Celebrating Canada's 150th birthday...1500 soccer balls at a time
Last year, Free Footie asked what would happen if we treated our soccer ball like something more than a piece of equipment for kids to play with. That resulted in the design of the Treaty Six ball by Dawn Marie Marchand.
“A soccer ball is a prized possession for the kids in Free Footie,” says Tim Adams, founder and volunteer organizer of the free soccer program. “The kids will take it everywhere they go, so why not use it as more than just something to shoot, pass and dribble? I've always wanted to use the ball as a way of teaching the kids something beyond soccer.”
Welcome to The Wild Party
"Canada 150 - The Wild Party" by Jason Carter
To celebrate Canada's 150th birthday, Free Footie has teamed up with Jason Carter to develop the "Canada 150 - The Wild Party" ball. "It is concise, expressive, and colorful," he says, "and while it spins it looks like the landscape is alive." The canoe and silhouetted animals are Carter's reminder to us that we are all in this together, and the bison are a nod to the history of the fur trade and indigenous people of the time.
“Our kids are amazing, they don’t care where you come from, what colour you are or what language you speak – they just want to play." The way our kids embrace differences throughout the league is inspirational, and we wanted to create a piece of art and equipment that let us celebrate both our history as a nation, and the diversity of our league. We're all in this together, and we can not do it without one another.
Every Free Footie participant will be receiving one of these balls via generous contributions from ATB Financial, artistry by Jason Carter, and ongoing partnership with Volo Athletics.
Free Footie is a free soccer league for the highest needs kids in Edmonton. It started 9 years ago with 4 teams and 80 kids now there’s 88 teams and over 1300 kids. There are no registration fees and every child is given a pair or shin pads, soccer socks, shorts, a ball and a jersey. Our mandate: to ensure any kid that wants to play, can.
BUY YOUR OWN BALL!!
If you'd like to join the Wild Party, we'll do a mass order & then contact you when they arrive and make them available for pickup in Edmonton. Sorry, we CAN NOT ship or deliver. Orders of 10+ balls email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This $30 covers our costs + a small donation to our program. You can also donate here to buy a pair of shin guards for $5 or for $250 send a kid to summer camp!
About the artist!
Jason Carter is a Canmore-based artist who, in keeping with the tradition of his indigenous roots, creates stories filled with wonder and morals, and brings them to life through his chosen media: canvas, stone and the written word.
Who made the ball!
Ball manufacturing can be an exploitative business. Our ball is fair trade produced by Volo Athletics to ensure there's no child labour, fair wages and proper working conditions.
These balls would not be possible without the amazing support of ATB Financial. ATB paid for all our kids to get a ball for free!!