March 23, 2017 – Play On! Canada is thrilled to announce the return of Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On! outdoor tournament, travelling to a total of 14 cities this summer across Canada.
Play On! — independently managed by non-profit organization Play On! Canada and promotionally supported by Sportsnet and Hockey Night in Canada — is a uniquely Canadian street hockey tournament and festival founded in 2002 by Western University’s Ivey MBA Scott Hill. Attracting hundreds of thousands of Canadians annually coast to coast, Play On! will visit the following centres from May 6th to June 25th:
Western Tour Eastern Tour
Kelowna, May 6-7 Canada’s Wonderland, May 6-7
Richmond, May 13-14 Hamilton, May 13-14
Saskatoon, May 20-21 London, May 20-21
Winnipeg, May 27-28 Ottawa, June 3-4
Edmonton, June 3-4 Mississauga, June 10-11
Calgary, June 10-11 Halifax, June 17-18
Coquitlam, June 17-18 Mount Pearl, June 24-25
“What originally began as a labour of love has grown into a movement,” says Hill, who continues as National Director. “It not only filled a void for Canadians’ love of street hockey, but has ultimately become a manifestation of national unity and identity.” Of this year’s event, Hill says, “We feel fortunate to be able to expand the program again in 2017, help celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary nationwide, and offer a gathering place for individuals and communities to demonstrate their talents and enthusiasm, especially now that street hockey is ‘legal’ again in many cities.”
Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On! captures the spirit of fun in sport, providing access and opportunity for anyone to play street hockey in a highly-organized setting. Supported by families and friends, many of the more than 5,000 self-selected teams of four to nine players, annually plan their schedules around Play On!, often travelling great distances to experience the competition, festival atmosphere, hospitality, restaurants, retail, and entertainment on-offer at each venue — all, of course, during the excitement of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
As a hockey event, Play On! is not without its connections to professional players. Connor McDavid - one of the more than 70 current NHL players who has participated in Play On! — recently shared that some of his fondest memories were of playing street hockey. Ottawa 2016 Champion and Boston Bruins’ star Ryan Spooner recently called the tournament a “truly one-of-a-kind event that I always look forward to.” Jamie Lee Rattray, Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) player and member of Canada’s Women’s National Team, described the tournament as “literally the best weekend ever.”
Perhaps even more interesting is that more than 50% of Play On! participants have historically not played ice hockey, including eight members of the Montreal Red Lite, the reigning men’s national street hockey champions. Each competition includes categories for individuals or teams of any skill level, including newcomers to Canada who have never picked up a stick. Anyone can create their own team then choose one of 50 separate boys, girls, men and women’s divisions in which to play. The event also includes a Corporate division, with proceeds donated to local chapters of Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada. Championship medals, apparel, and other prizes are awarded to winners in all divisions.
Play On! is nationally sponsored by Booster Juice, Sportsnet, and VIA Rail, and has additional partnerships with JVCKenwood, Gongshow Gear, TimberMart, Mylec, Driving Force, and the CWHL; official national charitable partners are Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada and Canadian Blood Services. Additional partnership and sponsorship opportunities are still available for a limited time.
Registration is now open (www.playon.ca) and until each event is full. However, space is limited and several cities have historically sold out before the registration deadline (Monday before each tournament). Hundreds of volunteer and officiating opportunities are also available; those interested may apply at the aforementioned website.
For more information: