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Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society – World-class tennis venue opens Games on July 16
 
Toronto, ON – February 24, 2017 – Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games Host Society announced Thursday that Aviva Centre, the world-class tennis venue which stages the internationally-renown Rogers Cup presented by National Bank annually, will host the Opening Ceremony for Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games on July 16, 2017.
 
The site was chosen by the Host Society due in large part because of its intimate atmosphere, unique outdoor configuration and professional venue staff. With a seating capacity of approximately 7,500, multiple executive suites and 360-degree viewing, Aviva Centre will bring participants, spectators and the viewing audience closer to action.
 
The Opening Ceremony of the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games will feature the parade of nations, athletes, coaches, managers and mission staff, in addition to a dazzling cultural program, led by creative director and internationally-acclaimed Indigenous artist Tekaronhiáhkhwa Santee Smith.
 
Further details on the entire Opening Ceremony program will be released closer to the event date.

Located on the campus of York University in Toronto, the Aviva Centre, which opened in 2004, is owned and operated by Tennis Canada.
 
Quotes

“The Opening Ceremony is such a significant milestone for Toronto 2017 NAIG. The event sets the tone for the rest of the Games and highlights the importance of cultural integration in everything we do. We are thrilled to have Aviva Centre host the Opening Ceremony as the eyes of Turtle Island focus on our amazing Indigenous youth and the diverse cultures they represent.”

– Marcia Trudeau, CEO, Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games
 
“The intimacy of Aviva Centre will bring the artistic and cultural influence of the Opening Ceremony closer to the spectators in attendance. I look forward to working with our talented performers and the 2017 NAIG production team to bring the spirit of the Indigenous Games and the traditions of Indigenous people to this international stage.”
 
– Santee Smith, Creative Director, Opening Ceremony, Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games
 
“We are very excited and honoured to be host of such a significant sporting and cultural event. Our facility has been home to many talented athletes throughout the years, and the Opening Ceremony for the Toronto 2017 NAIG is a perfect fit. We look forward to welcoming all of the athletes, coaches, and staff to Aviva Centre as they embark on a week of competition and collaboration.” 
 
– Rich Lant, Vice-President, Operations, Aviva Centre and Tennis Canada
 
 Toronto 2017 NAIG Quick Facts

  • From July 16-23, 2017, the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (Toronto 2017 NAIG) are expected to be the largest sporting and cultural gathering of Indigenous Peoples in North America. The Toronto 2017 NAIG will host more than 5,000 participants, and thousands of spectators for 14 sport competitions being held within world-class venues located across the Greater Toronto Area, including the Region of Hamilton and Six Nations of the Grand River.
    • The 14 core sports of the Toronto 2017 NAIG include: 3-D Archery; Athletics; Badminton; Baseball; Basketball; Canoe/Kayak; Golf; Lacrosse; Rifle Shooting; Soccer; Softball; Swimming; Wrestling; Volleyball.
  • Equally important, Toronto 2017 NAIG will host two week-long cultural festivals open to the public, showcasing a variety of Indigenous artists, traditional learning, vendors, food, cultural performances and nightly entertainment.
  • Participating teams represent all 13 provinces and territories of Canada, as well as up to 13 regions from the United States; more than 5,000 athletes are expected to participate.
  • More than 2,100 volunteers have already signed up to be involved with 2017 NAIG through www.naig2017.to/en/getinvolved.
  • The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario, have each committed $3.5 million dollars to help fund the 2017 Games, in recognition of the NAIG as an important agent in promoting Indigenous sport development and recreation in Canada.
  • The Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario (ASWCO), in collaboration with the City of Toronto and Government of Ontario, won the bid to host Toronto 2017 NAIG. As the sole rights holder, ASWCO created Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society, a separate corporation to manage and operate the Games.
  • Net proceeds from 2017 NAIG will be directed to a Legacy Fund, aimed at providing increased sport, health and wellness programming, services and equipment to Indigenous youth across the Province of Ontario.

About Aviva Centre
Aviva Centre is a multipurpose world-class sports and entertainment complex. Spread over 15 acres, it is conveniently located in the north end of Toronto just minutes away from many of the city’s vital highways. Owned and operated by Tennis Canada, Aviva Centre opened in 2004. In addition to playing host to the annual Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, one of the top tennis tournaments in the world, Aviva Centre has served as the location for a multitude of other events such as sporting events, concerts, meetings, film and TV production, and more.
 

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Acknowledgement

Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society honours the traditional lands and homelands on which the 2017 North American Indigenous Games will take place. We honour and thank the Huron-Wendat Nation, Metis Nation of Ontario, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and Six Nations of the Grand River as our community partners and traditional inhabitants of the lands of the City of Toronto, Region of Hamilton, Durham Region and surrounding areas.
 

Contact Information:
Abidah Shirazi
Director, Marketing and Communications
Toronto 2017 NAIG Host Society
abidah.shirazi@naig2017.to
416-825-3348
 
Nicole Watts
Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Tennis Canada
nwatts@tenniscanada.com
416-665-9777 x4092