Hockey Canada is pleased to announce the recipients of the Kenneth R. Stiles Memorial Scholarships for the 2022-23 season. These scholarships are awarded annually to officials in the Hockey Canada Officiating Program of Excellence (OPOE) and help to offset the cost of post-secondary education, as officials pursue their academic and officiating goals. Hockey Canada congratulates these officials for exemplifying the principles of the OPOE through their continued success both on and off the ice.
“It is always a pleasure to be able to award the Kenneth R. Stiles Memorial Scholarships,” says Dan Hanoomansingh, Hockey Canada’s manager of officiating. “A goal of the officiating program is to facilitate excellence both on and off the ice, and the Seaman Hotchkiss Foundation helps us do that. These individuals commit a tremendous amount of time to officiating, not just at the rink, but also in their training and preparation, and to see them do that while maintaining their academic progress is a true accomplishment.”
This year’s recipients are six officials from across the country, at various stages of the OPOE, representing four Member programs:
Adam Culbert — St. Mary’s University — Hockey Nova Scotia
Adam began his officiating career in 2016 with the South Shore Minor Hockey Association and has progressed through the Hockey Canada Officiating Pathway over the last eight years. He currently officiates in the Maritime Hockey League and Atlantic University Sport. Adam was selected to officiate the 2022 National Men’s U18 Club Championship in Okotoks, AB, and officiated pre-tournament games ahead of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, while maintaining top marks in the bachelor of commerce program at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.
Marc Guitard — University of Saskatchewan — Hockey Saskatchewan
Marc took his first steps in officiating in 2015 with the Prince Albert Minor Hockey Association and obtained his Member high-performance certification with Hockey Saskatchewan in 2022. He currently officiates in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and Canada West, balancing his hockey commitments with the rigorous course load at the University of Saskatchewan, where he is working towards his bachelor of engineering degree. Recently, Marc attended Hockey Canada’s West Regional Camp in Chilliwack, BC, and was selected for the Canada Winter Games in Charlottetown, PE, officiating a semifinal in his first national tournament.
Michelle Ngan — McGill University — Hockey Quebec
Michelle began her officiating career in 2018 and joined Hockey Quebec’s provincial Program of Excellence, earning her Level 3 certification in 2022. She currently officiates in the LHEQ U18 AAA division and RSEQ college leagues, earning a selection for the finals of the Division 2 playoffs. A multi-sport athlete in her youth, Michelle impressed in stripes this season, while also playing for the McGill Martlets and maintaining excellent marks in pursuit of a bachelor of science in nursing.
Shadei Saadé — Collège Ahuntsic — Hockey Quebec
Shadei’s officiating career began in 2018, after a decade-long love affair with hockey. The child of immigrant parents from Lebanon, she started playing hockey in her hometown of Laval, QC, but found a new love for the sport in her role as an official. Currently, she officiates in the LHEQ U18 AAA division, as well as RSEQ college and university leagues. The 2022-23 season was a banner year for Shadei. Provincially, she began the season earning her Level 3 certification and finished with assignments to the RSEQ Division 2 semifinals and university playoffs. Nationally, Shadei attended the Hockey Canada OPOE Central Regional Camp in Montreal and earned a selection to the Canada Winter Games in Charlottetown, PE. Academically, Shadei continued her studies at Collège Ahuntsic in policing, maintaining strong marks across the board.
Kaitlyn Sauser — University of Saskatchewan — Hockey Saskatchewan
Since embarking on her officiating career in 2015, Kaitlyn has taken the officiating program by storm. This season, she was recognized as the top official in the Saskatchewan Female U18 AAA Hockey League, while also officiating the Prairie Junior Hockey League and in Canada West. Kaitlyn has also made a name for herself on the national level in the last year. She attended Hockey Canada’s national summer OPOE camp in Calgary, earned semifinal assignments in back-to-back Esso Cups in Okotoks, AB and Prince Albert, SK, and was selected for the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Charlottetown, PE. Not only does Kaitlyn possess an impressive officiating background, but she also graduated with great distinction with a bachelor of science in agribusiness. Furthermore, her academic journey will continue as she pursues a master of science degree in agricultural economics starting in the fall.
Franco Veneziano — Confederation College — Hockey Northwestern Ontario
Franco first donned the stripes at the age of 13 and fell in love with officiating, even as he continued his playing career. This season, he officiated every level of hockey in northwestern Ontario, while playing Junior B for the Schreiber Falcons and continuing his education towards a diploma in business at Confederation College in Thunder Bay, ON. Franco began the 2022-23 season attending the Hockey Canada OPOE Central Regional Camp in St. Marys, ON, represented Hockey Northwestern Ontario at the Ontario Winter Games and finished the season with a selection to the finals of the Superior International Junior Hockey League.
The Kenneth R. Stiles Memorial Scholarship was established by the Seaman Hotchkiss Hockey Foundation (formerly Project 75) and Hockey Canada in 2006 in recognition of Ken Stiles, a former president of Project 75, and his tremendous contributions to grassroots hockey in Canada. Stiles was a catalyst in planning and designing an initiative aimed at players and officials who demonstrate excellence in sport and commitment to education.
Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic achievement, officiating achievement and community involvement. Since 2006, the program has awarded more than $309,000 to officials across the country. Since the mid-1980s, the Seaman Hotchkiss Hockey Foundation—an oil and gas legacy from the original Flames ownership group—has donated over $7.15 million to minor hockey development initiatives in Canada, as well as other charities in Alberta.
For more information on the Hockey Canada Officiating Program, visit HockeyCanada.ca or contact your Member.