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The Dakota Nation Winterfest, considered the largest aboriginal sport and cultural event of its kind under one roof, will once again be taking place in January in Brandon.

The annual event consists of an all-aboriginal hockey tournament, which includes five divisions – novice, atom, peewee, bantam and midget – as well as adult and senior divisions. The event, slated to take place Jan. 9-11 at the Keystone Centre and Westman Communications Group Place, also includes a volleyball tourney, pow wow competition, a talent show and a moccasin game tournament, which consists of traditional aboriginal hand games.

“It’s kind of like a sport and cultural event. It’s a family event,” said Jennifer Bone, event coordinator.

Other highlights of the event include Much Music video teen dances on Friday and Saturday nights, a bingo and square dancing.

Bone says a pool tournament was added to the event this year as well as a Dakota cultural exhibit by Eugene Ross.

“He has a huge historical exhibit that he’ll be having on display,” said Bone. “He’s had his display at the Provincial Exhibition in Brandon for a number of years.”

Meanwhile, well-known comedian Don Burnstick, a Cree from the Alexander First Nation located outside of Edmonton, will be making his presence known at the event. Burnstick has been seen on the Comedy Network and is considered by many to be one of the very best comedians in Canada.

Bone has been involved in coordinating the event for the past four years and is also a council member at Sioux Valley.

“I have two sons who play hockey, so I enjoy watching them participate,” she said with a smile. “They look forward to it each year.”

Bone says an average of approximately 30,000 folks make their way through the doors over the three day affair. The Winterfest gets officially underway with its opening ceremonies on Friday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m.

For more information, contact Bone at 204-512-0847. The Dakota Nation Winterfest also has a Facebook page, which continually gets updated with new information regarding the upcoming event.

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Physical Literacy: The Gateway to Active Participation - Plan now to attend this engaging all-day event that will leave you with a solid understanding of physical literacy and the knowledge to move from promotion to provision for all sectors. This conference is rooted in Canadian Sport for Life, a national movement to improve the quality of sport and physical activity. It will present a vision for your role, and that of your organization, in providing all Manitobans the opportunity to benefit from life-long physical activity.

For more information about the conference visit the Manitoba in Motion website

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City kids seem more likely to attend a scheduled hockey practice than to meet up with some friends in the neighbourhood for an impromptu swing on the monkey bars, say both parents and officials behind a recent report.

The Calgary Foundation’s eighth annual Vital Signs report, released earlier this month, found that despite seemingly non-stop bookings at city athletic facilities, youth activity actually dropped 12.7 per cent since 2003.

The culprit could be dwindling use of playgrounds, suggested Kerry Longpre, vice-president of communications for the foundation.

“It seems those statistics would show we’ve got a lot of parks and we’ve got a lot of spaces — play spaces — but it would also indicate that we need more facilities for organized sport,” she said.

Father Geoff Moore said he believes playgrounds have largely lost their appeal to older kids. He recalls venturing to swing sets and teeter-totters near his home up until junior high.

“For some reason, it seems once they get to elementary school, there’s just something else to do, which is kind of sad,” he said. “The kids have so many more options these days, like video games and things like that.”

According to the Vital Signs report, there are 1,250 playgrounds in the city. But a leading Canadian researcher on the use of playgrounds suggests the design and accessibility of such sites plays a major role in whether kids will actually venture to them.

Jason Gilliland, director of the Urban Development Program and a geography professor at the University of Western Ontario, said different users yearn for different features in their playgrounds.

Parents with young kids, for example, favour playgrounds with plenty of swings and ample shade from the beating sun. Kids aged 11 or 12, however, tend to use playgrounds as more of a gathering and socializing area.

“If you build it they will come, however, not all people will come to all parks,” Gilliland said, adding the role of playgrounds remains “critical”, with studies uncovering a clear link between a child’s proximity to playgrounds and a reduced likelihood of them being obese.

Longpre, meanwhile, said it appears the availability of athletic facilities remains a challenge for those youngsters in organized sports.

A recent report from city-sponsored advocacy group Sport Calgary found overall sport participation has risen 10 per cent since 2008, just slightly under the city’s 12 per cent total population growth over the same period.

But officials behind the city’s two most popular sports, soccer and hockey, have said in recent weeks that facilities have struggled to keep space. Some soccer advocates, specifically, have even suggested that an observed decline in youth participation by Sport Calgary could be a result of the lack of available fields.

The city did, however, just unveil a new annex-style structure at the Calgary Soccer Centre over the weekend that is expected to ease the indoor field crunch.

As well, there are plans to open a tournament facility in Great Plains next year in addition to three YMCA recreation centres after that at Quarry Park (2016), Rocky Ridge (2017) and Seton (2018).

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His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, proclaimed 2015 the Year of Sport in Canada.

