August 6-21, 2022
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Introducing Shelly!

We are excited to officially introduce Shelly, the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games mascot!

Shelly made its much-anticipated debut in front of many enthusiastic Rogers Hometown Hockey go-ers on Sunday, November 10.

Introduced on stage by Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games ambassador Cari MacLean, Shelly greeted the crowd and was welcomed with open arms as Rogers Hometown Hockey attendees flooded the streets of Welland’s Civic Square.

Not only did fans see Shelly for the first time, but they were also able to witness Shelly’s impressive dance moves and athleticism. Shortly after the big reveal, Shelly, Hometown Hank (Hometown Hockey mascot), Scoti (Scotiabank mascot) and friends participated in a mascot dance-off.

“The Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games will transform and unify our Region like never before,” says Doug Hamilton, Board Chair of the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games. “We hope that our mascot Shelly will inspire the communities throughout Niagara to celebrate, participate, and embrace the Games.”

Shelly’s design and name were inspired by the two winners of the Mascot Challenge, which kicked off across all four Niagara Region School Boards back in May on World Turtle Day. Juan Josè Arbelaez, the design winner, and Naturelle Gerrard, the name winner, were recognized on stage by Cari and Ron MacLean during the Mascot Reveal for their contributions towards Shelly’s creation.

At the time of his submission, Juan Josè attended École élémentaire Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys from the Conseil Scolaire Mon Avenir. He drew inspiration from his favourite Toronto Raptor Kawhi Leonard, a Ninja Turtle and Franklin to create a turtle that was fun, friendly and athletic looking. Currently, Juan Josè is in grade nine at École Secondaire Catholique Jean Vanier.

Naturelle, a fifth grader from Westmount Public School of the District School Board of Niagara, chose the name Shelly for two reasons: turtle shells are the perfect protector of the Games because they are strong, and the name Shelly is gender-neutral. At the time of her submission, Naturelle attended Quaker Road Public School.

As the winners of the Mascot Challenge, both Juan Josè and Naturelle were presented with a Google Chromebook courtesy of SPARK Niagara and VIP passes to a number of Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games events.

“We were ecstatic to see the level of participation from students all across Niagara, and are incredibly proud to now be able to celebrate the launch of our mascot Shelly on the national stage with Ron and Cari MacLean, Tara Slone, and Rogers Hometown Hockey,” says Steve Katzman, Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer of the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games Host Society.

Following Shelly’s introduction and mascot dance-off victory, the mascots took to the streets of downtown Welland and led the way during the Rogers Hometown Hockey Parade of Champions from Merritt Park towards the Sportnet Mobile Studio, where Ron MacLean and Tara Slone hosted the Rogers Hometown Hockey Pre-Game Broadcast prior to the puck-drop between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Chicago Blackhawks.


Shelly, a turtle, bears particular significance for the Niagara Region, the Canada Games and for Canada. The turtle has been an important animal and symbol for many First Nations people, who believed that North America was created by a huge turtle. Some even call the Niagara Escarpment the backbone, or heart, of what they call “Turtle Island”.

Some other quick facts about why Shelly is a turtle:

  • A turtle’s shell has 13 large sections, and the Niagara 2021 Canada Games are taking place in the Niagara Region, made up of 12 municipalities plus one region (13) where all 13 provinces and territories will compete.
  • There are 28 small sections bordering the 13 large sections on a turtle’s shell. The Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games are the 28th Canada Games to take place since its inception in 1967.
  • There are eight turtle species found in Niagara and Southern Ontario. In fact, Southern Ontario happens to have the most turtles and the most types of turtles than anywhere else in Canada, all of which are at-risk species. The Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games is proud to support organizations whose mission is to protect and conserve Ontario’s native turtles and their habitats through various turtle sustainability initiatives.

With only 634 days to go until the Canada Summer Games take over the Niagara Region, expect to see Shelly out-and-about in the Niagara Region inspiring, transforming and unifying the communities. Leading up to and during the Games, Shelly will be involved in multiple community events, celebrations, ceremonies, and play a key role in the Catch the Spirit program at Niagara Region schools.


Shelly was created by Loonie Times, the official mascot and plush supplier for the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games. “From the athletic sneakers to the vibrant smile, we want Shelly to inspire kids to be part of the Games,” says Asif Saherwala, President of Loonie Times Custom Mascot. “We are proud to have given life to Shelly, and are excited to see Shelly bring the Niagara Region together to celebrate such a great event.”

To request Shelly at your community event, please email

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