Castlegar didn’t make the next round of Kraft Hockeyville 2015. The news broke Saturday night and while many are disappointed, it doesn’t mark the end of the city’s involvement in the annual contest to recognize the country’s hockey hotbed.
“I don’t consider it a failure,” said prime organizer Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff.
“It’s always a learning experience and a lot of communities in the running have been doing it year after year. This is only our second year and every year we’re going to build off the last. I actually have a lot of plans for next year.”
Heaton-Sherstobitoff added that she hopes to get minor hockey more involved as well as other facets of the community so it isn’t always council that gets these hockey-themed events going.
The main goal for now is to get in Kraft Hockeyville’s sights: to get noticed and gain support from outside communities as well.
As for the main event — the road hockey competition — she mentioned there’s a good chance next year will see more teams, perhaps even divisions.
“Many more members of the community want to participate.”
Last year there was one game between the RCMP and fire department. This year the media clashed with city councillors and the aforementioned emergency crews.
Next year Heaton-Sherstobitoff is thinking of something along the lines of a two-day event with divisions and several teams.
Lastly, the planned warming room upgrade has not been scrapped or placed on the back burner. The councillor said it’s still in the recreation master plan and if the community need is there, it may come sooner than later.
The warming room, proposed for the Castlegar Rec Centre, would be a closed-off area just inside the main doors to the rink used by the elderly, disabled and those who dislike the cold of the arena. The project would cost upwards of $200,000.
The western cities that did make it through to Hockeyville’s next round were North Saanich and Dawson Creek; Bonnyville, and Morinville, Alta; and Morden, Man.