Friday, May 31, 2013

Kraft Celebration Tour - $250,000 to Improve Community Spaces Across Canada #KCT

Growing up, we lived across the street from an amazing playground. It was a "tire park" meaning a lot of the equipment was actually constructed out of old tires.  We had tire swings, an a-frame tire climbing structure, a big tower with a fireman's pole and long, steep slide, and more. One of the most unique pieces was a huge circle swing made up of I don't know how many tires bolted together and hanging in a big round circle from wooden poles. Oh! And they put an old wooden boat in there to play on as well. It was totally awesome.

During the summer months we would take off out of the house after breakfast and head over for a full day of play. (Seriously?! It's supper time already?) There were even washrooms in this park, on the hiking trails in behind playground. I remember in the first couple of years, the city actually employed high school students to act as sort of camp counsellors in the city-managed playgrounds. There were organised activities and crafts and water play. Skateboard competitions on the big half-pipe that they added in year two, and so much more. That tire park provided ample opportunity to get outdoors, get active, and make new friends. My
brother and I met so many kids from all over the neighbourhood, and it really provided a central point of focus for our community.

Of course, this was all back in the 70s, and I can guarantee you, not one of those play structures would pass inspection today! Can you picture me at 7 years old sitting astride a 10 foot tall tire climber? But, miraculously we all survived and thrived. We were so lucky to have that park, though I'm sure we never truly understood that at the time. Over the years it all fell into disrepair. The bright paint on the boat began to fade and peel. Then came vandalism and lack of upkeep. I'm not sure where the kids in my old neighbourhood play today. Lots of kids don't have access to this kind of central gathering place for creative and active play. Kraft Canada and TSN hope to help.

In celebration of community spaces and healthy, active lifestyles, the Kraft Celebration Tour has launched its fifth annual competition. Canadians can nominate their city or town for the chance to win $25,000 towards a community project that improves an existing space or helps create a brand new one. Each winning community will also host one of 10 live broadcasts of Canada’s most-watched sports news program, TSN, as part of this summer’s cross-country tour from August 16-25. Also joining the Kraft Celebration Tour once again this summer is RDS, as the network’s daily sports talk show, SPORTS 30 LE MAGAZINE, broadcasts live from winning communities in Quebec.

Since 2009, the Kraft Celebration Tour has helped hundreds of thousands of Canadians in 40 deserving communities with a total of $1 million toward projects such as: 
  • Building a skateboard park 
  • Upgrading a sports field 
  • Improving a boxing facility 
  • Renovating a community youth centre 

Not-so-great playground
(behind my parents' current home)
“Each year we embark with TSN on the Kraft Celebration Tour and are amazed at how committed Canadians across the country are to improving the communities that they live in,” said Jack Hewitt, Vice-President, Marketing Insights and Services, Kraft Canada. “Watching cities and towns rally around a common goal and show such incredible hometown pride is inspiring, and we look forward to experiencing it again this year and for years to come.”

“Through the Kraft Celebration Tour, we've been able to continue our tremendous partnership with Kraft Canada and give back to deserving Canadians across the country,” said Stewart Johnston, President, TSN. “For the past four years, the communities that are honoured and the stories that are told by the Kraft Celebration Tour help remind us how fortunate we are to live in such a diverse and beautiful country filled with countless remarkable people. To be a part of something as special as this program is an honour for all of us at TSN and we can’t wait to head out on the road again.”

Canadians can nominate their community online at and just until June 7. To nominate, you must submit a short essay and up to five photos explaining why your community deserves to be a part of the Kraft Celebration Tour and how the $25,000 community award would be used towards the creation or improvement of a local community space. The essay should also touch upon how the award would help promote community spirit, a passion for sports, and an active lifestyle.  
Awesome playground.
Of course, as you can see from the list above, it's not just playgrounds we're talking about here. Any community project that will promote community spirit and active lifestyles is eligible for nomination. If your community could benefit from a $25,000 grant for such a space, please head right on over to the Kraft Celebration Tour website to get all the details on the process, as well as to see some projects that were supported in previous years. Best of luck!!

You can join in the discussion on the Kraft Celebration Tour Facebook page and keep up to date on all the happenings!

Disclosure – I am participating in the Kraft Celebration Tour Blogger Campaign. I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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