Mayor, Hockeyville organizers sign Hockeyville prize declaration

West Kelowna Hockeyville co-chairs Adam Less and Andrew Deans joined the mayor on Tuesday to sign the $25,000 prize declaration.

(From left) West Kelowna Hockeyville co-chair Andrew Deans

(From left) West Kelowna Hockeyville co-chair Andrew Deans

Mayor Doug Findlater joined West Kelowna Hockeyville co-chairs Adam Less and Andrew Deans in front of council chambers on Tuesday for a ceremonial signing of the $25,000 Hockeyville runner-up prize declaration.

The community is expected to receive the money by late April—then it will be up to West Kelowna council to decide where the money goes.

“We’ve identified over $1 million in upgrades to both arenas,” said Mayor Doug Findlater.

“The big one is in Jim Lind. It’s an old building. It’s had some upgrades in terms of roofing and so on before. The issue in that building is the floors—with the ice apparatus underneath them—don’t last forever.

“That needs to be redone before we have a catastrophic event. When we do that, the good news is that the boards will come out and be replaced completely and the plan is to put the new boards back in the same configuration as they are in Royal LePage.”

Findlater said such an improvement will allow a new dry floor to fit in both arenas.

“It just gives us more utility. Whether that will happen with this money or not, I don’t know.”

He added that the Hockeyville committee will be consulted when deciding how to use the funds.

The $25,000 cheque isn’t the only thing that Hockeyville has brought West Kelowna. Along with the community pride and national exposure, West Kelowna minor hockey will also be receiving 50 sets of hockey equipment from Canada Newswire.

Canada Newswire accidentally released the Hockeyville results 12 hours early on March 31. To  help make up for its error, Canada Newswire offered to send 50 sets of hockey equipment to each of the four finalist communities that didn’t win.

“I’m thrilled that they’re doing that. Ultimately, getting involved in Hockeyville from the very beginning, it was about benefitting the kids and minor hockey and the community in general,” said Less.

“So anything that anyone does to benefit them is nothing but good. I’m really pleased to see that Canada Newswire specifically took some accountability for what happened on that final day and made an effort to reach out to us and make some amends, so we’re very happy with that.”

As Findlater, Less and Deans signed the prize declaration, the three reminisced on the Hockeyville run that took centre stage in the community for over four months.

“If you think about late 2009, early 2010, I for one was cynical about the Olympics,” said Findlater.

“But it wasn’t very long before we were really into the Olympics—it really did a lot for our communities in Canada. I think Hockeyville was a little bit like that. We started off slow, but then everybody in the whole area really caught this wave.”

Deans said that the bond between Westside hockey organizations and the district also strengthened from the campaign.

“I think the relationship between minor hockey, the Warriors, the District of West Kelowna and all the user groups in here, benefited from Hockeyville,” said Deans.

When asked if there will ever be another push to make West Kelowna Hockeyville, Deans said, “Never say never.”

Kelowna Capital News