March 13, 2018 – Seven-time Stanley Cup winner Bryan Trottier will return to the ice and lead Cisco Canada’s inaugural Tech4Good Connected North on Ice Challenge, a fundraising tournament raising critically needed funds to deliver virtual education and youth mental health and wellness services to students in Indigenous communities in Canada’s remote north.
On Saturday, April 7th 2018, players will hit the ice at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville. Eighteen teams and 250 players are expected, consisting of Cisco employees, customers, partners, and NHL Alumni Stars of Hockey, including Bryan Trottier, Ric Nattress, Gary Leeman, Tom Fergus and Arron Asham. Teams will get their pick of these NHL all-stars during an exclusive draft party taking place the evening of April 6 at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Additional alumni will be announced in the coming weeks.
In June 2017, Cisco Canada launched a fundraising program to mark Canada’s 150th year since Confederation to help the Connected North program reach more students, and add more digital content partners. The Tech4Good Hockey Tournament will cap off a very successful year of outreach. Each participating team is required to raise a minimum of $10,000 in order to qualify and draft an NHL Alumni teammate. Current teams include Cisco Canada, TELUS, National Bank, Scotiabank, Shaw Communications, Home Hardware, Dimension Data, Scalar, Softchoice, Turbonomic, Ernst & Young and Solutions with Impact. Media partners include The Toronto Star and Rogers Media. Tournament sponsors include Cisco Canada, Hydro One, Canadian Tire, Benchmark and Shaw.
Joining the event as official spokesperson and player is Bryan Trottier, a Canadian former professional ice hockey centre who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins. Trottier is a passionate and active champion for helping Indigenous youth reach their full potential, and proud of his Metis heritage. He won four Stanley Cups with the Islanders, two with the Penguins and one as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche, making him the most decorated Indigenous athlete in the world.
Since its inception in 2013, the Connected North program has been using collaboration technology, such as Cisco’s high-definition video conferencing solution Telepresence, to deliver immersive and interactive virtual education and mental health and wellness services to remote Canadian Indigenous communities.
Funds raised by the Tech4Good Hockey Tournament will help to expand the number of schools in the Connected North program as well as further build the support network with additional experts, content providers and experiences that address each school’s unique cultural
Today, the Connected North program, under the leadership of charity partner TakingITGlobal, serves over 7,500 students and 32 schools across Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.
“Connected North has been a tremendous success; helping to connect students in remote Indigenous communities, encourage cultural sharing, facilitating virtual teacher professional development, and building hope and pride through mentoring. But we also recognize there is still more work to be done, more schools to add, more resources to mine, more students to connect. I am extremely proud of the role Cisco Canada continues to play through fundraising initiatives such as Tech4Good, and would like to personally thank our sponsors, partners, customers and private donors.”
– Rola Dagher, President, Cisco Canada
“I’m proud to champion the Tech4Good Hockey Tournament, it’s an exciting way for NHL Alumni to give back to the community that we came from. Tech4Good is a unique and memorable On Ice Challenge that will raise funds to support Connected North – a program that provides virtual education services to Indigenous students in the North, to give them the same educational opportunities as students in the South. Join me in making a difference.”
– Bryan Trottier – Seven-time winner of the Stanley Cup
“TakingITGlobal strongly believes education is the first step in empowering young people to tackle the world’s challenges, and the Connected North program allows us to continue our mission. The funds raised during this campaign will be used to broaden Connected North’s reach to Indigenous communities across Canada. The work done to date is a testament to the tech sector’s commitment to inspire the next generation of Canadians by providing them with the skills needed to become the leaders and innovators of tomorrow.”
– Michael Furdyk, Co-founder and Director of Technology, TakingITGlobal
For more information, including rules, updates and how to donate, visit the Tech4Good web site.
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