The Edmonton Elks are less than a month away from preseason action at Commonwealth Stadium and when they hit the field, the night will be dedicated to the people of Ukraine.
Friday, June 3 will be Stand With Ukraine night, when the Elks take on the Calgary Stampeders at 7 p.m.
Single game tickets to the game will cost $15 and all of the proceeds are going to the Canada Ukraine Foundation. The money will go directly to supporting Ukrainians who are resettling in Alberta.
“As a community-owned team, we have a responsibility to give hope, inspiration, and provide action to Edmontonians on important issues. Supporting the people of Ukraine is a cause that resonates throughout our community, given our city’s deep ties with the Ukrainian people,” said Elks president and CEO Victor Cui.
“Our club has a unique opportunity to do something large scale, bringing together more than 50,000 people for a shared moment of solidarity with Ukraine.”
Alberta is home to about 350,000 people of Ukrainian descent, according to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress of Edmonton.
The city itself has welcomed hundreds of newcomers from Ukraine over the past several weeks.
“I am so pleased to see such an important, community driven initiative that will change the lives of so many people underway in our city,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “Edmontonians are caring and compassionate people and it makes me proud to see all of the ways the Elks are supporting the people of Ukraine.”
While the players will still wear their typical green and gold jerseys, the Elks say the stadium will have many blue and gold elements to to showcase the Ukrainian culture.
Before the game, the Viter Ukrainian Folk Choir will perform the Ukrainian national anthem. There will also be a performance by more than 200 Ukrainian bilingual students from the Edmonton area. At halftime, Edmonton’s Ukrainian Shumka dancers will perform their classic Hopak.
“Ukrainian Albertans have contributed so much to our province’s communities, culture and economy. As the minister of culture also responsible for sport, it is inspiring to see the crossover between sport, culture and support for the people of Ukraine,” said Minister of Culture Ron Orr.
“Thank you to the Edmonton Elks for their continued dedication to social responsibility and community, and for supporting a cause that holds a special place in the hearts of many Albertans.”
Tickets for the preseason game are available through Ticketmaster. The Elks also announced that all single game regular season tickets are also on sale.
The Elks open the regular season on the road against the B.C. Lions on June 11. The team’s first home game is Saturday, June 8 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
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