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Play On! was conceived in London, Ontario by a graduate of the Ivey business school in 2002 and first operated in Halifax Nova Scotia in 2003. Play On! Canada was later incorporated as a not for profit organization. All partnership contributions to Play On! Canada are used to promote the importance of play by producing and/or supporting events that provide Canadians with positive introductory sport experiences.” These events then serve as powerful, emotional builders of loyalty and love between communities and our brand partners."
In its largest season, the program involved 6070 teams, 42,006 participants, and an estimated 336,000 spectators. It grew at an average of 30% annually in the years 2008 - 2014. When the NHL broadcast landscape in Canada changed from from CBC to Sportsnet in 2015, the Play On! program had to be simplified & restructured. The program is being expanded again in 2017 as part of Canada's 150th birthday festivities