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Media Advisory: Couchiching Institute Brings Together Top Leaders to Discuss Sport in Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 07/03/14 -- Between the Sochi Olympics and the FIFA world cup, it seems like our news cycle is dominated by sports coverage. Sport dominates our culture and the news cycle, but it is not often the subject of critical public policy discussions. Until now. The 83rd Annual Couchiching Summer Conference, August 7 - 10, will dig deep into the psyche of sport, examining the idea of competition itself and the way it brings out both the best and the worst in us.

Over four days, we will hear from 20 different speakers on all aspects of sport and public policy. We will hear from journalists on the media mythologies around sport icons and why violence sells. We will consider how Canada has bound its national identity to a sport that is too expensive for many young Canadians to play. Politicians will be asked to defend a spending policy that restricts funds for gym classes in elementary schools. And the conference will examine the exclusion, discrimination, corruption, cheating, match-fixing, and illegal gambling that are also part of the world of sport.

The annual Couchiching conference attracts politicians, industry and corporate leaders, future leaders, young professionals, and those interested in being part of a vigorous and passionate exchange of ideas on national and international matters of significance.

This year, speakers include:

John Doyle, The Globe and Mail's television critic, soccer rapporteur, and author of the national bestseller The World is a Ball: The Joy, Madness, and Meaning of Soccer.

The Honourable Ken Dryden, a Canadian politician, lawyer, businessman, author, and former NHL goaltender.

Thomas Hall, sprint canoeist and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist.

Nancy Lee, Former director of CBC Sports and vice president on the board of directors of the Commonwealth Games.

The Honourable Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women.

David Peterson, Chair of the Board of Toronto 2015 Pan American Games Organizing Committee.

Glen Hodgson, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the Conference Board of Canada.

Bruce Kidd, PhD, Interim Principal of the University of Toronto Scarborough, Warden of Hart House, and a Professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto.

Richard Pound, Former Founding President of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Elisabeth Walker-Young, Chef-de-Mission for the 2015 Para Pan Am Games

For the full line up of speakers and session descriptions, please visit


Registration is still open to the public. For more information and details on the Summer Conference, please visit

Media passes still available.

WHEN:   August 7 - 10, 2014
WHERE:  Geneva Park, Lake Couchiching, Simcoe County, Ont.

Speaker Interviews

Interview opportunities with speakers are available to media, both before and during the conference, pending availability. For more information, media inquiries, media accreditation, or to book an interview, please contact Aisha Silim, Chair, Marketing and Communications Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs.

About Couchiching

The Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs, a charitable non-partisan organization, has played a pre-eminent role in Canada's civic discourse on public affairs since its inaugural conference in 1932. A civil place to disagree, its mission is to increase awareness, understanding and knowledge of domestic and international issues among people in Canada through open and inclusive discussion, without advocacy or partisanship, at its annual Summer Conference and throughout the year in Conversations across Canada.

Find us on Facebook (Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs) or follow us on Twitter (@couchiching).

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