Heritage Classic: Bringing Everyone Together

March 22, 2024 3 min read

By the end of March, Calgary Academy students look forward to their two-week spring break. Many learners get to leave on an exciting note as they play or watch the annual Heritage Classic student vs. teacher hockey game. Two teams battle on the ice (with no physical contact, of course) to the roar of the surrounding crowd.

While the games are fun, the Heritage Classic brings the CA community together for more than hockey. It’s a tradition students look forward to participating in, whether they’re playing, supporting, or volunteering.

Building Relationships on the Ice

The Heritage Classic began over a decade ago, getting its name from the same Heritage Classic held at McMahon Stadium in 2011—where the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens played an outdoor hockey game for over 40,000 people.

While there weren’t thousands in the crowd, students filled the stands of the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex to cheer on their peers. This annual event features four student teams from Grades 7, 8, 9, and 10 playing against the teachers. They hit the ice, hoping to win the Heritage Classic trophy, a silver-painted hockey skate.

While the games are entertaining, the true value of the Heritage Classic is how it brings the school community together. Senior School teacher Drew Cox, who has played in the event for 10 years, understands the value of sharing the ice with students.

“The main goal of the Heritage Classic is community building. It’s a chance to have fun with the students, share experiences, and create memories they can look back on.” – Mr. Cox

The Heritage Classic lets everyone show off their skills and see each other in a different light. Some learners may not even know their homeroom teacher played competitive hockey in the past. In Mr. Cox’s opinion, a little bit of friendly competition can help lifelong memories for students and staff and deepen their relationships.

“If you play against students you teach or have taught before, it strengthens those relationships. You see the children daily, but it’s very different when you see them on the ice.”

An Event for Everyone

While a hockey game is exciting, Mr. Cox and the other teachers planning the Heritage Classic want to get everyone involved. There are many ways to enjoy the event, whether as a fan or volunteer.

While approximately 60 students played between the Junior and Senior School teams, the rest of the CA community enjoyed the games as supporters in the bleachers. Having friends in the stands can mean the world or the players on the ice. Grade 8 student Alexis F. loved having everyone together to support each other.

“It was so much fun for my friends to see me play.”

Additionally, students were selected to sing the national anthem and perform a land acknowledgement. Students from the Grades 7–8 leadership classes ran concession, offering food and drinks to fundraise for the Tsuut’ina Community Hockey Team.

As always, the teachers hope to continue to find ways for students and staff to get involved in this popular event. Mr. Cox and other CA staff hope to include more ways for the community to participate in future Heritage Classic games. He wants this event to be a memorable experience for everyone, no matter their role.

“We’re trying to ensure everybody feels like there’s something to look forward to. The Heritage Classic can be a marquee event for the school. We’re mindful of everyone’s experience, so it’s not just a hockey game for a few people.”

While the final scores were close, the teachers took home the trophy this year, winning all four of the games.