Tour celebrates a century of hockey

Hockey Canada is launching on a year-long, country-wide tour and Greater Trail is hoping to be one of the stops.

Hockey Canada is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a year-long, country-wide tour and Greater Trail is hoping to be one of the stops along the way.

Hockey Canada announced the launch of the Century Tour that will see a 20,000-square-foot interactive hockey experience caravan visiting approximately 100 communities across Canada.

“Our goal really as an organization is to engage communities as much as possible and be in communities that are really strong hockey communities, and also some areas that maybe don’t have as much history in the game, that we can influence and leave some legacy there for some growth in the community,” Dean McIntosh, director of events and projects for Hockey Canada, told the Trail Times.

The Century Tour will make two swings through B.C. starting with Kamloops during the Four-Nations Cup, which brings the world’s top four women’s hockey teams to the Okanagan from Nov. 4-8, and then again in May. However, where the tour will stop and what route it will travel has yet to be determined, says McIntosh.

“Certainly we have a strong affiliation with Trail from a national team perspective and club teams representing us internationally from Trail, but also from a hosting perspective as we’ve been there for both sledge hockey and the Junior A Challenge so we’re certainly very familiar with the community and think it will be a fantastic community to go to, to celebrate the game.”

The Century Tour will launch in Ottawa on Canada Day and criss-cross the country, wrapping up at the end of May. Hockey Canada’s goal is to engage more than one million fans over the course of the year.

Fans visiting the Century Tour will be immersed in the excitement, history, and energy that is Canadian hockey, including a state-of-the-art interactive timeline of milestone hockey moments and artifacts, on-ice experiences on a one-third scale synthetic ice rink, programs and activities specifically developed for kids, families and newcomers to the game, and a celebration of both Team Canada and local community hockey leaders.

“We’re going to be locked and loaded for all of the  calendar year of 2014 . . . by Aug. 1, and be able to communicate through B.C. the communities we’ll be in.”

To date the Century Tour is scheduled to visit Brossard, Que., Calgary, Edmonton, Kamloops, Kenora, Kitchener, Montreal, Ottawa, Red Deer, Russell, Ont., Sherbrooke,  Thunder Bay, and Toronto, and another 90 or so to be named later.

“We’d be silly as an organization not to consider a community like Trail with the history it has,” added McIntosh.

The CenturyTour will leave a lasting legacy in each community across Canada in celebration of Canada’s Game.