to this experience and in it for the right reasons. It’s Canada’s turn to find love with The Bachelor Canada and we could not have hoped for a more well-rounded and genuine person to kick off the first season.”

Off the football field, Smith values time with his family and friends more than anything, and looks up to his father, the Honourable Senator Larry Smith – former CFL Commissioner and former President and CEO of the Montreal Alouettes – as both a leader and a role model. His parents’ loving and committed relationship is an inspiration to him, as they prepare to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this year.

Footage of this morning’s bachelor reveal on Breakfast Television will be available at BachelorCanada.ca. Additionally, beginningat 12 noon ET today, this clip will also be available via an embeddable customized video player. To obtain the embed code, please see media contacts at the end of this release.

With casting now complete, production on the nine-episode, original reality series is currently underway. The Bachelor Canada will premiere on Citytv this fall. Additional details, including the identity of host and the 25 bachelorettes, will be announced at a later date.

The Bachelor Canada is the Canadian version of the perennially successful The Bachelor franchise on Citytv and OMNI Television. The series is produced by multiple award-winning Force Four Entertainment. Sean De Vries is the supervising producer, Joyce Sawa is the series producer and John Ritchie serves as executive producer for the series. Claire Freeland is the director of original programming for Rogers Media and an executive producer of The Bachelor Canada.

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