April 13th 2022 Hyatt Regency Main Ballroom 4:00 pm
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.
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 1.5 million Canadians.
Sheldon’s awareness contributions are many:
- He in-line skated across Canada in 1998 to highlight the issue of child abuse and donated 100% of the proceeds ($1.2M) towards abuse prevention programs. During this skate he was presented with the keys to the cities of Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg.
- His life story was made into an Award Winning TV movie.
- In 2006 he published “Why I Didn’t Say Anything”; a riveting account of the many psychological impacts of abuse.
- He has shared his story through countless media appearances including Oprah, ABC’s Nightline, W-5, The Fifth Estate, and was named Canada’s newsmaker of the year in 1997.
- In 2016, Swift Current the documentary featured Sheldon’s story, providing a startling and never before seen look at recovery from childhood sexual abuse trauma.
Sheldon has received several awards for his tireless work including:
- 2021 Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree, Athabasca University
- 2020 Honorary Degree Recipient, Olds College
- 2020 Order of Sport – Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame – Builder Category
- 2020 Inductee Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame – Athlete/Builder Category
- ¬2020 Distinguished Honoree, Order of Hockey in Canada
- 2019-2020 WHL Governor’s Award
- 2018 Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Regina
- 2018 Hockey Canada Order of Merit
- 2016 Honorary Bachelor of Business Administration, SAIT
- 2016 Honorary Bachelor of Child Studies and Child and Youth Care, Mount Royal University
- 2016 Alberta Order of Excellence
- 2015 Member of The Order of Canada, 2015
- 2015 Member of The Order of Manitoba, 2015
- 2015 Honorary Doctorate of Laws, University of Calgary
- 2015 Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award, University of Guelph
- 2014 The David Foster Foundation Humanitarian Award
- 2013 Calgary Citizen of the Year