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CBC'S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA PLAY ON! ANNOUNCES 2011 SCHEDULE

Canada's Largest Sports Festival Visits 18 Cities; Supports Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

 April 7, 2011 - CBC'S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA Play On! today announced the 2011 schedule for the nation's largest annual sports festival. 

CBC'S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA Play On! festivals will be held in St. John's, NL; Halifax, NS; Moncton, NB; Quebec City, QC; Montreal, QC; Ottawa, ON; Oshawa, ON; Barrie, ON; Hamilton, ON; London, ON; Winnipeg, MB; Regina, SK; Saskatoon, SK; Calgary, AB; Edmonton, AB; Fort McMurray, AB; Kelowna, BC; and Burnaby, BC (please see specific event dates below*), with the first events of the tour slated to kick off in Hamilton, Winnipeg, and Kelowna on the weekend of May 14 & 15.  Approximately 30 rinks will be operated at all times over kilometres of street during the course of each event.

Canadians of all ages and skill levels are invited to visitwww.playon.ca for more information, rules and regulations, and to register their teams. 

Winners and finalists in Elite (19+) divisions from each event will progress to the National Championship to compete for the Redwood Cup and recognition as Canada's Greatest Street Hockey Players during Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada on CBC. 

Jack Knox recently wrote: "Peter Gzowski called hockey the 'game of our lives.' He was almost right. Ice hockey is what we watch, but road hockey is the game we actually play. The national game of Canadian mythology is played on a frozen pond, but in reality most of us spent more time, winter or summer, denting garage doors with tennis balls than slapping pucks." 

With Canada becoming more culturally diverse, sport preferences changing, and with only approximately 3% of Canadians now actually playing ice hockey, it has been estimated that there are at least three times as many people in Canada who have played street hockey as who have played ice hockey.  For all these reasons, an organized road hockey festival makes sense.  In the words of Roy MacGregor, "There is something pure and sweet about road hockey that is worth preserving for generations to come.  The game has meant more to young Canadians than any other game in any form."

The unique appeal of road hockey to Canadians of all ethnicities and socio-economic circumstance has resulted in the CBC'S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA Play On! program becoming the largest sports festival in the nation. The program will involve more games being played this summer than the 2010-2011 seasons of the NHL, CHL, MLB, NBA, NFL, and MLS combined.

CBC'S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA Play On! tournaments feature 4-on-4 (recreational and competitive) street hockey tournament divisions for boys, girls, men and women of all ages and all skill levels.  Anyone can sign up a team to play.  Teams consist of a minimum of four and a maximum of seven players.

CBC'S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA Play On! is also proudly sponsored by Booster Juice, KFC, SportChek, Powerade, Scion, The Canadian Hockey League, and The Hockey News.  The 2011 program will support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation through a DONATION OF $150,000 of dedicated media support. This program will encourage HNIC Play On! participants and supporters to visit playon.ca and make a donation directly to the Foundation.

All captains that register teams in advance of April 10th will be automatically entered into a draw to receive free tickets to every game of the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Mississauga, Ontario!

*2011 EVENT DATES & LOCATIONS

HAMILTON May 14-15, Bayfront Park; WINNIPEG May 14-15, Kildonan Place; KELOWNA May 14-15, Prospera Place; LONDON May 21-22 Victoria Park; EDMONTON June 4-5, West Edmonton Mall; MONCTON June 4-5, St. George Street; OTTAWA June 4-5, Scotiabank Place; BARRIE June 11-12, Worsley St. / Downtown; QUEBEC CITY June 11-12, Quebec Colisée;  BURNABY, June 11-12, Metropolis at Metrotown; REGINA June 11-12, Southland Shopping Centre; HALIFAX June 18-19,The Commons; CALGARY June 18-19, Deerfoot Mall; SASKATOON June 18-19, 4th Ave N / 23rd Street E; MONTREAL June 18-19, Location TBA; OSHAWA June 25-26, Downtown Oshawa / GM Centre; ST. JOHN'S June 25-26, Memorial University; FT. MCMURRAY June 25-26, MacDonald Island Park

About CBC's Hockey Night in Canada Play On!

CBC Hockey Night in Canada's Play On! features recreational and competitive street hockey tournament divisions for both genders, all skill levels, and all ages. Since the program's inception in 2003, more than 527,000 Canadians have 'taken back the streets' from coast to coast through participation in one of the fifty-one Play On! events held to date.  The events have collectively included participation from many past, present, and future NHL, AHL, CHL, and CIS players.  These highly organized street hockey tournaments have a festival atmosphere and celebrate the game of hockey in a form that expresses the imagination and innocence of youth, helping kids feel like NHL professionals and helping adults feel like kids again. All interested participants can visit www.playon.ca for tournament information, to register a team, and more.

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