As Hockey Canada, its branches, councils and members gather for the Winter Congress in the nation’s capital, it is important we take this opportunity not only to reflect, but especially to look to the future.
In recent months, Hockey Canada has introduced a new president and chief executive officer, and undergone governance changes that will keep the organization moving in the right direction, and help it remain a world sport leader.
On the ice and off, we have found considerable success, but we will not rest on our laurels. We continue to seek ways to grow the game through recruitment, event management, and marketing and participant development initiatives at all ages.
Across the country, in arenas from Port Alberni, B.C., to Baker Lake, Nunavut, to Buchans, N.L., hockey is as much a part of Canadian culture as ever. We thank the branches and minor hockey associations who help keep our game vibrant from coast to coast to coast.
As Hockey Canada celebrates 100 years, it is important we remember those who helped the game reach new heights. From staff to volunteers to players, coaches and officials, every single person involved in our game, and, in fact, every person who has ever been involved is a part of our 100th anniversary. We are the lucky ones; we have inherited a strong game, and a strong organization, and we look forward to passing Canada’s game on to a new generation.
Hockey in Canada is a sport, a business, and part of our culture and heritage, but it is also about the people who come to our game and the positive relationships we create, nurture and maintain. We must never forget that.
As my time as chairman comes to an end, I thank you for what you have done for our game, for what you will do in the future, and for making Hockey Canada the envy of the hockey world.
This is an exciting time for me as I welcome delegates from across the country to my first annual general meeting as president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. As I have said from Day 1 on the job, I am thrilled to lead this organization and the amazing people who are part of it.
As I look towards the future of Hockey Canada, I cannot help but be excited.
The passion our country has for hockey is something that never ceases to amaze me, and as I have travelled extensively throughout Canada, meeting Canadians who make hockey happen, I am energized by their love of the game, and by their hopes for the future of Canadian hockey.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our game, and I wanted to thank the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who tirelessly give their time every season to make sure our game continues to grow and prosper. Whether it is at the IIHF World Junior Championship or with a minor hockey association, the hours given for the betterment of our game are invaluable and crucial to hockey’s continued growth.
To the branches and minor hockey associations across the country, thank you for your unending support. Nothing Hockey Canada does, from national and international events to skill development camps, safety initiatives and countless other programs, would be possible without your time and effort.
We are also extremely grateful for the support received from our sponsors, licensees, and funding partners, who have brought value to Hockey Canada events, making them premier sporting attractions in Canada.
Hockey Canada strives to be the best sport organization possible. We will continue to look to the future; we need to ensure the game is as strong, if not stronger, for the next generation. We thank you for helping to push the boundaries and grow the game, and look forward to setting the bar even higher.