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Hockey Diversity Alliance announces inaugural HDA WinterFest during All-Star Weekend

Hockey Diversity Alliance ad Westhead HDA HDA - Duclair, Dumba, Simmonds, Kadri and Aliu - Budweiser Canada

The Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA) announced Thursday that it will be launching the inaugural WinterFest - a community event committed to highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion in hockey - on February 3 at Toronto's Trinity Bellwoods Park during NHL All-Star Weekend.

"WinterFest will transform Trinity Bellwoods Park into a vibrant hub of hockey, entertainment, and community spirit," said HDA Chairman and former NHL player Akim Aliu in a statement. "HDA is honoured to host the first WinterFest, celebrating Canadian heritage and diversity in hockey, during NHL All-Star Weekend while the spotlight is on Toronto. It’s great to have all the founders in town and for the community to see their favourite HDA members and players on the ice."

The free event includes a celebrity hockey match, youth ice and ball hockey competitions and a hockey skills showcase. Attendees will have the chance to cheer on their favourite players from the fan zone, savour the diverse flavours of Toronto's food scene at the on-site food trucks and win prizes while supporting the organization. Expected celebrity players will be announced closer to the date.

"HDA has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in hockey since day one," HDA co-founder and former NHLer Wayne Simmonds said in a statement. "By opening the event to the public, we hope to inspire a new generation of players and fans.”

WinterFest is sponsored by Canadian Tire, CCM, Lululemon and Kraft Heinz. “We are so grateful for the support of our sponsors, including those who have supported HDA since the beginning, for their commitment to fostering equality in hockey and their integral role in bringing this event to the community,” says HDA co-founder and Calgary Flames centre Nazem Kadri.