This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Reconciliation a focus at sold-out Winnipeg Blue Bombers game Friday

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Friday’s game at IG Field is a big one for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and their fans — and not only because it’s a rematch with the Toronto Argonauts, who beat the Bombers to win the 2022 Grey Cup championship.

It’s also the Orange Shirt Day game, in recognition of Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Bombers president and CEO Wade Miller said the football club has teamed up with Exchange Income Corporation (EIC) to bring 1,200 people to the stadium from Indigenous communities across Manitoba and northern Ontario.

“We’re able to do that because of EIC and their commitment to this program,” Miller told Global Winnipeg.

“They’re the driving force behind this, and what an undertaking it is for them to fly all the kids on their different airlines … to get everybody here, to put them up in the hotels — logistically to get them to the stadium. And then when they’re at the stadium, it’s easy for us.”

Story continues below advertisement

"We've got a good group. They know what they need to do."


— Winnipeg Blue Bombers (@Wpg_BlueBombers) September 26, 2023

Miller said the scope of the annual Orange Shirt Day game has grown from bringing members of a single community to Winnipeg for a game prior to the pandemic into something much larger across the CFL.

“It’s unbelievable, these kids get to be part of a game day, and it’s so special, for all our fans,” he said.

“That Orange Shirt Day game now has gone right across this country, and as a league, this’ll be the first time all the teams are wearing orange jerseys for warmup and in each city, they’ll be auctioning off those jerseys or raffling them off to raise money for a local Indigenous group.

Story continues below advertisement

“Last year, we were able to raise $50,000 with that and we’re hoping to do the same this week.”

Trending Now

On the field, the Bombers are expecting some changes in the lineup for their league-leading, 12-1 opponents. The Argos have indicated they’ll likely be sitting some of their star players to keep them healthy.

Winnipeg defensive back Brandon Alexander said that won’t change the Bombers’ game plan.

“We’ve just got to be able to start fast. We’ve just got to find a way not to get punched in the mouth first,” Alexander told Global Winnipeg.

“New players will bring new challenges in themselves. Their game plan will still stay the same.

“They’re going to still be who they are as a team — collectively, they’re going to be the same team. We’ve just got to be prepared for smaller nuances in what these new guys like to do.”

Story continues below advertisement