West Kelowna Warriors’ Brock Baier joins with Kelowna Gospel Mission residents and volunteers for a street-hockey movie in downtown Kelowna shot by local production company Solid Rock Video. (Mackenzie Britton - Capital News)

Kelowna Gospel Mission hosts street-hockey game to fight homelessness stigma

The hockey game was filmed to bring more attention to homelessness in the Okanagan

Downtown Kelowna was transformed into a street-hockey rink this week.

Outside of the Kelowna Gospel Mission on Leon Avenue, mission residents, volunteers and the West Kelowna Warriors joined in a charitable street-hockey game, which will be turned into a small film, to bring more light to the homelessness crisis in the Okanagan.

Local film group Solid Rock Video set up the lights and the cameras as players grabbed their sticks and joined in a sport that all Canadians enjoy.

“Hockey is something that brings us all together,” said Solid Rock Video owner Curtis Allen.

“Maybe you played street hockey growing up and maybe the guy sleeping in the tent had a dream to play in the NHL. We got to bring everyone together for a game of street hockey.”

The Kelowna Gospel Mission brought in Allen’s crew for the film to help lower the stigma behind the population of people experiencing homelessness in Kelowna.

Allen said that the turnout on Tuesday morning and the overall response was better than expected.

“It was great to see the Warriors and the community playing together with everyone. It couldn’t have gone any better.” he said.

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The game also saw Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and West Kelowna city councillor Jayson Zilkie put their hockey skills to the test against the Warriors and the energetic mission residents.

“It was awesome, it was a good game,” said mission resident Greg Pearson, who played goalie during the game.

“Been a long time since I’ve played goalie and I’m happy I was able to join and support community events and volunteering and helping people and try and come to a solution to end the homeless crisis.”

READ MORE: Sockeye Salmon return to Okanagan Lake for the first time in decades

A game of hockey won’t end the homelessness crisis in the Okanagan, but on a bright, crisp October morning in Kelowna’s downtown, the community came together to take a step forward in the fight against the stigma.

Allen said that the film will be released near the end of November.

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