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Tuesday , 22 June 2021

Minor Hockey presents to City about Bantam Provincials amid financial stresses

Cold Lake Bantam 1 takes the tournament win in Hillmond, SK on Dec. 16th, 2018.

The City of Cold Lake will decide if they can help the upcoming Bantam A Provincials.

The Cold Lake Minor Hockey Association presented a delegation to council asking for support for the hockey tournament from Mar. 14-17.

They are hoping to recoup some of the costs of renting facilities.

Crystal Frey, minor hockey association, said it’s difficult to find sponsorships right now.

“We’ve actually been out there pounding the pavement asking for stuff, and currently, right now it’s really bad. Not good,” said Frey.

There will be 10 teams in attendance with approximately 15-20 players per team. The Energy Centre will play host to 23 games, a large opening ceremony, and a team banquet.

They have applied to the M.D. of Bonnyville and are waiting for a couple of donations, said Frey.

“I think the city is going to come through for us, but we’re frustrated. If they don’t come through for us – I don’t know what we’re going to do,” said Frey.

“Especially because essentially the Energy Centre was built for these events. This is what it was built for and in turn, the way we want to put it on, we want to make it so it is an annual event. So eventually, Cold Lake can and will host provincials every year because we have the capabilities,” he said.

Mayor Craig Copeland said the city is excited about the economic boost for the community and will bring it back to council to decide.

“We’ll have a good look at it. We’re looking at things from an economic development standpoint. It is going to bring in a lot of people to the hotels and restaurants and retail for four days. It’s definitely going to be an economic boost for our businesses,” said Copeland.

“Council will get involved, but it’s just a matter of what that number is going to be.”

In total, the rental fees for ice and facilities are roughly $9000.

“They did express in their presentation that they’re having a hard time getting money from the community and the businesses and that’s not surprising. It’s a real tough time right now for everybody,” said Copeland.

“Maybe we can come and give a package to them, knowing that probably whatever we do on this one that hockey will come back with future provincials. This will be a good template for council to work on for future Provincials because we want minor hockey to go after these Provincials.”

Frey is optimistic that the tournament can get off and running.

“At the end of the day we want to make it world-class and we can’t do that if we don’t have community support. We have to prove to everyone we really are a hockey town,” said Frey.

If you would like to sponsor the tournament or make a donation, contact Crystal Frey at 780-815-1231

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.