Toronto, ON: The Black Canadian Coaches Association was recognized as an impactful sport organization when they were invited to attend the 2022 NHL Cultural Advancement Weekend, hosted by the NHL and NHLPA in Hamilton, Ontario in conjuction with the 2022 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic.
The NHL/NHLPA Hockey Culture Advancement Event was created with the aim of creating a more inclusive future for the game, while providing opportunities for everyone to be welcomed and feel part of the hockey community.
Five organizations were selected to present on programs influencing change through diversity, equity, and inclusion in Canadian hockey; The Black Canadian Coaches Association (BCCA), Heroes for Hockey, Hockey for Youth, The Little Native Hockey League, and the Toronto Police. The panelists included Hockey Sport leaders Mark Fraser (Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment), Rob Zepp, Rob Knesaurek and Jeff Scott (National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players Association).
In addition to the opportunity to share current projects and pitch program development ideas, representative organizations were able to connect with one another and network, and were provided tickets to attend the NHL Heritage Classic Game at Tim Hortons Field.
A History of Cultural Advancement through the Industry Growth Fund
In 2012-13 the NHL and NHLPA established the Industry Growth Fund (IGF) to support Clubs and/or League wide projects that have the ability to drive long term growth from a fandom and revenue perspective in North America. The IGF has focused on building hockey-awareness and avidity both in local Club markets, and on a national level in both the United States and Canada. The fund supports League-wide programs, local Club initiatives and several new exploratory projects.
The IGF, through support of the NHL and NHLPA, have made significant gains in driving youth hockey
initiatives and positively impacting the sport community, including supporting programs that increase hockey participation for BIPOC youth, female participation, implementing diversity equity and inclusion programming into NHL clubs and granting organizations serving youth and underserved communities. Overall, these changes have also increased a diversification of NHL fans in Canada and the United States.
To learn more about the NHL and NHLPA community initiatives, visit:
Leadership Through Sport – We Are StrongerTogether!