All proceeds from two-day gala and golf event geared to growth of sport locally, and across country
HALIFAX, N.S. – Hockey Canada is tapping into Maritime hospitality and bringing the 13th annual Hockey Canada Foundation Celebrity Classic to Halifax June 20-21, 2016. The Celebrity Classic is Hockey Canada Foundation’s largest annual fundraiser; all proceeds from the gala evening and golf tournament go back to supporting the growth of the game across Canada, with half of those funds staying in the Halifax region.
The announcement was made by Hockey Canada Foundation chair Jim Treliving at a news conference hosted at the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday.
“The Hockey Canada Foundation’s mission is to promote and foster accessibility to the game of hockey by recruiting new players to the game; promoting lifelong health and wellness through sport; providing greater access for all participants to benefit from the game; developing skills for players, coaches, and officials; and celebrating Canada’s hockey heritage,” said Treliving. “The Celebrity Classic is an exciting event, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with the city of Halifax and the province of Nova Scotia.”
The two-day event features a star-studded gala, being hosted at the Cunard Centre on June 20, where Canada’s national teams who have won gold at IIHF world championship events throughout the season – be it the IIHF World Junior Championship, IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, or IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship – are honoured. A celebrity golf tournament will follow on June 21 at Glen Arbor Golf and Country Club.
“We’re delighted that Hockey Canada has chosen Halifax to host this event, and we’re proud to put ourselves on the national stage, demonstrating through hockey that ours is a province full of capable, enthusiastic people who will help you deliver a first-rate show in an exciting community,” said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil. “I know there will be a lasting legacy for Nova Scotia from this event.”
Also on-hand to make the announcement was Halifax mayor, Michael Savage.
“We are pleased that Hockey Canada has chosen Halifax to be involved in this important event. As the first non-NHL city to be a host city, people will be very excited to be part of it,” said Mayor Savage. “I look forward to being an active partner with Hockey Canada and others in making it a great success.”
Order of Hockey in Canada
A cornerstone component of the Hockey Canada Foundation Celebrity Classic is the honouring of that year’s Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada. First introduced in 2012, the Order of Hockey in Canada honours a select number of individuals annually whose role or service in the game in recognized as extraordinary in Canada. A total of 14 men and women have been named to the Order of Hockey in Canada, including Jim Gregory, Pat Quinn, and Serge Savard who were added to the Order in 2015.
“The list of past honourees speaks for itself – Howe, Gretzky, Campbell-Pascall, King, Henderson, Quinn, and many more. The Order of Hockey in Canada is a special honour, and the Hockey Canada Foundation gala is a special night for us to celebrate some of our country’s legends of the game, alongside the women and men who have represented us at the highest level of international competition throughout the season,” said Tom Renney, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “We look forward to joining with the Halifax community in June to celebrate Canada’s game and the special people who have helped build it throughout the years.”
The 2016 Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada will be announced early in the new year.
Funding gives back to hockey in the community
Halifax is the first city without an NHL team to host the prestigious event. The decision to bring the Celebrity Classic to Nova Scotia was by design, according to Renney.
“Halifax has successfully hosted other Hockey Canada events in the past, and we know the city will come together again for the Celebrity Classic. An important element of the Celebrity Classic – and most of Hockey Canada’s events – is to ensure that we are putting the proceeds back into putting more kids on the ice and enjoying the game of hockey,” said Renney. “We do that across the country through different programs delivered by Hockey Canada and the Hockey Canada Foundation, and by working with the local event steering committees to develop strong legacy plans within their own regions.”
Half of the proceeds from the 2016 Hockey Canada Foundation Celebrity Classic will support hockey in the Halifax region. Daniel Gallivan, Q.C., chief executive officer at Cox & Palmer, is chairing the local steering committee that will work with Hockey Canada and the Foundation on the event.
“On behalf of the members of the steering committee, we thank Premier McNeil and Mayor Savage for their early encouragement of this initiative, and the Hockey Canada Foundation for selecting Halifax,” said Gallivan. “As you know, every time Halifax is given the opportunity to take the national stage, it sets a standard that is hard to match. I’m confident that this will happen again in June.”
Gallivan indicated the committee will unveil the exact details of the event’s legacy plan for Halifax in the near future.