– Canada’s most popular introductory hockey program has reached a new
milestone; the Canadian Tire First Shift will be offered in communities
that span all 13 of Hockey Canada’s members in the 2017-18 season.
First introduced in 2014 as a pilot project, Canadian Tire First Shift is a
learn-to-play hockey program designed for kids aged 6-10 who are new to the
game. More than 10,000 Canadian boys and girls have been introduced to
Canada’s game through Canadian Tire First Shift, with many programs filling
up on the first day of registration.
“The Canadian Tire First Shift program has taken the country by storm,”
said Tom Renney, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada.
“The evolution of this program is unprecedented as it continues to realize
enrolment at an amazing pace, and an even more impressive level of
excitement for this amazing hockey experience.”
More than 160 programs have been confirmed for the 2017-18 season in
provinces and territories right across the country. The response from
Canadian families is no surprise to program organizers, which include Bauer
Hockey, Canadian Tire, and Hockey Canada.
“Since those first four pilots in the spring of 2014, the interest in the
Canadian Tire First Shift has continued to grow, and it has not been an
unusual occurrence for us to have to turn away interested families – in
fact, it’s much more common for us to see the programs over-subscribed than
under,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development for
Hockey Canada. “As much as Canada identifies with hockey as a symbol of our
country and our citizenship, for parents who didn’t grow up playing the
game – be they new Canadians or simply didn’t take part in the sport
themselves growing up – Canadian Tire First Shift provides an easy way for
them to let their kids try out the sport, and for them to become familiar
with hockey’s fundamentals and the basics of the game and the equipment.
“We’ve found a substantive market for the Canadian Tire First Shift, and
are really excited about the opportunity to reach another 5,000-plus
Canadian families this season.”
With an emphasis on fun, Canadian Tire First Shift allows kids ages 6-10 to
easily try hockey for $199, which includes enrollment for a six-week,
on-ice curriculum and head-to-toe Bauer Hockey equipment that each child
The 2017-18 season will see 100 programs delivered as part of the Fall
session, and another 60 targeted for the Winter session. Though the program
has always been open to both boys and girls, the popularity of all-female
Canadian Tire First Shift programs over the last two seasons has seen more
all-girl programs carved out for 2017-18 – 13, to be exact.
The initiative began in 2014 with four pilot programs in Ontario and Nova
Scotia, expanded the following year to 35 programs, and doubled to 81
programs delivered in the 2015-16 hockey season. Last season, an all-time
high of 157 Canadian Tire First Shift programs were delivered in
communities across the country, and two-time Olympic gold-medallists
Marie-Philip Poulin and Jonathan Toews joined Mark Messier as Canadian Tire
First Shift ambassadors.
Since its inception, an estimated 1,600 minor hockey association volunteers
have supported 270 unique Canadian Tire First Shift events in the country,
introducing more than 10,000 youngsters to Canada’s game.
To learn more about Canadian Tire First Shift in your community and how to
register, please visit www.firstshift.ca. Parent
information resources on hockey in Canada can be found at Hockey Canada’s
Pathway to Minor Hockey.
About Bauer Hockey
Bauer Hockey is the world’s most recognized designer, marketer and
manufacturer of hockey equipment. Founded in Kitchener, Ontario in 1927,
Bauer Hockey developed the first skate with a blade attached to a boot,
forever changing the game of hockey. Since then, Bauer Hockey has continued
to develop the most sought after products in the industry, including the
widely successful SUPREME®, VAPOR® and NEXUS® lines of products.
About Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada is the governing body for hockey in Canada and a member of
the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), with a membership through
its 13 member associations of over 700,000 players, coaches and officials.
Hockey Canada is a not-for-profit organization that creates leading-edge
hockey development programs for its members to deliver in communities
across Canada; provides consistent rules and regulations and various other
membership services from coast to coast to coast; manages numerous
regional, national, and international hockey championships and events; and
leads the operation of all teams that represent Canada in international ice
hockey competition. Hockey Canada’s mission is to “lead, develop, and
promote positive hockey experiences.” For more information on Hockey
Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through
social media on Facebook
About Canadian Tire
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited, (TSX:CTC.A) (TSX:CTC) or “CTC,” is a
family of businesses that includes a retail segment, a financial services
division and CT REIT. Our retail business is led by Canadian Tire, which
was founded in 1922 and provides Canadians with products for life in Canada
across its Living, Playing, Fixing, Automotive and Seasonal categories.
PartSource and Gas+ are key parts of the Canadian Tire network. The retail
segment also includes Mark’s, a leading source for casual and industrial
wear, and FGL Sports (Sport Chek, Hockey Experts, Sports Experts, National
Sports, Intersport, Pro Hockey Life and Atmosphere), which offers the best
active wear brands. The approximately 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets are
supported and strengthened by our Financial Services division and the tens
of thousands of people employed across the Company and its local dealers,
franchisees and petroleum retailers. For more information, visit