The Heroes Gala
September 27, 2023
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building
On Wednesday, September 27, 2023, Right To Play presents its eighth annual Heroes Gala – a fundraising event hosting Toronto's business and sports communities for a night of philanthropy and fun.
The Heroes Gala is Right To Play’s annual must-attend signature fundraising event, honouring outstanding heroes who are doing extraordinary work to help children and youth rise above adversity. In 2022, the gala was recognized as one of the top 10 Benefits in the U.S. and Canada by BizBash Magazine.
Headquartered in Toronto, Right To Play operates in 15 countries around the world - including more than 70 Indigenous communities in Canada - reaching over 1.52 million children and youth through play-based programming.
The Heroes Gala brings together more than 1,000 + community leaders in business, sports, entertainment, government and philanthropy to honour incredible heroes who are doing amazing things to make the world a better place for children to live, learn, play and rise. An impactful evening of inspiration and hope, the prestigious awards include - Corporate Hero, Athlete Hero, and Youth Hero. These dedicated honourees invest their time and talents to protect, educate and empower children and youth in Canada and around the globe.
The 2023 Heroes Gala is Proud to Honour
Corporate Hero Award
CEO, Rogers Communications
Right To Play is pleased to honour Tony Staffieri as the 2023 Corporate Hero award winner. Tony is the President and CEO of Rogers Communications and is a highly regarded and seasoned leader. Tony previously held the Chief Financial Officer position at Rogers for nine years, showcasing his commitment to building and nurturing relationships. Prior to Rogers, Tony held senior leadership positions with Price WaterhouseCoopers, Celestica International and Bell Canada Enterprises. Under Tony’s guidance, Rogers Communications Canada has been a proud supporter of Right To Play since 2008.
Youth Hero Award
Right to Play Youth Leadership Program, Beausoleil Island, Ontario
Lola Monague is a remarkable young leader, who has been part of the Beausoleil First Nation Right To Play program since she was in Grade 4. Lola is a champion for the youth in her community and is always happy to share her story, act as a role model, and draw on her experience to create positive change. Lola was recently selected to attend a conference on the Anishnaabek Education System and was elected to be on their youth council, where she spoke on the impact of the Youth Leadership program, as well as what we can do to holistically support Indigenous youth in public schools.
Athlete Hero Award
Former Canadian Soccer player, 2x Olympic Bronze Medalist & co-founder of Project 8 Sports
Diana Matheson is a two-time Olympic bronze medalist who was a member of Canada’s Women’s National Soccer Team from 2003-2021. During her career Diana represented Canada over 200 times, played in four FIFA World Cups and three Olympic Games, and earned a bronze medal in both London 2012 and Rio 2016. Diana is perhaps best known for scoring the game-winning goal in the bronze medal against France in the London Olympic Games in 2012. Following her playing career Diana earned an EMBA from the Smith School of Business and a UEFA Master for International Players. Now, as co-founder and CEO of Project 8 Sports Inc., Diana is leading the creation of Canada’s first and only women’s professional soccer league, set to kick-off in 2025. A proud Right To Play Ambassador since 2015, Diana has made numerous visits to communities in Canada, including working with the PLAY team to organize a soccer for development clinic to support Indigenous youth.
Meet Our Hosts
Host, Sportsnet Central
Since joining Sportsnet in April 2007, Evanka Osmak has established herself as one of the network’s most trusted and recognizable personalities as primetime host of Sportsnet Central – Sportsnet’s nightly sports news program. Alongside regular co-host Ken Reid, Osmak breaks down the day in sport’s highlights, headlines and interviews for viewers across Canada.
In addition to her role on Sportsnet Central, Osmak previously contributed to Sportsnet’s coverage of the National Bank Open presented by Rogers, serving as host and courtside reporter in Toronto or Montreal.
Hailing from Oakville, ON, Osmak originally pursued a career in civil engineering before transition to her true passion – broadcasting. After graduating from Seneca College at York University, Osmak launched her broadcast career with JACK-FM in Orillia, ON before moving south of the border to work as a morning show host on KYMA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Yuma, Arizona.
Olympic Gold Medalist & Host of the Amazing Race Canada
Jon Montgomery’s life has been a whirlwind since his Olympic win in skeleton racing at the Vancouver Whistler Olympics in 2010. His big-time podium moment and his now-famous victory “beer-walk” through Whistler Village have paved the way for Montgomery to continue to find himself on Canadian TV.
Today, as the host of The Amazing Race Canada, Jon travels across the country, and all over the world, filming and sharing insights with audiences of all stripes on what makes Canada great and why the goals we set for ourselves are only as achievable as we believe they are.
Jon embraces any opportunity to engage with live and virtual audiences, auctioneering something sentimental for your charity or inspiring your attendees with a parade-of-stories, chronicling a young mans journey from the flatlands of the prairies to the top of the Olympic podium - reminding us all that it’s alright to be proudly Canadian and celebrate the good times along the way!
DATE – Wednesday, September 27, 2023
LOCATION – Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, Halls F&G
ATTIRE – Black Tie Optional
EVENT FEATURES – Entertainment – Celebrity Athletes – Cocktails & Dinner
COCKTAIL RECEPTION – 5:30PM
EVENING & DINNER PROGRAM – 6:30PM
AFTER PARTY – 9:30PM
Right To Play invites you to support us by sponsoring The Heroes Gala.
Joining the 2023 Heroes Gala as a sponsor will provide you with an opportunity to align your values with the mission and vision of Right To Play, showcasing your values and our shared impact to a diverse crowd of patrons.
For more information or to purchase a sponsorship or table, please contact:
Lara Fellman, Sr. Manager, Strategic Partnerships & Engagement, Right To Play Canada
firstname.lastname@example.org | 416-819-3414
Thank You To Our Sponsors
Pillar & Celebration Sponsors
THANK YOU TO OUR 2023 HEROES GALA COMMITTEE
Glenn Brandt, Chief Financial Officer, Rogers Communications
Rob Sainsbury, Managing Director, Global Investment Banking, Scotiabank
Sandra Taube-Godard, Independent Director and member of Right To Play’s Canadian Advisory Board
Jeff Fan, Managing Director & Global Head of Research, Scotiabank
Loren Francis, Vice President & Principal, Highview Financial Group and member of Right To Play’s Canadian Advisory Board
John Knowlton, Senior Managing Director & Business Manager, OMERS
Ralph Lean, Founding Chairman, Right To Play
Andrew Stokes, Senior Director, Partnership Development + Innovation, MLSE
Eric Wetlaufer, Managing Partner, Twin River Capital, Board Member TMX Group