Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Kraft Hockeyville campaign underway, with Haida Gwaii the first in Northwest to submit a community bid

The annual Kraft Hockeyville campaign is now underway launched earlier this week, and already attracting a string of submissions from across Canada from communities looking to claim the first prize of 100,000 dollars for rink renovations, as well as the prospect of a visit from a pair of NHL teams.

As of this morning, 27 submissions have been entered from British Columbia, with the only one from the Northwestern part of the province to this point coming from Masset on Haida Gwaii, with a quest to add a refrigeration unit to the community's John Lalonde roller rink

As the submission by Derick Chutter from Haida Gwaii notes, hockey is still a passion on the Islands despite the lack of ice, with a collection of old timers making the trek to Prince Rupert and Kitimat each year to compete in Northwest tournaments. As he outlines from the Kraft Hockeyville submission page, he believes that an ice rink would be a valuable addition to life in Masset.

We have been a hockey community for as long as I can remember, but here's the funny thing.. we don't have an ice rink, we have a roller rink. (The John Lalonde roller rink) in Masset, BC, a rink that was built in 1994, and was used a lot between 1994-2000. It was then sadly abandoned and abused for years after John had moved. A group of us decided to clean the building up and use it again in 2005 to play roller hockey. 

We have an old timers ice hockey team that goes off to Prince Rupert, and kitimat every year to compete in tournaments and we'd love nothing more than to have an ice rink here on Haida Gwaii. I know it's far fetched and there are many other great communities out there that deserve "ice rink" upgrades, but what do we have to lose. Right now, it's pretty cold out and we've been pretty lucky that one of our lakes has froze over about 7 inches. The amount of people playing shinny and skating, has me believing that this island is in need of an ice rink.

You can check out the Haida Gwai proposal here.

The rink in Masset sees some
unusual things but with no 
refrigeration unit in place
hockey isn't on the schedule
(photo from Facebook)
More background on what the Kraft Hockeyville competition is all about can be found from the Kraft Hockeyville website here.

Nominations close on February 5th, with the Top Ten Announcement to come on March 4th.

The first of the online voting for the successful nominees will be March 12 and 13.

A second voting period will take place on March 19 and 20, with the Announcement of Kraft Hockeyville 2017 to be made on April 1st.

And while the cross Canada competition is tough, the task is not beyond reach, just ask the folks in Terrace who successfully pulled together to rally the community to the cause, receiving over 1.9 million votes during the competition and claiming the Kraft Hoceyville title in 2009.

In addition to the top prize put to use on rink facilities in the community, Terrace played host to an exhibition game between the Vancouver Canucks and New York Islanders.

Time however is key when it comes to getting a community's name out there, with only a short period to get a submission in, those around the Northwest looking to enter the annual event need to put their plans in motion fast.

The nomination page for Kraft Hockeyville can be found here.

Should we see more updates on Northwest communities in the hunt for the top prize we'll be sure to share them here. We'll also put a link up at our Extra Editions feature.

While the competition continues on towards the February deadline, we invite you to check out some of our notes on Minor Hockey across the Northwest from our archive page here.

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