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Ontario Celebrates Special Hockey Day

News Release

Ontario Celebrates Special Hockey Day

Province welcomes the 25th Annual Special Hockey International Tournament

Ontario's government is working for the people and is proud to recognize March 27, 2019 as Special Hockey Day — honouring the organizers, coaches, parents and players who make Canada's pastime accessible for athletes with developmental or cognitive challenges.

"Hockey is a part of our national identity and heritage," said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sport. "By recognizing March 27, 2019 as Special Hockey Day in Ontario, we honour the many special hockey organizations giving athletes of all ages with developmental and cognitive challenges the opportunity to play hockey. We celebrate everyone involved in the 2019 Special Hockey International tournament."

The 25th annual Special Hockey International tournament will be held in Toronto from March 27-30 hosted by the Grandravine Tornadoes. Sanctioned by Hockey Canada, the tournament brings together member clubs from across North America and Europe, and regularly attracts more than 70 teams. Minister Tibollo, accompanied by Dave Smith, MPP for Peterborough—Kawartha, will drop the puck during the opening ceremony tonight at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto.

"Special Hockey Day showcases one of Canada's best-known sports," said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. "Special hockey encourages inclusion and teamwork where people of all ages and abilities can play together. We welcome the athletes from across North America and Europe to Ontario. Good luck to all participants!"

The festivities will begin at Queen's Park, where all tournament teams will be invited to tour the Ontario Legislature while the government is in session and receive a personalized scroll to commemorate Special Hockey Day. Tourism in Ontario is a $34 billion industry. By recognizing important events like Special Hockey Day, and the impacts of this sector, this government is working to put people first and protect and strengthen what matters most.

"Tourism encouraged by celebrations like Special Hockey Day accounts for over four per cent of our GDP, supports 390,000 jobs, and introduces many to the welcoming communities of our province. Ontario is the best place to play and be an athlete. Special Hockey Day is a great example of our love and dedication to the game. Good luck on the ice!" said Minister Tibollo.

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