Rain at the Downtown Vernon Association Sunshine Festival Saturday didn’t dampen hockey enthusiasm.
While 2014 RBC Cup National Junior A Hockey Championship tournament organizers had hoped for a bigger crowd for the kick-off rally at noon during the festival, they were happy with how things began.
“We were pleased with the response at the rally, at the booth where we sold ticket packages and met people who wish to volunteer,” said organizing committee chairperson Mike Lane. “There was also a good turnout at Boston Pizza later in the afternoon.”
Don Klepp, the organizing committee’s media spokesperson, said 140 people signed up to volunteer and 42 ticket packages were sold.
The rally was held on the main stage, where Beamer Wigley, nine, of Penticton, debuted his song “It’s Hockey Night Tonight,” written specifically for the RBC Cup committee, and was a big hit with the audience. (His performance is available on YouTube, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaHJgM8CKUE).
It was also announced that, come the fall, minor hockey associations in Vernon, Lumby and North Okanagan (Armstrong-Enderby) will sell ticket packages for the RBC Cup tournament and receive 25 per cent of the proceeds.
“We’re also talking with Winfield Minor Hockey,” said Klepp.
Many people stopped by the RBC Cup tournament booth during the Sunshine Festival in front of the downtown branch of the Royal Bank.
The financial institution brought in an inflatable interactive hockey shot display, which was a huge hit with festival goers.
Among the next steps in the tournament planning process will be announcing ways to buy tournament ticket packages online. That will happen in July.
In the meantime, three types of ticket packages are now available at the Vernon Viper office in the Wesbild Centre:
- The 13-game tournament packs at $199;
- An Early Bird pack that sells for $150, available to Viper season ticket holders until Oct. 14, and;
- A $399 VIP tournament pack that includes a premium seat, VIP access to the building, access to the VIP lounge, and souvenirs.
Currently, ticket packages can be purchased with cash, cheques, or credit cards at the Vernon Viper office.
Organizers will also continue to accept applications for people who want to volunteer.
Perhaps the biggest task will be talking to sponsors.
“That will be a big component,” said Klepp.
Talks are ongoing with Armstrong’s Interior Provincial Exhibition about having an RBC Cup tournament presence at the five-day fair.
Klepp added there will also be RBC Cup promotions at Vernon Vipers games in the fall.