Ottawa – The Ottawa 2017 Bureau, along with their lead partner CIBC, and the Ottawa Senators, in collaboration with the National Hockey League, the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, the Canadian Museum of History and Lord Stanley’s Gift Memorial Monument are pleased to announce that a Stanley Cup® 125th Tribute will take place from March 15 to 18, 2017. This memorable four-day event will celebrate the integral role hockey has played in shaping our country’s identity and the longstanding love and admiration Canadians have for our national treasure, the Stanley Cup. It will be the signature event to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup® next year in Ottawa, where the tradition started.
“I’m sure that my predecessor Lord Stanley would be proud to know the Cup he gave his name to in 1892 is now among the most prestigious trophies in sports,” said His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. “Canadians have come to cherish the Stanley Cup as part of our identity, and I’m delighted to announce it will be on display at Rideau Hall on March 16, 2017. What better place to celebrate the Cup’s 125th birthday than where the tradition began!”
“The Stanley Cup came to life 125 years ago right here in Ottawa as a way to celebrate Canadians’ passion for hockey,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “In a year where the nation’s capital will be a focal point for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations, we’re thrilled that our city will also be a place where residents and visitors can gather to mark the beginnings of this incredible hockey tradition.”
In addition to celebrating our country’s 150th anniversary and the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, 2017 also marks the centennial of the National Hockey League and the Ottawa Senator’s 25th hockey season.
“2017 will be a remarkable and memorable year for Canada, for hockey and for the Ottawa Senators,” said Senators owner and chief executive officer Eugene Melnyk. “As our hockey club enters its 25th season, never before in the nation’s capital have we undertaken such a collaborative effort to celebrate the special, combined anniversaries of the Ottawa Senators and the greatest trophy in all of sport, the Stanley Cup. This four-day celebration will not only pay tribute to the Stanley Cup but will honour Ottawa’s special place in the Cup’s history and its many contributions to Canada’s great game.”
“Ottawa is the ideal location for a celebration of the most legendary and revered trophy in all of sports,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Lord Stanley declared his intention to donate the Cup in a letter to the Ottawa Hockey Club on March 18, 1892, inspiring generations of athletes to strive for the ultimate level of excellence and sacrifice required to win it. The National Hockey League is thrilled to support the events that will honor the Cup’s remarkable history, will continue to share its story with hockey fans of all ages and will help give this iconic trophy the spectacular 125th birthday party it deserves.”
The festivities launch on Wednesday, March 15, with an evening gala at the Canadian Museum of History, where a new exhibition will celebrate the sport of hockey. The following day, March 16, His Excellency will welcome hockey fans and the Stanley Cup to the grounds of Rideau Hall, the birthplace of this iconic trophy.
On Friday, March 17, the Aberdeen Pavilion will be the site of a meet and greet with the iconic trophy and NHL® alumni players who strove to win the ultimate hockey season reward. Later that same evening at Canadian Tire Centre, hockey fans will be treated to a Stanley Cup® 125th Tribute Concert.
To wrap up the celebrations, on Saturday March 18, 125 years to the day since the Stanley Cup trophy was first presented, a historic ground-breaking ceremony will take place on Sparks Street, home to the future monument to Lord Stanley’s Gift.
“In 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation will be a unique opportunity to celebrate the richness of our history and our heritage. The Stanley Cup, a symbol of excellence in sport, will for its part celebrate its 125th anniversary,” said Karen McCrimmon, Member of Parliament for Kanata-Carleton, on behalf of The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “The Government of Canada is proud to inspire Canadians and future generations, by supporting the celebrations surrounding these important milestones in the history of our country.”
“We’re thrilled that the Stanley Cup – the most iconic symbol of our national winter sport – will be part of the sesquicentennial celebrations,” said Monique Giroux, Vice-President, Sponsorship Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, CIBC. “In 2017, when we mark our 150th along with Canada, CIBC is honoured to bring Canadians extraordinary experiences that inspire us and deepen our sense of national pride.”
Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau noted that “just as hockey is about teamwork, creating this once-in-a-lifetime tribute to one of Canada’s greatest symbols is also about robust collaboration. Ottawa 2017 is delighted to work with the Ottawa Senators and other partners to create a four-day celebration of a Canadian emblem that symbolizes our hopes, dreams and achievements.”
At a glance:
Wednesday, March 15 > Stanley Cup® 125th Evening Gala
NHL alumni will join special guests for a soirée with guest speakers and entertainment inside the Canadian Museum of History.
Thursday, March 16 > The Stanley Cup Returns Home During March Break
The Governor General David Johnston will welcome the iconic trophy back to Rideau Hall. The public will be able to have their picture taken inside the residence, beneath the official portrait of Lord Stanley, Canada’s 6th governor general and originator of the Stanley Cup tradition.
Friday, March 17 > Meet and Greet with NHL Hockey Legends and the Stanley Cup
Hockey fans will have the opportunity to meet their favourite NHL alumni and have their picture taken with the Stanley Cup inside the Aberdeen Pavilion, the same place where fans used to cheer for the Silver Seven, now known as the Ottawa Senators.
Friday, March 17 > Stanley Cup® 125th Anniversary Tribute Concert
This original concept show at Canadian Tire Centre will feature theatrical and musical performances by top talent, plus tales of Stanley Cup glory by living hockey legends. It promises to be a memorable multimedia and immersive experience for all ages.
Saturday, March 18 > Stanley Cup Monument Ground-Breaking Ceremony
In December 2017, a monument to mark the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup will be unveiled in Canada’s capital, steps from the very birthplace of hockey’s Holy Grail. Residents and visitors will witness the ground-breaking ceremony at the site of this future national landmark on Sparks Street, 125 years to the day that the Stanley Cup was born.
Ongoing > Hockey in Canada – More Than Just a Game
From March 9 to October 9, 2017, sports enthusiasts will explore a new hockey exhibition developed by the Canadian Museum of History that celebrates the sport’s evolution and its widespread appeal. For more information on this program and to contribute your historical hockey items, please visit href="http://senators.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=106209">ottawasenators.com/sensartifacts.
Canada’s 150th celebrations will offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.