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This article was published 3/2/2020 (841 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Le Classique is a good example of how a local community event can have a far-reaching impact way beyond its borders.
The eighth annual edition of the event will be held on Fri., Feb. 7 and Sat., Feb. 8 at Centre culturel franco-manitobain, which is located at 340 Provencher Blvd.
The event, which has been billed as the Western Canada’s largest winter outdoor three-on-three ball hockey festival, is the largest annual fundraiser for the Canadian CMV Foundation. Rob Tétrault, the foundation’s chair, co-founded Le Classique with Marc Foidart in 2012.
"When Marc Foidart and I started this over eight years ago, we knew we wanted to host a community event and we knew we wanted to throw a party, but at the heart of it all, we knew we wanted to raise money. The Canadian CMV Foundation is the result of all that hard work," Tétrault said in the release, adding this year’s fundraising target has been set at $100,000.
CMV is a debilitating congenital birth defect that can cause serious disease in babies who were infected with it before birth. About one in 150 children is born with the condition, which can cause a wide range of neurodevelopmental disabilities in babies.
Kayla Keenan, the foundation’s executive director, told The Lance that the organization and the CMV community took two major steps forward in 2019.
"For us, there were two really big things that happened in 2019," Keenan said.
Firstly, she said, Ontario implemented the first-ever universal screening protocol — a global first meaning that every baby born in the province was screened for CMV.
Secondly, the foundation entered a successful bid to host the 2020 CMV Public Health and Policy Conference, which will be held in Ottawa in August.
"The screening protocol means that every single baby in Ontario will be screened, which is huge for us. It’s the gold standard," Keenan said.
"And this will be the first time the conference will be held in Canada and not in the U.S., and people from all over the world will be coming to learn how Canada is leading the way with this."
Since it began eight years ago, Le Classique has grown and evolved, and teams, divisions, and activities have continued to be added to the weekend. This year, there will be five divisions — novice, competitive, corporate, women’s, and co-ed — and there will also be a large social on the Friday night.
Saturday afternoon — also known as family fun day — will feature of number of free activities for children, which will include face painting and bouncy castles. There will also be live performances by Mr. Circus at 1 p.m., Tibert Le Voyageur at 2 p.m., and a live musical performance by Kiki et L’Abeille at 3 p.m.
Go online at leclassique.ca for more information about the event. Go online at cmvcanada.com to learn more about the foundation.
Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at email@example.com or call him at 204-697-7111.