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A whale of a time

by Lenny Goh / Vancouver Canucks

While the city of Vancouver anticipates Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, there will be another special celebration for Canucks family, friends and fans on June 4. Beloved Canuck team mascot Fin celebrates his 10th birthday this Saturday.

On Friday Fin celebrated his special day in a private party for all his friends at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, a fitting location for this special whale who dedicates so much of his time making appearances by supporting the community-based initiatives by the Canucks through the Canucks for Kids Fund.

Fin is arguably just as popular as the Canuck players with the fans these days with all his antics during the Canucks games and his numerous appearances in the community.

“There’s nothing like it when he walks up the driveway, even our therapy dog Poppy ran right into his arms,” said Nancy Tardioli, director of community partnerships at Canuck Place. “I think there is something comforting about him. He brings a lot of joy to everyone and I think he’s very well known in the community.”

On the eve of his 10th birthday the team’s beloved orca has accomplished a lot in his time with the Vancouver Canucks. He’s made almost 1,350 appearances in the community throughout BC, Canada and the US. This July he’ll be making his ninth consecutive appearance at the Annual Celebrity Mascot Games in Orlando, Florida.

In 2006 Fin’s school program, Fin’s Friends, was established. Fin’s Friends is a character education program that is in every school district in British Columbia. The Fin’s Friends curriculum emphasizes character education by teaching virtues of social responsibility, such as kindness, compassion, and fairness. Primary grades including French immersion is accessible for free to teachers across the Province. The Fin’s Friends program has reached out to almost 60,000 students over the last five years.

If you think that’s enough to keep this orca from being beached, he’s also appeared at 369 regular season NHL games and been to six NHL All-Star games.

“I feel very honored to represent such a great hockey organization with a storied history,” said Fin about turning the big 1-0.

“The past 10 years have been a whale of a journey and Fin-tastic to say the least. My birthday wish is three pronged - first for the Canucks to be playing hockey in June (already granted); secondly, to have a win for Fin in Game 2; and third...I think we all know what that is - win the Stanley Cup for this city, province, and Canuck Nation - This Is What We Live For -Go Canucks Go!”

You can send him birthday wishes on his facebook page and his twitter account.

Being a milestone birthday Fin will be celebrating his special day at Party on the Plaza with Canucks fans prior to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals on June 4. There will be a presentation at 3:30 p.m. including a birthday cake provided by Save-On-Foods.

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