Sheldon Kennedy

Advocate | Author

Sheldon Kennedy won a Memorial Cup, World Junior Gold Medal and skated for three teams in his eight-year NHL career. He is best known for his courageous decision to charge his Major Junior Hockey league coach with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered over a five year period while a teenager under his care. Through this disclosure, and the important work that Sheldon continues to do, he has become an inspiration to millions around the world.

Kennedy’s off-ice contributions are extensive and his impact has extended well beyond sport and the Canadian border. Sheldon has been instrumental in bringing governments, public and private sector partners together to work collaboratively to influence policy change and improve the way child abuse is handled. He has influenced changes in Canadian law and has taken his message to the International Olympic Committee and the US Senate.

Sheldon was Co-founder of the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre, the first-of-its-kind in Canada, offering full wrap-around services for victims of child abuse. He is also the Co-founder of Respect Group, which provides empowering online abuse, bullying and harassment prevention education to sport organizations, schools and the workplace. Respect Group has currently certified over 2 million Canadians.

Some of Kennedy’s additional accomplishments are listed below

  • Won numerous Awards including the Order of Canada and the Hockey Canada Order of Merit, Order of Hockey in Canada, Order of Sport-Canada Sports Hall of Fame-Builder, Alberta Order of Excellence, Order of Manitoba
  • Designed and launched the “Speak Out” program with Hockey Canada in 1997
  • In-line skated across Canada in 1998 to raise awareness of child abuse and donated all $ 1.2 M proceeds to the Canadian Red Cross to maintain the Speak Out program
  • Named Newsmaker of the Year in 1997
  • Spent countless volunteer hours as Lead Director of the Sheldon Kennedy/Calgary Child Advocacy Centre and was instrumental in the development and implementation of an Integrated Practice Model
  • Instrumental in bringing the topic of Mental Health and Addiction into the realm of Sport and beyond
  • Anonymous volunteer resource for the NHLPA substance abuse program
  • Athlete member/Subject Matter Expert of the International Olympic Committee Medical Committee
  • Authored “Why I Didn’t Say Anything”
  • Had an award-winning movie made about his life
  • Funded and produced the Documentary “Swift Current”
  • Trusted Subject Matter Expert and Advisor to various hockey leagues, including NHL, CHL, WHL, OHL
1:15 – 2:00 pm

friday friday, sept 8th

reflective panel

Panelists: Sheldon Kennedy, Emilie Castonguay, Melody Davidson, Bayne Pettinger

8:45 – 9:30 am

saturday saturday, sept 9th

Keynote Speaker

Co-founder, Respect Group Inc., child advocate and former NHL player