After the first round of the CBC-Kraft Foods Hockeyville contest, Summerland is in good shape.
Of the 28 communities of the Pacific Division, Summerland had the second highest number of registered members. The West Kelowna Royal LePage Rink had the most members. The contest is broken down into five divisions across Canada and currently Summerland is in thirteenth place nationally, with respect to numbers of members. Summerland surpassed all of the communities in the Quebec and Atlantic divisions.
The top prize is $100,000 in arena upgrades from Kraft and an NHL pre-season game in the winning community. Four runners-up will receive $25,000 in upgrades.
Winning the overall contest is based on three equally judged categories: originality, community spirit and passion for hockey. With Summerland’s long and unique history of hockey, the community is in a good position to move up in the standings in the next round. The competing communities of the second round of the contest will be announced on CBC’s “Hockey Night in Canada” on March 3. Three communities from each of the five divisions across Canada will then be selected.
With respect to originality, Summerland will be hard to beat. Summerland was well represented when inter-community Okanagan hockey was first organized in 1909.
Two of Summerland’s earliest pioneers played in what is now considered the first organized hockey game in Montreal in 1875: Edward Clouston and Henry Joseph.
Joseph was also the the only athlete to play in both the first official football game, in Cambridge Mass., in 1874 and the first official hockey game.
He was one of the first people to buy land in Summerland in 1903; his orchard was in Prairie Valley.
Summerland is noted for its hockey schools. The schools include the first site of the Okanagan Hockey School and the Female Hockey Academy, which today is still considered the best female hockey school ever assembled. Many players from the Summerland hockey system moved on to impressive hockey careers. Just some include, Larry Hale, Justin Keller, Hayley Wichenheiser, Shane Heyer, Dan O’Rourke, Tim Coghlin, Justin Pogge and Mike Brown. Summerland has been fortunate to have great coaching. For example Richard Anderson was awarded B.C. “Coach of the Year”, and he has devoted more than years to the community’s hockey.
Along with registration for the contest there was also a call for submissions.
Summerland’s submissions included photographs from 1909 to the present day, numerous stories and videos. The submissions can be viewed at krafthockeyville.cbc.ca.