November 21, 2016


** Inspirational panel of female leaders and athletes to participate in panel discussion on Friday, November 25 **

TORONTO — The 2016 Grey Cup Festival Committee announced today its plan to host a special celebration of Girls and Women in Sport, presented by Hicks Morley, during Grey Cup week in Toronto in advance of the 104th Grey Cup presented by Shaw on Sunday, November 27 at BMO Field. This marks the first time a Grey Cup Festival event has been entirely focused on women in sport.

Taking place on Friday, November 25 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, attendees will hear from influential and inspirational thought leaders, world-class athletes from the sports industry and beyond. The luncheon will celebrate, educate and strategize on how to continue to develop strong female leaders using sports as a springboard.

A powerful group of female athletes and leaders will be sharing their personal stories, their thoughts on how to build future leaders and the fundamental role sport plays, no matter what level you compete at.

Headlining the forum is keynote speaker, Stacey Allaster, Chief Executive, Professional Tennis for the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Allaster will discuss why having more women in leadership just makes good business sense. One of Forbes’ “Most Powerful Women in Sports,” Allaster was the Chairman and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) from 2009-2015. She is widely-regarded for leading transformational change to the WTA and shifting the balance of gender equality in sports and business.


Other panelists for the Grey Cup Festival’s Empowering Women and Community Through Sport forum include:
Michele O’Keefe – President & CEO, Canada Basketball
Rosie Cossar – Olympian, Activist
Susan Irving – Senior Director of Marketing, PepsiCo Global Snacks Group
Natalie Spooner – Olympic Medalist and Ambassador, Fast Female
Dr. Cheri Bradish – Associate Professor, Ryerson University and CAAWS Board Member

The panel discussion will be moderated by Tessa Bonhomme, gold medalist and TSN broadcaster.

“Whether it is building confidence, a commitment to a healthy lifestyle or learning how to thrive in a team environment, the value of sport in empowering young women is undeniable,” says Sara Moore, Chief Operating Officer of the 2016 Grey Cup Festival. “We are thrilled to use the Grey Cup Festival to showcase how sport can influence and inspire the next generation of female leaders – and we hope that discussions on women in sport can become a staple at future Grey Cups.”

A limited number of tickets for Empowering Women and Community Through Sport are available today for $150 at GreyCupFestival.ca.