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Past President of Hockey North Honoured with
Hockey Canada's Order of Merit
May 26, 207 - St. John's, NFLD

Order Of Merit (West) - Gary Vivian

An individual who has served amateur hockey faithfully

As long as there has been a Hockey North, Gary Vivian has been there. He has become synonymous with the member branch while serving in a number of roles over the last two decades, so it comes as no surprise that Gary is the recipient of the Hockey Canada Order of Merit.

Starting behind the bench in 1977 – the year he moved to Yellowknife from Calgary – Gary became one of the most successful coaches in the North. He won gold and silver at the Arctic Winter Games in 1998 and 2000, and worked with Midget teams that competed in Air Canada Cup playdowns in 2001 and 2002.

But as good as Gary was as a coach, his true calling was in the boardroom. In 1991 he took over as president of the Yellowknife Minor Hockey Association, a position he held until 1997, when he joined the newly-created Hockey North as a member of the board of directors.

He quickly worked his way through the organization, taking on roles with Senior Council, Minor Council and Hockey Development Council, which allowed him access to Hockey Canada and a national platform.

Gary has been a tireless supporter of hockey in the north, despite the challenges. Hockey North has the smallest registration of any member branch but covers a massive area, with thousands of kilometres separating minor hockey associations.

In 2004 he rose to become president of Hockey North, earning a seat on the Hockey Canada board of directors and taking a deserved spot among the decision-makers of the game, where his voice could be heard and his passion could be on full display.

He spent 11 years as president before stepping away from the position in 2015, although he remains past president and treasurer, contuining to support the member branch in any and all ways possible.

And he has done it all while holding down a full-time career as a decorated geoscientist; in 2014, Gary was honoured with the Canadian Professional Geoscientist Award, proving his passion for his day-to-day work matches what he has shown as a hockey volunteer.

Gary has proudly represented the Northwest Territories and the entire North, willingly accepting any challenges and taking on any tasks in the name of building a better and stronger game.

The Canadian Tire First Shift program is designed to ease kids and their families into the sport of hockey in a fun and welcoming environment. It is open to boys and girls 6-10 years old, who have never previously registered to play hockey. The registration fee of $199 includes: 

  • A Welcome Event, with information, education and an equipment fitting session 
  • A complete set of Bauer equipment 
  • Six ‘Learn to Play’ ice sessions designed by Hockey Canada 
  • Program insurance for all participants

Online registration is now open for Fort Smith Minor Hockey Fall Program.  

This year, Hockey Canada has relaunched the Initiation Program to get the focus back on development for the younger players of the game.  Hockey North has implemented a three year plan targeting MHA's and communities for the  development for these younger players.  FUN with Cross Ice game with smaller nets and lighter pucks will get these kids off on the right start to hockey.

 Please contact td@hockeynorth for information on Initiation Programs in the North.

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