Each market will host a Family Day game with Family Channel stars and popular TV characters from other series like SpongeBob SquarePants, Paw Patrol, Dora the Explorer and more

TORONTO (July 10, 2018) – The Canadian Football League (CFL) announced a new Family Day gameday theme for the 2018 season alongside a partnership with DHX Television’s Family Channel to enhance the Family Day experience in each market.

The Family Day theme is designed with families in mind, creating new and exciting experiences for kids, young adults and their parents. Many games are in the afternoon and are accompanied by affordably-priced ticket packages to allow the whole family to enjoy.





Saturday, July 21

4 p.m.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Toronto Argonauts

Saturday, August 25

1:30 p.m.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Calgary Stampeders

Saturday, September 8

5 p.m.

Calgary Stampeders at Edmonton Eskimos

Saturday, September 22

4 p.m.

Edmonton Eskimos at Ottawa REDBLACKS

Saturday, October 6

4 p.m.

Toronto Argonauts at BC Lions

Monday, October 8

1 p.m.

Calgary Stampeders at Montreal Alouettes

Monday, October 8

2 p.m.

Edmonton Eskimos at Saskatchewan Roughriders

Saturday, October 13

1 p.m.

Saskatchewan Roughriders at Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Saturday, October 27

4 p.m.

Ottawa REDBLACKS at Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Each game will host popular TV characters such as Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Chase, Marshall and Skye from Paw Patrol, SpongeBob SquarePants, Nella the Princess Knight and Dora the Explorer. These characters will be available for photos and interactions with young fans before and during the action.

Family Channel stars will also be in attendance for the Family Day games to meet fans in every market. Cast members from the hit show The Next Step including Victoria Baldesarra (Michelle), Alexandra Chaves (Piper), Shelby Bain (Amy), Noah Zulfikar (Kingston) and Briar Nolet (Richelle) will be on hand at certain games, along with Backstage’s Josh Bogert (Miles) and Devyn Nekoda (Vanessa), and Family Channel host Deepa Prashad. Brief bios on each star can be found at the bottom of this release.

“Creating a new game day theme like Family Day helps attract young families and expose them to the game many of us fell in love with at a young age,” said CFL Chief Marketing, Digital and Strategy Officer, Christina Litz. “Working with brands like the Family Channel enhances the way these gamedays look and feel and will create excitement for kids as they meet popular Family Channel stars from The Next Step and Backstage and interact with familiar faces like SpongeBob SquarePants and Paw Patrol characters.”

“We are thrilled to be working with the CFL on their Family Day initiative and are looking forward to being a part of the memories created by kids and families across the country,” said Joe Tedesco, Executive Vice President and General Manager, DHX Television. “Connecting with fans in local communities is important to us and we are excited to have our most popular Family Channel stars in attendance at every game.”

Each Family Channel star will be available for meet and greets with fans as well as the mascots in-stadium.


Victoria Baldesarra | The Next Step
Games Attending: Sept. 3 in Calgary, Oct. 6 in BC and Oct. 8 in Saskatchewan

Victoria Baldesarra stars as ‘Michelle’ in Family Channel’s hit tween series The Next Step. Starting her performance career at the age of three, Victoria has grown into an accomplished dancer, actress, singer and choreographer. Since joining the cast in season one, Victoria has danced across the world, performing live with The Next Step in Canada, the U.K., Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Shelby Bain | The Next Step
Games Attending: July 21 in Toronto, Sept. 8 in Edmonton, Sept. 22 in Ottawa and Oct. 13 in Winnipeg

Shelby Bain stars as ‘Amy’ in Family Channel’s hit tween series The Next Step. Shelby began dancing at the age of five and was a member of the competitive team by the age of six. She trains extensively in ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, contemporary, hip hop and acro and has competed in dance competitions throughout Canada and the US. Her television/film credits include American Girl: Isabelle Dances into the Spotlight, Withheld and Backstage.

Josh Bogert | Backstage
Games Attending: Aug. 25 in Calgary, Sept. 8 in Edmonton, Oct. 6 in BC and Oct. 8 in Saskatchewan

Josh Bogert stars as ‘Miles’ in Family Channel’s hit tween series Backstage. With a gifted voice and the natural ability to play every instrument from the piano to the drums, this Vancouver native’s talent knows no bounds! His musical career has taken him to venues around the world, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and in fall 2016, Josh released a self-titled EP. Backstage is Josh’s first role in a television series.

Alexandra Chaves | The Next Step
Games Attending: July 21 in Toronto, Sept. 22 in Ottawa, Oct. 8 in Montreal and Oct. 13 in Winnipeg

Alexandra Chaves stars as ‘Piper’ in Family Channel’s hit tween series The Next Step. Alexandra's passion for dance began at age four, training in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary. Her acting career began after winning an opportunity to be Junior Meteorologist on Global News, followed by a supporting role in the series, Being Girl.

Devyn Nekoda | Backstage 
Games Attending: Oct. 27 in Hamilton

Devyn Nekoda stars as ‘Vanessa’ in Family Channel’s hit tween series Backstage. Devyn started dancing at the age of two with the Lisa Naves Dance Company in Simcoe, Ontario and has proven to be a natural on camera, with her first audition scoring a leading role in the movie American Girl: Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight. More success quickly followed with recurring roles on Raising Expectations, The Next Step, Annedroids, Max & Shred, Degrassi and The Swap. Devyn also toured across Canada with Family Channel’s fifth annual Big Ticket Summer Concert.

Briar Nolet | The Next Step
Games Attending: July 21 in Toronto and Oct. 27 in Hamilton

Briar Nolet stars as “Richelle” in Family Channel’s hit series The Next Step. Briar Nolet is recognized as one of the top female contemporary/jazz dancers in North America, having earned several national and international titles. Briar has travelled across Canada on the Big Ticket Summer Concert tour and dancing with The Next Step which also took her to Europe, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the U.K. A triple-threat, Briar recently released her first single, “Boys.”  

Deepa Prashad | Family Channel Host
Games Attending: July 21 in Toronto

With an energetic personality and outgoing nature, it’s no wonder that Deepa’s the face of Family. Deepa has always been fascinated by the entertainment industry and her earlier aspirations had her considering a career as an actress or singer. But, after she began volunteering for Free The Children her passion for connecting with people shifted her priorities and she began exploring a different kind of on-camera role. As the host of Family, Deepa loves making new friends and bringing fans the scoop on the biggest Family news. But Deepa knows that a big part of the role is getting to know the audience – so meeting Family fans tops her to-do list! Deepa is also the first fulltime host of Toronto’s hit website blogTO.

Noah Zulfikar | The Next Step
Games Attending: July 21 in Toronto and Oct. 8 in Montreal

Noah Zulfikar stars as ‘Kingston’ in Family Channel’s hit series The Next Step. At a young age, Noah had two passions; soccer and dance. But his love for dance grew greatly after he took his first year of recreational Hip Hop in 2007. Noah currently trains and competes with the Canadian Dance Company in various styles, including: Hip Hop, contemporary, ballet, jazz, musical theatre and tap.

Lucas Barrett

Manager, Communications & Public Affairs, Canadian Football League

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