Play On! Canada is pleased to announce the addition of 14 new members to its Advisory Board. These individuals represent a cross section of industry and government leaders dedicated to sustaining and growing Play On! Canada’s presence on the national and international stages. These new members will join previously announced advisory board participants W. Graeme Roustan and Rob Gialloreto.
“We have assembled a great team,” said Scott Hill, Founder and Director of the Play On! event series. “Each of these individuals brings with them outstanding character and a vast degree of expertise that will be beneficial to our future efforts. We express our gratitude for their willingness to serve.”
Designed to capture the spirit of fun in sport and encourage Canadians to 'play', the Play On! program provides access and opportunity for anyone to play street hockey in a highly organized and distinctively Canadian setting. With events held all across Canada each May and June, the program has attracted an estimated 2.5M Canadians to the 170 events held to date, and holds the Guinness World Record as the largest street hockey event in the world, surpassing the previous record holder by more than 20x. Play On! Canada is a not for profit organization with a mandate to “promote the importance of play by producing and supporting events that provide Canadians with positive introductory sport experiences.”
The fourteen new Play On! Canada Advisory Board Members are:
Christos Nikitopolous was instrumental in envisioning the future potential of the Play On! program in 2007 while serving as Director of Sports Partnerships at CBC. He is currently Head of Agency Development at Google and previously held leadership roles with Canada's Olympic Media Consortium, Shaw and Rogers. Ranked #30 in the 2011 Globe and Mail’s Sports Power 50, Christos is a graduate of The University of Western Ontario (Economics) and Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.
Matt Brown is a recent Play On! participant, but a long-time advocate of health and recreation programs for young Canadians, dating back to his days as a Senior Manager with the YMCA. Now, as the current Mayor of Canada’s 11th largest city, he continues to champion the City of London’s annual closure of nearly 1.5Km of its downtown city streets for Play On! in London - one of south western Ontario’s largest festivals.
Multiple Gemini Award-winning Executive Producer Joel Darling currently leads Rogers’ broadcast production of special events for the National Hockey League. He was previously the Executive Producer of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada and the Director of Production for CBC Sports. Joel has contributed meaningfully to the production of the seven national street hockey championships that have been broadcast (in whole or in part) to date.
Johnny Misley’s tremendous career in Canadian sport includes senior leadership roles within Hockey Canada (where he was part of 14 Gold Medal World and Olympic Championship teams), Own The Podium (where he prioritized investment strategies to help maximize Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic performances), and as President of Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Ontario Soccer, the largest Provincial Sport Organization in Canada.
Darren Fisher comes from an entrepreneurial family with a long history of commitment to civic participation. The former Deputy Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality, he has been personally active in working with many charities, schools, and athletic teams to help them achieve their goals. Darren currently serves as the Member of Parliament (Liberal) representing Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. His Private Member’s bill (C-238, championing environmental responsibility) received royal assent in his first Parliamentary session as an MP.
Colby Armstrong, current NHL Analyst for Sportsnet, played in the Western Hockey League for the Red Deer Rebels and in the National Hockey League for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Atlanta Thrashers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Montreal Canadians. The only known Play On! alumnus to have scored nine goals in one street hockey shift, Colby was born in Lloydminster but grew up and played his minor hockey in Saskatoon.
Cindy Chan is an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Department of Management at the University of Toronto, with cross appointment to the Rotman School of Management. Cindy's research focuses on social relationships, examining the role of experiences, emotions, and gifts in shaping relationships and consumer behavior. She completed her PhD at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Duane Snelgrove is currently Vice President of National Sales for Canadian Tire Corporation. His professional background includes Strategy and Merchandising roles for both the Loblaw's Group of Companies and for Rexall. Prior to his decision to jump full time into the retail industry, he worked in the strategy group for Accenture, one of the world's largest global management consulting firms. Duane holds HBA and MBA degrees from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.
After being a member of its Board of Directors since 2013, Cheryl Finn is the current Chair of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance. Cheryl has dedicated her life to her passion for sport, having gained experience in all areas of sports administration, event management and volunteer development. A ‘jack of all trades’ – Cheryl has had provincial and national experience in basketball, competitive swimming, synchronized swimming, volleyball, track and field, cross country running and tennis. She volunteers on numerous boards and organizations to demonstrate her love for sport and her deep belief in community involvement.
David Stewart is a Physician based in Lethbridge, Alberta. A gold medal winner in CIS Track & Field Competition for the University of Alberta Golden Bears, he completed his Medical Degree at the University of Calgary. An outdoors enthusiast who speaks Japanese, David has also completed numerous marathons and cycling competitions. Notwithstanding these accomplishments, he still says that officiating the 17&Under (“Enforcers”) division at a Play On! event in Halifax was one of his most challenging experiences.
Mike Butler is a marketing professional who heads up strategic partnerships for Kanetix Ltd., Canada’s largest digital customer acquisition platform for the insurance and financial service industries. Previously, Mike led JVCKENWOOD’s (Canadian) Marketing and Corporate communications department. He is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and a passionate Ottawa Senators Fan.
James Lamont, Principal at Lamont Communications, is a media relations professional who’s held prominent media, communications, and public relations positions with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and several of Canada’s top PR agencies. He now provides strategic counsel to some of Canada’s most distinguished brands and represents several high profile Olympic and professional athletes. He completed his undergraduate degree at Mount Allison University and a Post-Graduate Sports Administration Diploma Program at Durham College.
Kelly McCauley is a current Member of Parliament (Conservative) representing Edmonton West. Prior to entering politics, Mr. McCauley spent more than 30 years managing hotels and convention centres from Victoria to St. John’s. During that time, he served as President of the Eldercare Foundation, Vancouver Island’s largest seniors’ hospital foundation, Vice President of the Burnaby Board of Trade, and Vice Chair of the Avalon Convention and Visitors Bureau. Upon moving to Edmonton, he was a founding co-chair of the Edmonton Destination Marketing Hotels Association, the organization that brought Red Bull Crashed Ice and the Tour of Alberta to the Province.
Jean-Michel Picher is a Political events and communication professional who holds both MBA and LLB degrees. He has been an Events Producer and Political Strategist for Barrack Obama, Bernie Sanders, John Kerry, Ken Dryden, and Paul Martin. A dual citizen, Jean-Michel’s considerable experience includes serving as a special assistant to the Office of the Prime Minister as well as an Advance Associate for the White House.
The Play On! street hockey program has been championed by the CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada since 2007. The national series is also sponsored by Booster Juice, VIA Rail, GoodLife Fitness, JVCKENWOOD, TimberMart, Driving Force, and Culligan Water. The official national charitable partners for Play On! in 2017 were the Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada and Canadian Blood Services.
For more information:
Play On! Canada