We Are All Members of Canada’s Outdoor Hockey Club

If you grew up in a cold place where the ponds, lakes and rivers froze over in winter, you are likely part of the outdoor hockey club. Even if you didn’t love hockey, but liked to skate or even just observe from the edges, filling you full of sights, sounds and smells of the ODR, you are an outdoor hockey club member. Building rinks on farm fields of the prairies or in Northern locations on the lakes, cheering on the players and helping them create a safe place to get out and get active, having fun with friends and breathing in the air of the crisp outdoors. You are part of this club if you don’t let cold winter days take hold, but instead create a place that you can escape to and forget the everyday and immerse yourself in the joy and passion, the energy of the great outdoors. I for one never experienced the ODR in winter, as it so rarely gets cold enough in my hometown in the winter. But that doesn’t stop us from enjoying ball hockey in the cul-de-sac and dead end streets of Victoria. In Canada, and beyond, we are all members of Canada’s Outdoor Hockey Club.

Canada's Outdoor Hockey Club

Game On! – Pouch Cove, Newfoundland – courtesy Brandy Saturley

Personally, I am a HUGE fan of a particular Outdoor Hockey Club born in Winnipeg during the pandemic. When so many kids lost the connection with friends through sporting activities, Winnipeg filmmaker Randy Frykas took note and his lifelong passion for hockey and documentary filmmaking came together in the most beautiful and authentic way. From Moosomin, Saskatchewan to Whitehorse Yukon, Ontario and back to Winnipeg, Manitoba and with six episodes in the can, the word is spreading quickly and now across the border.

Canadian documentary filmmaker, Randy Frykas.

After winning the ‘Purpose’ Category for the 2023 Outside Awards, the 5-minute OHC short film joined the Warren Miller film tour for a chance to win the People’s Choice award and $10,000. The awards were hosted by Outside Magazine and the tour hit 200+ cities in Canada, US, and UK. Well, the votes are in and OHC came out on top. Not too bad for a hockey film, up against two skiing films on a ski film tour!

outdoor hockey club

Eric Reder and his amazing rinks in Winnipeg – courtesy Randy Frykas

The film has been added to Outside TV’s streaming service and it is available to buy (link below). Two dollars from each sale will be donated to Save Pond Hockey and their ongoing climate action efforts. Most of us had an unpredictable winter when it came to playing outdoor hockey, so we feel this is a good way to share the film and help spread Save Pond Hockey’s message.

For more information on Save Pond Hockey, check them out here: https://savepondhockey.org/

On the ODR at Hillcrest Whitehorse – courtesy Randy Frykas

So, what’s next for OHC? Filming continues as Frykas works towards producing a longer film that will include more outdoor hockey sounds, sights, and stories from rinks everywhere.

You can follow along on Instagram and YouTube:



And the 5-min OHC documentary short is available here:


outdoor hockey club

The Outdoor Hockey Club in Canadian Art

There is a rich history of outdoor hockey paintings in Canadian Art, where the frozen lakes and ponds have served as both canvas and stage for the game’s timeless beauty.

From its humble origins in the 19th century to its modern-day prominence, hockey has evolved into more than just a sport—it’s a cultural phenomenon ingrained in the fabric of Canadian identity.

As the game’s rules refined over the decades, hockey’s essence remained rooted in tradition, spanning millennia of human history. Today, it evokes profound passion among players and fans alike, uniting communities under the banner of shared heritage and national pride.

Explore the artistic expressions inspired by this beloved sport, showcased in exhibitions across Canada and the US. These diverse interpretations shed light on hockey’s complexities, from inclusivity to the delicate balance between athleticism and its toll on individual well-being.

While acknowledging hockey’s inherent physicality and occasional controversies, it’s undeniable that the game fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie among its participants and supporters.

Step into the world of Canadian hockey through the eyes of five iconic artists, whose paintings vividly capture the essence of playing on outdoor rinks, lakes, streets, and ponds. Experience the beauty, the passion, and the timeless allure of hockey in its purest form.”

Molly Lamb Bobak – La Partie de hockey – courtesy Kilnkhoff Gallery

The Outdoor Hockey Club

James Duncan – Canadian Watercolour

The Outdoor Hockey Club

Bill Brownridge – Choosing Up (courtesy Heart of Hockey)

Brandy Saturley – A Punch Line and an Unknown (courtesy Artist & Colart Collection)

Canada's Outdoor Hockey Club

Richard Brodeur – Kids on The Lake

Outdoor Hockey Club