Team Manitoba celebrating after scoring a goal against Team Newfoundland and Labrador, 1991.

Shinny. Stick and puck. Pick up puck. Hockey has gone by many names, but none greater than Canada’s game. In Canada, hockey is viewed as more than a sport, but as an expression of identity, culture, and pride, representative of both the nation and its people.1 This narrative has been criticized as tying masculinity to Canadian national identity,2 but hockey is not and has never been an exclusively male sport. While women were absent from national and international competitions until 1990, the 1990s saw rapid expansion in women’s hockey, beginning with the first Women’s World Hockey Championship in 1990, and ending with the addition of women’s hockey at the Olympics in 1998. Between this, women’s hockey was first included in the Canada Games at the 1991 Winter Games in Charlottetown, PEI, and the Canada Games are inherently linked to the international success of women’s hockey. This exhibit highlights how the Canada Games were instrumental to the development of high-performance women’s hockey in Canada through the 1991 and 1995 Winter Games. The inclusion of women’s hockey at the Canada Games created grassroot programs, kept girls in the sport, gave them role models, and increased visibility of the game, becoming critical to high-performance women’s hockey in Canada and making Canadian women a dominant force in the sport.


Team Ontario on the bench, 1995.