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Archived - Minister Ambrose and partners reveal top six finalists for The Play Exchange, Canada's Active Living Challenge

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Finalists to receive mentorship, business case planning and national exposure in an upcoming television special.

Over the past few months, hundreds of Canadians from coast to coast to coast have embraced The Play Exchange, submitting fun and innovative ideas to encourage Canadians to live healthier and more active lifestyles. Today, Minister Ambrose and the Play Exchange partners announced the top six finalists in the running for up to $1 million to launch their project.

The finalists are:

  • Healthy Schools Putting Students First
  • Prescription to Get Active
  • Walk to Tuk Challenge
  • Sharing Dance
  • Trottibus Walking School Bus
  • GOODcoins

The top six finalists will each receive mentoring and support from LIFT Philanthropy Partners to develop a strategic business plan for their idea. These ideas will be showcased on a national television show in January 2015. Canadians will then have the chance to choose the winner by voting online for what they think is the best idea. 

Finalists were chosen by a panel of Canadian judges: Jennifer Heil, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist in Freestyle Skiing, Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District, Scott Haldane, President and CEO, YMCA Canada, Claudine Labelle, Founder of FitSpirit and Gregg Saretsky, President and CEO, Westjet.

The Play Exchange is a national online challenge that was launched in February 2014 to find and support creative ideas to get Canadians living healthier lifestyles. All Canadians were encouraged to submit their ideas for a healthier Canada, including schools, students, families, as well as not-for-profit organizations, social enterprises and businesses.

The Play Exchange is a partnership between the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Tire, LIFT Philanthropy Partners, and with support from CBC.

Quick Facts

  • The goal of the Play Exchange is to work across all sectors, partners can leverage knowledge, expertise, reach and resources, allowing each to do what it does best, while working towards a common goal of engaging Canadians to live healthier more active lifestyles.
  • Only four percent of Canadian children are getting the recommended amount of daily physical activity.
  • Approximately two out of every three adults in Canada are overweight or obese and almost one in three children and youth is already overweight or obese.
  • Over 400 Canadians submitted ideas for The Play Exchange.
  • For more information on the finalists and updates, visit The Play Exchange website.


“The ideas we received from across the country for how we can become a healthier, more active Canada were truly innovative and inspiring. The Play Exchange has reached Canadians across every region, tapping into their ingenuity, supporting projects they designed and want delivered. Children, schools and community groups have joined together with their government in an unprecedented way.  Thank you to everyone who submitted ideas.”  

-The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

“As a company that’s passionate about living an active lifestyle, it’s been very encouraging to see Canadians rallying behind The Play Exchange initiative.  We’ve been inspired by so many of the ideas that have been submitted and are very much looking forward to the mentoring phase where we get to help the finalists bring their plans to life.”

 -Allan MacDonald
Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Tire

“We’re delighted by the overwhelming response that The Play Exchange has received from Canadians.  The six finalists have all demonstrated a strong commitment in helping Canadians lead healthier, more active lives, and we look forward to the opportunity to lead them through the business planning process.”

-Bruce Dewar
President and CEO, LIFT Philanthropy Partners

Related Products

Fact Sheet: Play Exchange Finalists

Associated Links

Information on the top six finalists’ ideas


Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
(613) 957-2983

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