Willie O’Ree sitting on a bench and pulling on the laces of his skate in an arena change room with light blue cinder block walls

Willie

Hot Docs Film Festival

In a country filled with hockey heroes, Willie O’Ree stands amongst the greats. In 1958, he broke the colour barrier, becoming the first Black player in the National Hockey League. Sixty years later, his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame made history again. The youngest of 13 children and a descendant of escaped slaves, O’Ree rose from humble beginnings in Fredericton, New Brunswick, to a 22-year pro hockey career that intersected with the civil rights movement. His talent on the ice was only a fraction of his impact on the game; in 1998, he became the NHL’s diversity ambassador, with a focus on creating opportunities for kids who never had a chance to lace up a pair of skates. In Willie, everyone from his oldest friends to a new generation of players come together to honour a man dedicated to improving the world through a sport he loves.

More information and tickets

April 29, 6:30 PM (closed captions, audio description, Big Ideas screening)
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West

April 30, 4:30 PM (open captions, audio description)
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, 350 King Street West

May 3, 10:15 AM (closed captions, audio description)
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, 350 King Street West