Quick Facts

-- The Year of Sport in Canada is a proactive pan-Canadian initiative to celebrate the role that sport plays in our country and encourage Canadians to participate in and seek the benefits of sport. During the year, sport events and other celebratory activities will highlight how sport benefits Canadians.

-- In 2015, communities across Canada will have the honour of hosting several high-profile national and international sport events, including the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Hockey Championship in Toronto and Montreal; the 25th edition of the Canada Games in Prince George, British Columbia; the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Women's World Cup Canada 2015; and the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games, which will bring over 10,000 athletes and coaches from the Americas to Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe region.

-- The Year of Sport will promote Canada's position as a leading sport nation and highlight the power of sport to enhance the lives of all Canadians.


"In 2015, Canadians from across the country will have many opportunities to cheer on our remarkable athletes and celebrate their achievements. With events such as the World Junior Hockey Championship, the Canada Winter Games, the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015, the Pan and Parapan American Games and many others, 2015 will be a memorable year for all Canadians-an opportunity not only to attend sport events, but also to be inspired to participate in sport activities throughout the year."
- The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport)

"The Roly McLenahan Torch lighting that kicks off the Prince George 2015 Canada Winter Games Torch Relay coincides perfectly with the announcement that 2015 will be the Year of Sport in Canada. Sport is an integral part of our country's foundation, and all Canadians can look forward to a year-long celebration in 2015, including at the Canada Games, where thousands of Canada's top young athletes and their coaches will converge in Prince George."
- Tom Quinn, Chair, Canada Games Council

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The Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) is pleased to announce that the city of Winnipeg has been selected to host the 2015 Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference which will take place from November 12-14, 2015 at the RBC Convention Centre and the Delta Winnipeg. The event was last held in Winnipeg in 2004.

“We are delighted to work with our partners at Sport Manitoba to bring the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference back to the great city of Winnipeg,” said Lorraine Lafrenière, Chief Executive Officer of the Coaching Association of Canada. “Winnipeg has an active sport community and as a host city for the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer, and the Grey Cup in November, it is the perfect place to cap off the Year of Sport in 2015.”

“We’re thrilled Winnipeg is getting the opportunity to host more than 400 delegates for the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Conference in 2015. This is a chance to showcase Winnipeg to national sport coaches and decision makers, and to demonstrate why they should bring their next national sporting championship or event here,” said Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, senior vice president of Tourism Winnipeg. “It also gives local coaches an advantage as they’ll be able to attend sessions and implement what they’ve learned prior to Winnipeg hosting the 2017 Canada Games.”

The Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Awards Gala is a conference highlight which recognizes Canada’s most dedicated, inspiring, and successful coaches. Annually, award recipients are honoured for exemplifying the values and competencies of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) and for their influence in positively shaping the Canadian sport community.

“Following the success of the 2014 conference in Ottawa, Petro-Canada, a Suncor business, is honoured to once again be playing a major role in offering Canada’s coaches, sport administrators, and leaders an opportunity to come together to learn, celebrate, and network at the 2015 conference in Winnipeg,” said Deborah Gullaher, vice-president of Marketing, Suncor. “With the focus of the event on coaching excellence, this conference has become the focal point for many of Canada’s national sport leaders.”

For more information on the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference, visit:

About the Coaching Association of Canada

The Coaching Association of Canada unites stakeholders and partners in its commitment to raising the skills and stature of coaches, and ultimately expanding their reach and influence. Through its programs, the CAC empowers coaches with knowledge and skills, promotes ethics, fosters positive attitudes, builds competence, and increases the credibility and recognition of coaches. Visit for more information about coach education, training, and support.

About Suncor

Suncor is Canada’s leading integrated energy company. Suncor’s operations include oil sands development and upgrading, conventional and offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining, and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand. A member of Dow Jones Sustainability indexes, FTSE4Good and CDP, Suncor is working to responsibly develop petroleum resources while also growing a renewable energy portfolio. Suncor is listed on the UN Global Compact 100 stock index and the Corporate Knight’s Global 100. Suncor’s common shares (symbol: SU) are listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.

Petro-Canada Retail and Wholesale:

Petro-Canada, a Suncor business, operates more than 1,450 retail stations and 250 Petro-Pass wholesale locations nationwide. Petro-Canada’s retail loyalty program, Petro-Points provides Canadians with the opportunity to earn and redeem rewards. Petro-Canada is proud to be a National Partner of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees, supporting Canadian athletes, coaches and their families for more than 25 years. For more information, visit

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The Recreation for Life Foundation (RFLF), established to raise funds to support Alberta Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA) programs and services, received $25,000 in funding from the RBC Learn to Play Project at a cheque presentation in Edmonton on December 12, 2014. The funding will help create a new Aboriginal Component for ARPA’s HIGH FIVE® Program, empowering Aboriginal leaders across Alberta to enhance the quality of sport and recreation programs in their communities. These leaders will be engaged in rethinking aspects of the program to best meet the needs of Aboriginal children.

