Hockeyville mania is back in Tyne Valley.
The West Prince municipality, which had its Tyne Valley Community Sports Centre destroyed by fire in late December, was named as one of the Top 4 communities Sunday night in the running for the title of Kraft Hockeyville 2020. Other finalists include the Pense Memorial Rink in Pense, Sask., the Recreation Center Marianne St-Gelais in Saint-Félicien, Que., and the George Hawkins Memorial Arena in Twillingate, N.L.
“This year, we received some of the most memorable and passionate stories on record,” said Matt Bruce, senior brand manager, Kraft Heinz Canada, in a media release.
“After a very difficult deliberation and an unexpected delay brought on by COVID-19, we are pleased to announce the Top 4 finalists and look forward to once again seeing the incredible support of Canadians as they rally behind the remaining communities.”
Voting opens on Aug. 14 at 10 a.m., Atlantic time, and closes on Aug. 15 at 7 p.m., Atlantic time. Votes can be cast at krafthockeyville.ca during this period, and voting is unlimited. The winner will be announced Aug. 15 on Hockey Night in Canada on Sportsnet and CBC.
Adam MacLennan, former manager of the Tyne Valley Community Sports Centre and a member of the Tyne Valley Kraft Hockeyville committee, said the community has been overwhelmed by support.
“I know, myself, I started the day with 100 per cent battery and I’m down to 49 per cent,” MacLennan told The Guardian in a mid-day phone interview Monday. “There are a lot of messages, phone calls and texts that we haven’t been able to get back to.
“The big thing is we do appreciate the support. I think people will be proud of the work we have done and the work that is yet to do.”
MacLennan said the Tyne Valley committee has been in contact with the Chief Public Health Office seeking recommendations on what will be safe and allowed as far as voting stations and viewing parties. He added the committee has contacted the City of Summerside and will be in touch with other municipalities requesting support.
“It’s going to take all of P.E.I. to get us where we need to be,” said MacLennan, who added the committee is meeting Tuesday evening and will roll out more plans leading up to the voting period later this week.
The winning community will host a National Hockey League pre-season game and receive $250,000 for arena upgrades. The other three finalists will be awarded $25,000 each for arena upgrades, and all four finalists will receive $10,000 to purchase brand new hockey equipment for its minor hockey programs, courtesy of the NHL Players Association Goals and Dreams Fund.
Plans for a new Tyne Valley Events Centre, which is expected to cost around $10 million, were unveiled in July. Even though provincial and federal government funding has been announced for the project, MacLennan stressed there is a shared portion of the cost that the applicant has to raise as well.
“We still have a lot of fundraising left to do, and fundraising during a pandemic I would almost say is impossible, but Tyne Valley is usually good at doing the impossible,” said MacLennan.
“From what we’ve seen the last 12 to 16 hours, it’s really kick-started the momentum again.”
- Tyne Valley named one of Kraft Hockeyville’s top four community finalists
- Tyne Valley residents to benefit from rebuilt community sports centre
- Hockeyville theme leads to unique entries in Tyne Valley Winter Carnival’s snow sculpture contest
- UPDATE/VIDEO: Tyne Valley Community Sports Centre on P.E.I. a 'total loss' following Dec. 29 fire