CALGARY, Alta. – Kevin Lowe and Meaghan Mikkelson have been announced as honorary co-chairs of the 16th annual Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf, hosted June 17-18 in Edmonton. The legacy of the event will provide the opportunity for Alberta youth not currently playing hockey to experience the game.
Proceeds from the 2019 Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf will support grassroots initiatives with a focus on giving girls the chance to play through the ‘Lil’ Oilers Learn to Play’ initiative and Hockey Alberta’s ‘Every Kid Every Community’ program.
“It’s an honour to be asked to serve as an honorary co-chair of this prestigious event,” said Mikkelson, a two-time Olympic gold medallist (2010, 2014) who also won gold with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championship. “I have had the opportunity to play minor hockey and professionally in Alberta, and I appreciate the amount of community support it takes to help grow the game. The legacy of this event will provide countless opportunities for young kids, and I am excited to play a role in giving more girls the chance to experience hockey.”
“I am privileged to be asked to act as an honorary co-chair of this event along with Meaghan,” said Lowe, an Oilers legend who represented Canada twice as a player, and won Olympic gold in a management role in 2002, 2010 and 2014. “The long-term legacy the Hockey Canada Foundation provides to the two beneficiaries will go a long way to encourage and inspire youth in the province to play and reap the numerous benefits the game of hockey provides.”
The ‘Lil’ Oilers Learn to Play initiative is designed to introduce youth aged five to eight to the game of hockey. Lil' Oilers helps break common entry barriers into the minor hockey system by providing all participants with new hockey equipment, as well as world-class on-ice instruction from Oilers alumni and local hockey experts, including Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta instructors.
The Every Kid Every Community program was launched by Hockey Alberta in 2011, with the goal of ensuring a gateway to play hockey for any child in Alberta who is interested in the sport. The goal is to provide every child the opportunity to play hockey, have fun and, in many cases, experience the sport for the first time.
"We are extremely pleased and excited that half of this year's gala proceeds will go to two amazing and very worthwhile causes that will help our Canadian youth experience the wonders, team spirit and excitement of playing hockey,” said co-chairs Ashif and Zainul Mawji. “Knowing that the ‘Lil' Oilers’ and ‘Every Kid Every Community’ are the two beneficiaries means that our youth across the province will get everything they need to learn how to play our national sport and make new life-long friends. "
The two-day event features a star-studded gala being hosted at Rogers Place on June 18, where Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, which won gold at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship in Obihiro, Japan, will be celebrated. Canada’s National Men’s Team, competing at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Bratislava and Kosice, Slovakia, May 10-26, still has a chance to join the festivities. A celebrity golf tournament will take place June 17 at the Edmonton Country Club and Windermere Golf and Country Club.
A cornerstone component of the Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf is the honouring of the 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. The 2019 Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada include Jayna Hefford, Ken Hitchcock and George Kingston.
For more information on the Hockey Canada Foundation and the 2019 Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf, please visit HockeyCanada.ca.