As a Founding Partner, Scotiabank’s sponsorship will help the HDA deliver grassroots programming designed to change the face and culture of the game at all levels. Scotiabank will also work with existing partners – beyond hockey – to introduce the recommendations put forth by the HDA and use its influence as a force for change.
“Scotiabank is committed to opening up the game of hockey so that future generations of players from diverse backgrounds see themselves in the sport,” says Laura Curtis Ferrera, Chief Marketing Officer, Scotiabank. “As the official and exclusive Bank of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, we believe that Scotiabank is uniquely positioned to support the HDA in achieving its mission of eradicating systemic racism and intolerance in the sport.”
The HDA was formed in June 2020 by nine current and former NHL players, all of whom come from minority backgrounds.
“The Hockey Diversity Alliance is pleased that Scotiabank has embraced our vision of eradicating racism from the game that we all cherish and love,” says Akim Aliu, a veteran NHL player and founding HDA member. “As a younger player, I had a chance to succeed in hockey, and in life, because I had supporters standing beside me. Scotiabank’s announcement provides exactly that kind of support, and it will make a real, tangible difference in the lives of young players today.”
“The Hockey Diversity Alliance appreciates Scotiabank’s commitment to introducing BIPOC kids to the game of hockey and helping them overcome barriers like the high cost of equipment and a lack of programs in some communities,” says Wayne Simmonds, Toronto Maple Leafs forward and a founder of the HDA. “We’re excited to work with them on initiatives that will support young players of colour throughout their lives in the game, from the first time they put on skates to the day – for some – they play or coach in the NHL.”
Soon after its inception, the Alliance released the HDA Pledge to help guide the NHL and other hockey leagues at all levels through anti-discrimination education and training, setting hiring and procurement targets, and creating grassroots initiatives for BIPOC youth. They participated in a two-day pause of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at which time the HDA led a discussion and reflection upon instances of racially-motivated violence in society and discrimination in the game. Scotiabank supports the HDA pledge.
Today’s announcement is just one of several ways Scotiabank has demonstrated its commitment to diversity in the game of hockey. To date, the Bank has investing in the following initiatives:
- Through Hockey Canada, Scotiabank has committed $350,000 in partnership with the HDA, to the Hockey Canada Foundation Assist Fund, which provides subsidies for qualified Canadians who are registered with Hockey Canada-sanctioned associations for the 2020-21 season. Scotiabank’s contribution directly supports applicants who identify as a visible minority.
- The theme of 2021’s Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada on Sportsnet is Inclusion. The 12.5 hour marathon broadcast airs live on February 13, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET/ 9:30 a.m. PT, and highlights the importance of ensuring hockey is a welcoming and accessible sport for all, regardless of race, religion, gender, ability or sexual orientation.
- Scotiabank Girls HockeyFest returns this year as a virtual Summit on March 7, 2021 and will be open to all girls ages 7-14 across Canada. The Summit will incorporate inspirational speakers as well as an interactive HDA Pledge wall and photobooth, where young girls can virtually sign and share their personal commitment to making hockey more inclusive, accessible, and safe for everyone.
- In partnership with the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA), Team Scotiabank, based out of Calgary will be participating in the 2021 Secret® Dream Gap Tour, continuing Scotiabank’s ongoing support for women’s hockey.