For the first time, Rainy River has entered the Kraft “Hockeyville” competition in search for Canada’s most passionate hockey town.
Canadians from coast-to-coast can enter to win $100,000 in arena upgrades, courtesy of Kraft Canada, and a 2011/12 NHL pre-season game played at their local arena, plus a special CBC “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcast from their community.
Four runner-up communities will receive $25,000 each for arena upgrades from Kraft Canada.
Meghan Shanks, recreation director for Rainy River, penned the following on the contest’s website:
“Community volunteers built the Rainy River Arena in 1964. At this time, the population was estimated at 1,400 residents.
“A beautiful building with handcrafted wooden rafters. Everyone was involved, from young children pounding nails to men sawing and sanding the wood to women cooking and painting.
“It is truly a landmark created with community pride and love. But, yes, that was 47 years ago! Humidity and age has taken its toll.
“The arena has had updates along the way to keep [it] functional. . . . [But] the building and its contents are now in desperate need of updates.
“If these updates do not occur in the near future, we may be looking at closure.
“This arena is the heart of Rainy River and the surrounding area.
“Help us keep recreation vibrant in our community. We need your stories and pictures today!”
This year, the “Hockeyville” competition has introduced an updated logo and a new format that will split the country into five regions to allow for a greater representation.
Communities can enter the 2011 competition by logging on to a new website—www.krafthockeyville.ca—and nominating themselves.
Communities must complete a simple application form and submit a short essay (up to 4,000 characters) with up to three supporting photos (at least one photo must be submitted to qualify) that depicts their hometown pride and passion for the game.
Participants have until Sunday, Jan. 30 at 11:59:59 p.m. (ET) to submit their application.
The top 10 communities chosen to compete for the 2011 title will be revealed on the Kraft “Hockeyville” 2011 show on CBC on Tuesday, March 8.
Canadians then will vote for their top five communities from March 8-13.
Once the votes have been tallied, the top five communities will be announced on “Hockey Night in Canada” on March 19.
At that point, the slate will reset and Canadians will vote from March 19-21 for their favourite top five community and, ultimately, the Kraft “Hockeyville” 2011 champion.
The winner will be announced live on “Hockey Night in Canada” on Sunday, April 2.