The Calgary Hitmen are bringing their anti-bullying campaign to virtual classrooms for the fifth annual Telus Be Brave event.
The online campaign will take place Feb. 24 in conjunction with Canada's Pink Shirt Day, a day in which Canadians are encouraged to wear pink to take a stand against bullying.
Former Calgary Stampeder and member of the Calgary Fire Department, Randy Chevrier, will play host to the event.
"The opportunity to host this virtual event is even more important in an effort to reach our youth and provide them the confidence to speak up and out with the message to end bullying," said Hitmen vice-president and alternate governor Mike Moore said.
Elise Morden, founder and CEO of the anti-bullying society No Time for That, will speak to students and share her message.
"I was bullied both in school and also as a young adult so I know what it is like and know how harmful it can be,” she said. “I also know that there is hope and that standing up really does make a difference.”
"There is no time for bullying and I'm so glad that the Calgary Hitmen and Alberta students agree."
The event will be livestreamed on the Hitmen's website and delivered in 50-minute packages for students.
Elementary classes can partake at 9 a.m., middle and junior high classes at 10 a.m. and high school classes following at 11a.m.
Leading up to the event, students are encouraged to post on social media with the hashtag #TelusBeBrave, sharing messages of kindness and compassion. All posts will be featured on a wall that will be shown during the event and on social media.
Nimmi Kanji, director of Telus Wise, said it is crucial to continue to host anti-bullying events amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Youth are spending more time online now due to COVID-19, increasing the chances they’ll witness or experience cyberbullying, and making digital safety education more important than ever before,” she said.
Registration is open to all schools in Calgary and surrounding area.
Teachers are encouraged to register starting Thursday, Feb. 4 at noon. The first 25 classes to register will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and Hitmen swag pack.
Each class that registers will receive a Telus Be Brave resource package.
In previous years, more than 12,000 students would participate in the Hitmen's annual #EndBullying game at the Saddledome.