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Archived - Top six Play Exchange finalists to be showcased on CBC tonight

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Minister Ambrose encourages Canadians to tune in and cast their votes for the winner

January 9, 2014 - Ottawa - Public Health Agency of Canada

It’s finally here! Over the past year, the Public Health Agency of Canada has been working in collaboration with Canadian Tire, LIFT Philanthropy Partners (LIFT) and with support from CBC, on The Play Exchange, a national competition to seek out innovative, transformative ideas to promote healthier, active living across Canada.

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.

The top six finalists were announced last fall, and have each received mentoring and support from LIFT to develop a strategic business plan for their idea.

These ideas will be showcased tonight at 7:00 p.m. local time (7:30 p.m. NT) on a national CBC television special hosted by Amanda Lang, where celebrity advocates Patrick Chan, Jessica Holmes, Wab Kinew, Scott McGillivray, Chantal Petitclerc, and Trish Stratus champion for each of the individual finalists.

Following the broadcast, Canadians will have the opportunity to choose the winner by voting online for what they think is the best idea. The winner will receive up to $1 million from the Public Health Agency of Canada to help launch their active living idea across the country.

The six finalists and their advocates are as follows:

  • GOODcoins with advocate Scott McGillivray – An app that rewards users for making healthy decisions by awarding them “coins” that can be exchanged for prizes. Learn more.
  • Healthy Schools with advocate Trish Stratus – Teaching children to make their own healthy decisions in every facet of their lives, rather than forcing the decisions on them. Learn more.
  • Prescription to Get Active with advocate Jessica Holmes – Allowing doctors to write prescriptions that entitle patients to free access to fitness facilities and equipment. Learn more.
  • Sharing Dance with advocate Patrick Chan– A website from the National Ballet School that encourages activity through dance by offering free access to the school’s talents online. Learn more.
  • Trottibus with advocate Chantal Petitclerc – An alternative to a traditional school bus that sees children walking to school together in large groups, encouraging exercise and road safety. Learn more.
  • Walk to Tuk with advocate Wab Kinew – Challenging residents of the Northwest Territories to walk the equivalent of the distance of the Mackenzie River by walking within their own neighbourhoods and tracking their progress. Learn more.

Be sure to tune in to CBC tonight, and cast your vote for your favourite idea!

Quick Facts

  • The goal of the Play Exchange is to work across all sectors to leverage knowledge, expertise, reach and resources of each partner, 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.
  • A third of all Canadian children and youth are already overweight or obese.
  • The economic costs of obesity are estimated at $4.6 billion in 2008, based on costs associated with the eight chronic diseases most consistently linked to obesity.
  • To vote online and help select the winner, visit: between Friday, January 9 at 6:00 p.m EST and Friday, January 16 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
  • Canadians can vote online up to three times.
  • The CBC special will air again on Saturday, January 10 at 4:00 p.m. local time (4:30 p.m. NT).
  • Over 400 Canadians submitted ideas for The Play Exchange.
  • More information about The Play Exchange and the top six finalists is available on The Play Exchange website.


“I’m so proud of the top six Play Exchange finalists! Their ideas for how we can become a healthier, more active Canada are truly innovative and inspiring, and have showcased what makes Canada great as a nation: ingenuity, creativity and excellence. I’m looking forward to tonight’s show to see the finalists ideas showcased!”

The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

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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