Hockey CanadaBC HockeyHockey AlbertaHockey SaskHockey ManitobaHockey Northwestern OntarioOntario Hockey FederationHockey Easern OntarioQuebec Hockey NetworkHockey New BrunswickHockey PEIHockey Nova ScotiaHockey NLHockey North

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

In October 2021, Hockey Alberta created a Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to review and build recommendations with respect to addressing racism in hockey and making the sport more diverse and inclusive for all Albertans. The task force has now been instated as a full time committee of Hockey Alberta. The committee will focus on creating opportunities to:

  • the experiences of former and current players of underrepresented groups and marginalized communities around lack of inclusion and racism in our sport.
  • the experiences of those in Alberta who were reluctant to participate in the sport due to its lack of inclusion and racism in our sport.
  • using a public engagement process to understand the current environment from the perspective of those that have left the game or felt they have not been included in the game.
  • build recommendations that can be used to have action towards closing the gaps both short and long term in the game that exist between the environment we wish to have and the current environment.
  • the learnings of this work and recommendations on the history of racism and discrimination in the sport and the need to address it whenever it surfaces.
  • to make this an ongoing sustainable priority for Hockey Alberta through recommended policies, standards, and resources for Hockey Alberta and its stakeholders.

Hockey Alberta’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Survey

In 2022, Hockey Alberta’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee undertook an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Survey.

The purpose of the survey was to better understand the experiences in hockey of as many current and former players, coaches, family members, and other participants and stakeholders as possible. Hockey Alberta wanted to gather feedback on hockey experiences, learn about what can be improved, and collect recommendations that could be implemented to improve the game.

The survey was built to gain perspectives of those in the game, those that may have left the game and those that were reluctant or unable to participate in the game due to a lack of inclusion. This information provided important data, feedback and recommendations to better understand the current environment and use the findings to make the sport more inclusive.

EDI Survey Summary of Results >

EDI Survey Infographic Report >

EDI Committee Survey Report >

Anton Joseph - Calgary

Committee Chair

Anton holds a Master’s Degree from University of Fredericton, as well as degrees in Kinesiology and Business Administration from Minot State University, and a specialization in organizational equity, diversity, and inclusion from Rice University. He is an Alberta Sports Hall of Fame member with over 30 years coaching experience in the Sport and Fitness Industry, and 27 years as a business owner. He is a former Canadian Junior Football general manager, track and field development coach and participated on scholarship in football and track and field at the US college level. Anton has served on and acted as chair to a number of sport and fitness organization boards over his career. 

Zahra Nurani - Calgary 

Zahra is a Senior Change Management Advisor with extensive experience in both the private and not- for-profit sectors designing work environments where people feel connected, are engaged and passionate about the work they do. Working closely with executive leaders and senior team members, Zahra navigates and aligns complex stakeholder environments to drive change. Zahra has helped organizations shift mindsets and behaviors, realize process efficiencies, improved their working capital and actualize both cost savings and cost avoidance benefits. Zahra has three amazing hockey players including twin girls currently playing in the Alberta Female Hockey League.

Sanjeev Bhagrath - Edmonton 

Sanjeev has been a hockey official for more than 25 years, working as a referee in U-Sport, College, and the AJHL. He is a Level 5 official who has worked as an instructor, supervisor and mentor to younger officials, and volunteered with North Region officials. Officiating has provided Sanjeev with great opportunities and experiences, including working league finals and making lifelong friends. But during his career as an official, he has encountered many forms of racism from players, coaches and fans at all levels of hockey. In the summer of 2020, he spoke out against the racism that he has encountered, pointing out that hockey is not immune from this. Shortly after speaking out, Sanjeev created the Officials’ Diversity Committee to foster diversity, inclusivity, and equality in the game of hockey. The committee’s slogan is “making the call on equality”. 

Devin Buffalo - Wetaskiwin

Devin is from Samson Cree Nation, and played junior hockey in Flin Flon, Manitoba, and for the Drumheller Dragons in the AJHL. After his junior hockey career concluded, he played four years at Dartmouth College followed by various teams in the ECHL. Devin is now a law student at the University of Alberta, and he is committed to making real change in hockey at the grassroots and league levels. His passion project is Waniska Athletics, which consists of motivational speaking, and goalie camps with a goal to motivate Indigenous youth to raise the bar for themselves.

Taryn Barry - Edmonton 

Taryn has worked for the Canadian Soccer Association, the International University Sports Federation, Hockey Canada, and Free Play for Kids as the technical director of a hockey program for youth who would otherwise not have access to the game. She played soccer for Team Alberta, the Edmonton Scottish Angels, and the British United Football Club, and was a student-athlete for the University of Alberta Pandas hockey team, winning four U-Sports National Championships and five Canada West titles from 2002-2007. Taryn was on the board of directors of Alberta Sport Connection from 2017-2019 and has been the grant advisor for the Cameroonian Canadian Foundation in Calgary since 2015. Taryn is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta.

Alicia Souveny - Edmonton

Alicia is a physiotherapist at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. Alicia has had a love of sport all her life - she grew up playing soccer but is also an avid skier, swimmer, cyclist, slo-pitch player, and is an aspiring golfer. She has spent seven seasons working as a team therapist for minor hockey teams in Edmonton with the South Side Athletic Club. In 2019, Alicia was involved in a motor vehicle collision that resulted in her becoming a left below knee amputee. Becoming a member of the disabled community has broadened Alicia’s views on sports and accessibility. She has a passion for safety and equity for all athletes and firmly believes sports should be accessible for everyone. She participates in para-swimming and para-hockey. She recently made the Women’s National Para-Ice Hockey team where she will have the opportunity to represent Canada at the World Championship at the end of August.

Justin Connelly - Calgary

Justin attended Mount Royal University for sports management. Justin uses he/him pronouns and identifies as gay. He has worked in hockey since the age of 16. Justin came out as gay in 2015 when he joined the Calgary Pioneers. The Pioneers were the first inclusive hockey team in Alberta for LGTBQ+ people and allies. Justin is an executive member of the Calgary Inclusive Hockey Association. Justin is a board member with Sport Unites People which is a new initiative in Alberta to promote diversity and inclusion in sport. Justin has also volunteered with Hockey Alberta as a Director of Operations for five years at the Alberta Cup.

Black History Month - featuring Anton Joseph, Chair Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force