High Five is Canada’s only comprehensive quality standard for children’s sport and recreation programs. It was developed with the understanding that the quality of children’s experiences in recreation and sport settings help to shape how they will develop as adults. High Five ensure leaders, coaches and instructors have the tools and knowledge to nurture a child’s mental health and create those positive experiences for children.

Greg Krischke, Chair of RFLF, accepted the cheque on behalf of the Foundation. “We thank RBC for supporting this exciting expansion of the HIGH FIVE Program. Our organization believes that quality recreation should be available to all Albertans and hope that this new Aboriginal component will help to achieve that.”

RBC and Canadian Sports for Life have partnered to deliver the Learn to Play Project, a funding initiative that supports organizations working to deliver quality sport and recreation programming to children, ensuring they learn the fundamental movement skills they need to have the confidence and competence to be physically active.

The Alberta Recreation and Parks Association is a not-for-profit organization committed to building healthier and happier communities and citizens through the development and promotion of recreation and parks. ARPA delivers various programs and services that enhance the quality of life of Albertans, including Communities ChooseWell, Communities in Bloom, HIGH FIVE®, Everybody get to play, ParticipACTION Teen Challenge, Excellence Series, and the Canadian Parks and Recreation Certification Program.

The Recreation for Life Foundation is a provincial not-for-profit charitable agency that raises funds to support the programs and initiatives of the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association.

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Tennis Canada announced Tuesday the creation of a new Player Coaching Grant to assist top performing U12 players in Canada. This grant was made possible due to support from Canada’s top-ranked male singles player and current world No. 8 Milos Raonic.

Awarded annually, the goal of this Player Coaching Grant is to support the development of top achieving U12 players in Canada. This support is aimed at helping them acquire the competencies essential for them to perform in the future at a world-class level. This grant support will be used to help offset coach and travel-related high performance expenses required to develop properly at this formative stage and age of development.

“Costs associated with a promising player reaching their potential can be difficult on some families. My parents gave me every opportunity to succeed and I’m continuing to set and reach my goals but that’s not the case for everyone,” said Raonic. “I want Canada to continue producing high-calibre talent and hopefully this grant helps remove some barriers that may be facing the young players and their families that need that training, development and competition.”

The recipients for the first two years of the grant were also announced and are as follows:

Liam Draxal
Viktoriya Tabunshchyk
Alexandra Akhipov

Sebastian Sebanescu
Justus Alexandre Agbo
Ariana Arsenault
Melodie Collard

The recipients are all selected by an official selection committee comprised of Milos Raonic and Tennis Canada staff and coaches.

About Tennis Canada
Founded in 1890, Tennis Canada is a non-profit, national sport association with a mission to lead the growth of tennis in Canada and a vision to become a world-leading tennis nation. We value teamwork, passion, integrity, innovation and excellence. Tennis Canada owns and operates the premier Rogers Cup presented by National Bank WTA and ATP World Tour events, eight professional ITF sanctioned events and financially supports 13 other professional tournaments in Canada. Tennis Canada operates national junior training centres/programs in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Tennis Canada is a proud member of the International Tennis Federation, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the International Wheelchair Tennis Association, and serves to administer, sponsor and select the teams for Davis Cup, Fed Cup, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and all wheelchair, junior and senior national teams. Tennis Canada invests its surplus into tennis development. For more information on Tennis Canada please visit our Web site at: and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Event Date: Jan. 19, 2015 to Jan. 21, 2015

BCIT Downtown Vancouver Campus
Event Address:
555 Seymour Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 3H6

Just Announced! Becoming a High FIVE® Trainer Course, January 2015

The British Columbia Recreation and Parks is pleased to offer the Becoming a HIGH FIVE® Trainer Course in January 2015! HIGH FIVE® is Canada’s only comprehensive quality standard. The success of each session is essential to meeting the objective of enhancing quality in recreation and sport programs for children.

The BCRPA is currently recruiting HIGH FIVE® trainer candidates that wish to become national leaders in childhood development. Individuals must demonstrate a strong commitment to the HIGH FIVE® principles and knowledge of, and experience in, children’s recreation and sport.

Principles of Healthy Child Development 100 (7.5hrs)

January 19 - 21, 2015 , BCIT Downtown Vancouver Campus

Becoming a HIGH FIVE® Trainer is 3.0 full days of training.
Includes the Train the Trainer course and Using the HIGH FIVE® QUEST 200 (7.5 hrs)

If you are interested, please contact:
Vanessa Fee, Programs & Initiatives Coordinator
604-629-0965 ext 229 or vfee(at)

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