The rink boards are up. The ice is flooded. Now "Please Take Your Seat."
Weeks away from the puck drop to officially open WinSport Canada’s impressive international arena in the Athletic and Ice Complex at Canada Olympic Park, WinSport teamed up with Hockey Canada to launch a unique fundraising initiative coined, ‘Please Take Your Seat’ on Wednesday.
The creative campaign will give Canadians the opportunity to sponsor one of the 3,000 seats in the world-leading international arena, which will be the new home to Hockey Canada. Each personalized seat carries a donation price tag of $5,000. Tax receipts will be issued to each donor.
The funds generated from the seats will go towards completing construction of the state-of-the-art High-Performance Training Centre, which is the final piece of WinSport’s $220-million Athletic and Ice Complex and the core component to the organization’s vision of centralizing resources with construction of the Canadian Sport Institute. The Institute will allow athletes to access all of the resources needed to be fully prepared to win.
"We recognize not everyone can afford to invest millions of dollars in our goal of completing the Canadian Sport Institute, but we believe this gives more Canadians the opportunity to be directly connected to the home of Hockey Canada, while supporting the journey to the podium for all Canadian winter sport athletes," said Dan O’Neill, president and chief executive officer, WinSport Canada, who made the announcement while overlooking the new rink. "I am kicking off this campaign by personally sponsoring the first five seats, and I challenge other corporate Canadians to put their name on a seat and back our athletes too."
It took little time for O’Neill’s challenge to be heard. Three-time Olympic medallist, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, immediately responded by sponsoring two seats of her own while emcee’ing the media conference on the morning of WinSport’s 2011 Annual General Meeting.
"To have a permanent home where our national teams can train as a group, but more importantly in a environment surrounded by elite athletes in all sports, is a huge competitive advantage," said Campbell-Pascall. "The pursuit of excellence and medal performances at all levels is a common goal in sport. This facility will create more winners for Canada, and this fundraising initiative is a brilliant way to engage Canadians in the journey to the podium. I am proud to invest in our nation’s athletes."
In addition to having all contributors showcased with a name plaque on one of the seats in the new international rink, donors also will receive first opportunity to purchase tickets for all events at the arena, and will be honoured at a private event during the 2011-12 World Junior Hockey Championships.
"I think this campaign is a great example of how centralizing services can have a direct impact on the success of all athletes, while also bringing Canadians closer to our sports," said Bob Nicholson, president, Hockey Canada. "We are proud to be working with WinSport on this initiative to raise the additional funding required to complete the High-Performance Training Centre, and are extremely excited to move into our new home this fall."
About WinSport Canada
The Canadian Winter Sport Institute provides world-class sport facilities where Canadian athletes can discover, develop and excel. WinSport Canada owns and operates Canada Olympic Park, the Bill Warren Training Centre in Canmore, the Beckie Scott High Performance Training Centre on Haig Glacier, and funds two-thirds of the operating costs of the Olympic Oval in Calgary. A not-for-profit organization, WinSport Canada supports national sport organizations, encourages educational opportunities and subsidizes the operation of unique training and recreational facilities used by the nation’s top athletes and the general public. For more information on WinSport Canada, please visitwww.WinSportCanada.ca.