Osoyoos won’t win Kraft Hockeyville 2014 contest, but organizer thrilled with response

By on March 19, 2014
Osoyoos resident Cathy Martins once again is leading the effort to have Osoyoos recognized as CBC Kraft Hockeyville. (Richard McGuire photo)

Osoyoos resident Cathy Martins once again is leading the effort to have Osoyoos recognized as CBC Kraft Hockeyville. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Town of Osoyoos once again received national attention and the Sun Bowl Arena is going to receive a $25,000 upgrade and that’s good enough for Cathy Martins.

Although disappointed that Osoyoos didn’t make the final four communities in the CBC Kraft Hockeyville 2014 contest, the main organizer for this community in the popular contest was thrilled Osoyoos made the final 16 communities and hockey fans in town rallied to “put Osoyoos on the map.”

The final four communities were announced during Saturday’s broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada and Osoyoos failed to make the cut after reaching the top 16 a week earlier.

The final four communities still in the running to be named Kraft Hockeyville 2014 include Salmon Arm, Sylvan Lake, Alta., Kingston, N.S., and Central Bedeque, P.E.I.

The four communities announced on Saturday are guaranteed at least $50,000 for arena upgrades.

The 12 that did not make the cut in the first round, including Osoyoos, will all receive $25,000 for arena upgrades.

The two finalists will be announced this weekend and each will be guaranteed $100,000, and will continue to be in the running for the overall crown, which will net the winner a visit from CBC, a pre-season NHL game and the honour of being crowned Kraft Hockeyville.

Martins, who led the charge two years ago when Osoyoos finished in the top 15 in Canada and top three in B.C., said she’s thrilled to have once again been part of the excitement caused by the Kraft Hockeyville contest.

“We made the top 16, which was my goal, and we’re getting $25,000 to upgrade our arena, so that’s pretty special,” said Martins. “I was a little bit sad on Saturday night when the announcement was made and we didn’t make it, but I’m proud we did so well again and I want to thank everyone who supported our bid and cast votes.

“We put Osoyoos on the map once again and we’re getting a nice upgrade to the arena, so all the hard work was worth it.”

The Kraft Hockeyville contest attracts so much interest because Canadians love the game of hockey, but it also shows that residents from small towns like Osoyoos can get excited and gain attention across the country, said Martins.

While she’s expecting her first child in the next few weeks, Martins said she has no doubt she will once again be heavily involved when the call goes out in November for communities to get involved in the Kraft Hockeyville 2015 contest.

“I love being a part of this,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun and we get a lot of support from a lot of hockey fans in town, so I hope I will be back next year.”

Martins remains convinced that Osoyoos will gain the title of Kraft Hockeyville sometime in the next few years.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

 

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