Drake and Raptors announce Welcome Toronto program

TORONTO — The Raptors and Canadian rap star Drake announced plans to grow their partnership Wednesday with a new program called Welcome Toronto.

Raptors president Masai Ujiri and Drake — who has served as the team’s global ambassador since 2013 — announced the program before the Raptors’ home game against the Detroit Pistons.

The team will host six Welcome Toronto-themed home games this season — beginning Jan. 26 against the Utah Jazz — where the Raptors will wear their Drake brand OVO uniforms and debut a new black and gold home court. The other games are Jan. 28 against the L.A. Lakers, Feb. 2 against Portland, March 9 against Houston, March 23 against Brooklyn and April 6 against Indiana.

Under the program, Drake and the Raptors will donate $1 million to refurbish local community basketball courts and another $2 million to Canada Basketball.

“Over the past four years, the Raptors’ relationship with Drake has always ultimately been about celebrating this city and the people that make it unique,” said Ujiri. “We have something very special happening in Toronto and Drake is a big part of that.

“We’re looking forward to this opportunity to continue working together to inspire and support young people, to showcase this great city around the world and to grow the game of basketball.”

The Raptors and OVO have pledged $1 million over the next three years to refurbish and refresh local community basketball courts. Over the next five years, the Raptors and OVO will contribute a total of $2 million to Canada Basketball.

“As this team and Toronto continues to grow, we have seen how much we can do together,” Drake said. “Welcome Toronto is about celebrating our team and our city, but also working together to give back to the community and creating a place where the youth of our city can come together to play.

“These same courts could also potentially shape the next generation of Canadian basketball superstars.”

Just Posted

Spring book sale this weekend in Red Deer

Red Deerians can get lost in a world of inexpensive books this… Continue reading

Central Alberta wildlife rehab facility not prepared to take orphaned bear cubs, yet

It’s been about eight years since the Medicine River Wildlife Centre was… Continue reading

Regional sewage line moving ahead despite concerns

Cost sharing among concerns of municipalities involved in Sylvan Lake-to-Red Deer sewage line

Red Deer family who lost everything in house fire begin rebuilding

Couple had moved into north-end home only two days before basement fire

Tory Leader Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by Maxime Bernier

MONTREAL — Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by former Tory… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Alberta pharmacists decry fee reductions for services

Government funding cuts to Alberta pharmacies will hurt health care, declared about… Continue reading

Supreme Court ruling corks B.C. vintners’ hopes for free trade of Canadian wines

VANCOUVER — The Supreme Court of Canada ruling upholding interprovincial trade laws… Continue reading

Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with U.S. government

Disgraced cyclist reached $5-million settlement with sponsor U.S. Postal Service

Montreal couple hoping city lets them keep beloved pet pig named Babe

MONTREAL — Babe the pig spends his days sleeping, going for walks… Continue reading

WATCH: This is a story about a stoned raccoon at a fire station

An unusual pair showed up in the pre-dawn hours at Fire Station… Continue reading

Plastic makers’ credit ratings may be hit by pollution rules

Plastic packaging makers may be less credit-worthy in the future as governments… Continue reading

Black Press Media acquires two new Alaska newspapers

New Media Investment Group to acquire the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal while Black Press Media takes on daily newspapers in Juneau and Kenai Alaska

‘Dining of the future’: vegan restaurant boom fuelled by meat eaters

Foodies say Canada is in the midst of a renaissance in plant-based… Continue reading

Northbound QEII traffic to return to northbound lanes as contruction continues south of Red Deer

Though the Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange still has months until completion, some… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month