The fundraising efforts of the Hockey Canada Foundation are embodied in its three pillars: Enabling every Canadian to have access to hockey. Education of players, coaches and volunteers. Engaging Canadians with hockey's unique ability to promote the best aspects of Canada.
The Hockey Canada Foundation believes that every single Canadian – regardless of geography, gender, background or socio-economic status – should have access to the game, and it strives to remove any and all barriers that hinder that access.
Since 2007, the HCF has been running its Dreams Come True program in communities from coast to coast to coast. From Victoria to Charlottetown, the program has reached over a thousand kids who wanted to play hockey but were unable due to socio-economic challenges.
Providing new equipment and covering registration costs, as well as access to ice time and trained coaches, means that many from underprivileged communities get to experience Canada’s game first-hand.
And off the ice, Hockey Canada visits schools across the country to give new Canadians their first taste of hockey through floorball, a program funded by the Hockey Canada Foundation. Floorball is a fast and exciting form of the game that promotes end-to-end plays with quick transitions and fluid game play, and does not require athletes to wear any protective equipment.
As part of its role as the steward responsible for the growth and development of the game of hockey in Canada, it is critical that Hockey Canada provides appropriate education for sport leaders across the country. The HCF invests in the delivery of hundreds of Hockey Canada programs to make the game and the experience better for all participants.
Are you a coach? Hockey Canada educates and certifies volunteers to become coaches through the National Coaching Certification Program, building their tools and knowledge of the game so they can work more effectively with players.
Are you a parent? In partnership with Respect Group and the Respect in Sport Parent Program, Hockey Canada assists parents in setting reasonable expectations for their child, for the game, and for the volunteers who make it happen.
Are you a player? The Initiation Program is designed to make a child’s first contact with hockey a safe and positive experience in an atmosphere of fun and fair play. And with Canada’s success on the international stage, female hockey has grown by leaps and bounds. The Guide to Female Hockey in Canada helps young girls realize their dream of being part of our beloved hockey legacy.
Hockey is more than just a game. It is part of the fabric of Canada, part of what shapes us as Canadians. The Hockey Canada Foundation believes the game has the ability to promote our country, and the best things about it. Canadians have a unique connection to hockey, and what it can do to bring us together.
Fred Sasakamoose knows the power of the game. The first indigenous player to reach the NHL, Saskakamoose played 11 games with the Chicago Blackhawks in the winter and spring of 1954. But his lasting legacy isn’t what he did on the ice. He is an icon in the First Nations community and continues to help aboriginal children through sport, using his celebrity to help others strive for the same opportunities he had.
So does Joé Juneau. A 13-year NHL veteran and 1992 Olympian, Juneau – now an HCF board member – has worked since 2006 to develop the Nunavik Youth Hockey Development Program, providing a busy and positive learning environment for kids to be part of while promoting important life skills and healthy lifestyles using a tool Inuit youth are passionate about – hockey.
And those are just two of the more notable examples. Communities in every corner of the country have people who have built their lives around the game, for the sole purpose of building a better game, building a better community, and building better Canadians.