$1 million in prizing awarded to 16 communities determined to keep local rinks alive
TORONTO - Forty days of nominations, millions of votes and countless rallying cries for support in communities across the country has culminated in the announcement made by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that Sylvan Lake, Alberta is Kraft Hockeyville 2014. In a live spot last night on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, representatives from Sylvan Lake cheered as they received the news that their local arena will benefit from $100,000 in upgrades, the opportunity to host an NHL® pre-season game between the Calgary Flames and the Phoenix Coyotes, and a visit from CBC. To mark its eighth season, Kraft Hockeyville came back bigger than ever, awarding a total of $1 million in prizing to 16 different hockey loving communities from coast-to-coast.
"Everyone at Kraft Canada sincerely congratulates Sylvan Lake on winning the title of Kraft Hockeyville 2014," said Jack Hewitt, Vice-President, Consumer Insights & Portfolio Marketing, Kraft Canada. "The passion Canada has, not only for its national sport, but for the communities across this great country is astounding. Sixteen amazing communities now have the funds to upgrade their local rinks – and that means there are 16 rinks that will continue to be the heart of their communities."
"The passion for hockey is passed from generation-to-generation, and the community rink plays an essential role in that special relationship," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Kraft Hockeyville is committed to keeping community rinks vibrant, ensuring the health of the game in communities large and small. The National Hockey League is thrilled to support and be a part of this wonderful program and we, too, celebrate the communities that make hockey strong."
"On behalf of CBC, congratulations to Sylvan Lake on being named Kraft Hockeyville 2014," said Jeffrey Orridge, Executive Director of Sport Properties & General Manager, Olympics. "Each year more and more communities from across Canada rally together for this title and we are pleased to be part of this grassroots movement that directly benefits so many people through the sport of hockey."
Sylvan Lake embodies Alberta's huge passion for hockey and community spirit in their quest for the Kraft Hockeyville title, gaining the support of the entire country that intensified after the roof of their beloved community rink collapsed on January 20, 2014. The community organized several events to get people voting, including road-side voting check stops, a Kraft Dinner "Let Your Fun Out" party, and a rallying poem, read in the province's House of Commons, to raise further support of the community.
"We are thrilled that Sylvan Lake, Alberta has deservingly earned the title of Kraft Hockeyville for 2014," said Flames President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke. "The Calgary Flames are very proud of our Alberta roots and have made it a priority to be a strong supporter of our community's well-being. We look forward to celebrating our great game with Flames fans in Sylvan."
"We are very excited to participate in next season's Kraft Hockeyville event in Sylvan Lake, AB," said Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney. "We look forward to celebrating the game of hockey with all the fans in Sylvan Lake and supporting this great hockey community."
This year, a record-breaking total of 532 communities were nominated for the program, 16 of which moved on to the voting rounds. Across three voting rounds, an overwhelming 15,971,095 total votes were cast by Canadians, which narrowed the 16 deserving communities to one. The top 16 communities include: winner Sylvan Lake, AB; Top 2 finalist Kingston, NS; Salmon Arm, BC; Marysville, BC; Osoyoos, BC; Bruderheim, AB; St. Albert, AB; Swift Current, SK; Arborg, MB; Richmond, ON; Prescott, ON; Beeton, ON; Exeter, ON; Chicoutimi, QC; Central Bedeque, PE and Amherst, NS.
A total of $1 million in prizing will be awarded, with each of the top 16 communities receiving prize money to go towards upgrading their nominated arena. Prizing is as follows:
· Sylvan Lake, AB will receive the grand prize of $100,000 in arena upgrades, the opportunity to host an NHL® pre-season game played this fall between the Calgary Flames and Phoenix Coyotes, and a visit from CBC;
· Kingston, NS will receive $100,000 in arena upgrades;
· Salmon Arm, BC and Central Bedeque, PE will each receive $50,000 in arena upgrades; and
· Marysville, BC; Osoyoos, BC; Bruderheim, AB; St. Albert, AB; Swift Current, SK; Arborg, MB; Richmond, ON; Prescott, ON; Beeton, ON; Exeter, ON; Chicoutimi, QC and Amherst, NS will each receive $25,000 in arena upgrades.