This year, for the fifth time, proceeds from the Hockey Canada Foundation Celebrity Classic, the foundation’s largest annual fundraiser, will be donated to the host community for projects that promote accessibility to minor hockey, as well as recruitment and retention, ensuring as many Canadians as possible are able to be a part of Canada’s game.
Including this year’s donation, the Hockey Canada Foundation and its partners have contributed more than $2.25 million to various projects in five Canadian communities, allowing the game to continue to grow and prosper.
2013 – Calgary, Alta. - $500,000
A donation of $250,000 will be made by the Hockey Canada Foundation to Hockey Alberta, which will use the funds to assist families affected by June’s catastrophic floods in southern Alberta. The funds will be allocated to local minor hockey associations to offset the costs of minor hockey registration fees, keeping players who had planned to play during the 2013-14 season involved in the game. In addition, another $250,000 will go to KidSport Calgary, which aims to make sports such as hockey more affordable for underprivileged youth.
2012 – Toronto, Ont. - $305,000
The Hockey Canada Foundation partnered with the MLSE Team Up Foundation with a focus on the outdoor rink in Regent Park, as part of a larger revitalization project focused on one of Toronto’s most underserviced urban communities. The Regent Park rink initiative has benefitted those in the inner city of Toronto, providing the underprivileged with accessibility to a safe and well-maintained environment to participate, while also giving new Canadian families eager for their first introduction to the game of hockey a backyard venue.
2011 – Ottawa, Ont. – $420,000
The Hockey Canada Foundation, Sens Foundation and City of Ottawa partnered to construct the Rink of Dreams at Marion Dewar Plaza at Ottawa City Hall. The outdoor rink was completed in time for development activities during the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend, and was a centrepiece when the nation’s capital hosted the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship. It is open for skating between November and March, giving minor hockey players more accessibility to the game, and serves as a community space during the spring and summer months.
2010 – Edmonton, Alta. - $630,000
Thanks to the success of the 2010 Celebrity Classic, which honoured Canada’s men’s and women’s hockey gold medallists from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, the Hockey Canada Foundation is very close to finalizing the allocations of $400,000 into a City of Edmonton recreation centre, which will support one of the two rinks in the centre, and $230,000 to the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, a total which will be matched by the EOCF, to two community outdoor rinks in the Beverly community of Edmonton.
2009 – Montreal, Que. – $440,000
Inaugurated in January 2011, the outdoor rink in Willibrord Park in the Verdun borough of Montreal was the third outdoor multipurpose community rink constructed as part of the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation’s BLEU BLANC BOUGE program, this one with a contribution from the Hockey Canada Foundation. The skating season at the rink lasts from the end of November until mid-March, while other sporting activities, including soccer and in-line hockey, take over for the spring, summer and fall months.
In addition to legacy funding, other proceeds from the event will go toward Hockey Canada Foundation programming that promotes accessibility and diversity in the sport, as well as other positive values such as health and wellness, hockey heritage and skill development, from the grassroots level to Canada’s Olympic teams.
The Hockey Canada Foundation Celebrity Classic, which celebrates the season’s world championship-winning national teams while also raising funds for a local minor hockey legacy program and minor hockey programs across the country, has raised a total of more than $4 million in its first nine years.