Members of the Edmonton Oilers will be the first in the National Hockey League (NHL) to utilize Pride Tape during the sold-out Skills Competition presented by Rogers on Sunday, January 24 at Rexall Place. The Skills Competition is an annual, fan-favourite event where the players go head-to-head in a battle of skill, speed and accuracy.
|Andrew Ference models the pride tape. Photo Provided. |
In conjunction with use of Pride Tape at the Skills Competition, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) is making a donation to become a Founding Partner of Pride Tape and help get the initiative across the goal line. The EOCF focuses on initiatives to promote education, health and wellness for youth.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Oilers and officially launching Pride Tape in Edmonton, a city that believes in diversity and human rights and a city that proudly supports our LGBTQ community,” said Dr. Kristopher Wells, Faculty Director with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta, one of the partners spearheading the campaign. “It’s a local initiative with national reach and we’re very excited to have the Oilers be the first to support this inclusive message on the ice.”
Wells and Calder Bateman Communications have partnered together to launch a grassroots Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds needed to produce the first 10,000 rolls of tape. To date, they’ve raised over $40,000 of their $54,000 campaign goal. Once produced, proceeds from the future sales of Pride Tape will go to support LGBTQ youth outreach initiatives, such as You Can Play and the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services. That means every roll of tape will make an impact on and off the ice.
“When Pride Tape is funded and produced, we believe it will have the power to change attitudes in the sports world,” added Wells. “It will help ensure that every young LGBTQ person feels welcome in sports – as players, spectators and fans.”
Oilers defenceman Andrew Ference has been a proud supporter of Edmonton’s LGBTQ community and helped launch the Pride Tape campaign in December.
“Many view professional hockey players as role models and our team felt this was a great initiative to let every person know they’re welcome in the game of hockey,” said Ference. “We’re all proud to play for a team and city that supports diversity and human rights.”
“Oilers Entertainment Group is honoured to support the Pride Tape initiative and make a very clear statement about our support for inclusiveness in sport,” said Oilers Entertainment Group CEO and Vice Chair Bob Nicholson. “Thanks to Kris Wells and everyone behind campaigns like Pride Tape and You Can Play for their efforts to create an even more welcoming and supportive environment in hockey.”
Oilers fans can support the Kickstarter Campaign until February 3, 2016 by visiting PrideTape.com.