Falkland has put in a bid to host the 2020 Kraft Hockeyville and receive upgrades to its outdoor hockey rink. (Photo: Lynea D. - posted on Kraft Hockeyville website)

North Okanagan community bids for Kraft Hockeyville title

Winning community will receive $250,000 for arena upgrades and host an NHL preseason game

Four years after Lumby won Kraft Hockeyville, another North Okanagan community is bidding for the title.

Falkland has applied to host Kraft Hockeyville 2020 and receive the winning prize of $250,000 for upgrades to its outdoor rink.

The push to bring the title to the rural community of about 600 is being organized by Kim Churchill, who has invited community members to cast votes for Falkland on the Kraft Hockeyville website, and to submit photos and stories to demonstrate why the Falkland Skating Rink should be considered for support.

The grand prize-winning community will host an NHL preseason game in addition to the $250,000 for arena upgrades. Three runner-up communities will be awarded $25,000 for upgrades as well.

Both the winner and the three runner-up communities will also receive $10,000 for brand-new equipment for their minor hockey programs.

Nominations opened on Jan. 1 and run until Feb. 9, meaning there is one month left to post on the community rally page. Notes posted onto the page translate into points towards the community.

So far 37 notes have been posted to Falkland’s community rally page, and many of them express a need for a roof to cover the outdoor rink.

“Our rink is located next to the 102-year-old Falkland Stampede Grounds and our curling rink,” reads a post by Churchill on the rally page. “Even with the hard-working volunteers we struggle to keep the ice in good condition because of the weather beating down.

“A roof would solve this issue and greatly improve the quality and amount of time our ice would be usable.”

READ MORE: Procurement date set for expansion of Lumby’s Pat Duke Arena

READ MORE: Summerland hockey players create calendar as fundraising project

All stories will be reviewed during the judging phase, and judges will be looking for descriptions of the nominated community’s passion for hockey, the arena’s importance to the community and why the community should be the next Kraft Hockeyville winner.

“Every year, we are astonished at the impact that hockey has at the local level all across the country. The stories we hear are emotional, powerful, and connect us all,” says Matt Bruce, Senior Brand Manager, Kraft Heinz Canada.

“It’s clear that communities build hockey and hockey builds communities. We want to shine a light on stories that have truly brought communities and people together from all walks of life.”

It’s the 13th year Hockeyville has run, in which time $3.5 million has been awarded to 81 communities across Canada.

Lumby won its bid in 2016 and received $100,000 towards upgrades for its Pat Duke Arena, a facility more than 50 years old that’s in need of change room space for women, among other renovations.

For more information on how to support and to register for free, visit KraftHockeyville.ca.


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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