NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – The Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf is heading to southern Ontario, with Niagara Falls set to host the 17th edition of the annual event, June 15-16, 2020 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre and Legends on the Niagara golf course. Doug Goss, chair of the Hockey Canada Foundation, announced the organization’s single largest annual fundraiser was returning to Ontario at a news conference Tuesday at Fallsview Casino Resort.
The event, which leaves 50 per cent of its net proceeds within the host community and surrounding region to support the growth and development of the game at the grassroots level, has raised over $7.5 million since 2009.
“There is a place for every Canadian in the game of hockey, whether that be playing, coaching, officiating or volunteering, which is why the Gala & Golf event is so important to Hockey Canada and the Hockey Canada Foundation,” said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “Not only is the Gala & Golf a celebration of another great season, it allows communities across the country to benefit from meaningful legacies dedicated to the growth and development of our game.”
Larry Landon, executive director of the Professional Hockey Players’ Association and chair of the local host organizing committee, also announced that Marcel Dionne and Ralph Mellanby have been named honorary co-chairs for the event.
“I am very proud to call Niagara Falls my home. To see the hard work our committee has done to bring such a world-class event to our incredible city and know the impact it will have on our community is amazing,” said Marcel Dionne, a Hockey Hall of Famer who played for Canada in the 1972 Summit Series and wore the Maple Leaf at the IIHF World Championship four times and Canada Cup twice. “Winning the series against the Soviet Union and representing Canada so many times were some of the greatest experiences of my hockey career. Being involved with this event is a way for me to help give back to not only Hockey Canada, but the Niagara Region as well."
In addition to raising event awareness and generating sponsorship revenue, the local host organizing committee is responsible for preparing a legacy plan outlining the programs and initiatives that will benefit from half of the net proceeds.
“This is a real honour to be associated with a prestigious event of this nature,” said Ralph Mellanby, a five-time Emmy award-winner who served as executive producer of Hockey Night in Canada for over 20 years and produced some of the biggest events in sports, including the Olympic Games. “We have a talented team doing all sorts of work behind the scenes, and I can promise you we are going to put on a special production for the Niagara Region and everyone involved with this event.”
The two-day event features a star-studded gala on June 15 where Canada’s national teams who have won gold at IIHF world championships throughout the season are honoured, followed by a celebrity golf tournament on June 16.
“Niagara Falls has long been a hockey town and this is an opportunity for the people of our city to show our love of the game,” said Jim Diodati, mayor of the City of Niagara Falls. “We are looking forward to showing our hometown pride and the many beautiful things we have to offer – scenic views of the Falls and the Niagara escarpment, and all of the entities that make up our outdoor playground, including pristine golf courses, trails, first-class attractions and the ultimate in hospitality.”
Order of Hockey in Canada
A key component of the Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf is honouring the newest 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 who have made extraordinary contributions to the game in Canada. A total of 27 men and women have been named to the Order of Hockey in Canada, including George Kingston, Jayna Hefford and Ken Hitchcock, who were celebrated in 2019.
“The Order of Hockey in Canada is a tremendous honour, and incorporating the naming of the 2020 honourees in to the Hockey Canada Foundation gala is a great way to celebrate the men and women who have dedicated countless hours to the game,” said Renney. “We look forward to joining the Niagara Falls community in June to celebrate Canada’s game and all those who have helped build it.”
The 2020 Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada will be announced at a later date.
The Hockey Canada Foundation understands the vital role of hockey in Canada. The goal of the Foundation is to strengthen the bond between Canadians and hockey by identifying opportunities to enable, engage and educate players, coaches and fans. This includes initiatives like Hockey is Hers, a commitment to getting more girls and women onto the ice and into the game.
For more information on the Hockey Canada Foundation, please visit HockeyCanada.ca/Foundation.