The Oliver and District Arena is celebrating their 50th anniversary hosting the Montreal Canadiens Alumni Tour team for a special charity hockey game.
The game, scheduled for Feb. 8, 2019, kicks off a year-long celebration of the special milestone for the arena.
Following a ceremony involving the surviving members of the original building committee and a ceremonial puck drop, the Canadiens Alumni will face off against the Oliver Big Horns — a team of local players formed for this specific event.
“The local team name was chosen to pay homage to the many players who proudly wore the Big Horns jersey for many years once the Oliver arena was built, even representing Oliver on an international tour to Sweden in the 1970s. The game will also feature intermission contests and activities, a beverage garden and memorabilia displays from many years of sport at the arena,” said Carol Sheridan, manager of Oliver Parks and Recreation in a news release.
There is an opportunity for up to 20 players (must be 35 years of age or older) and two coaches to form the Oliver Big Horns team that will play the Canadiens Alumni for this special event. To ensure everyone gets an equal shot at the opportunity to play, interested players must register at www.oliverrecreation.ca before Jan. 7, 2019. These entries will used for a selection lottery on Jan. 8, 2019 to form the team. Players will have until Jan. 11 to confirm their registration with the $500 payment. Confirmed players will receive a commemorative jersey, a VIP ticket to the pre-game meet and greet with the alumni, a special draw for signed memorabilia, two general admission tickets, the chance to play on home ice against NHL hockey greats and the knowledge that the funds raised support capital improvements at the Oliver arena.
The Canadiens alumni are offering two hockey players (must be 35 years of age or older) and one coach the thrill of a lifetime opportunity to join the team for the game. The registration fee is $1,000 and includes the same perks as the registered players receive. These three opportunities will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. Those interested in purchase this package are asked to contact Carol Sheridan, manager of parks and recreation, at 250-498-4985 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oliver Parks and Recreation is also looking for event sponsors to help cover the costs of bringing the Canadiens Alumni to Oliver and throwing a 50th anniversary party worthy of the experiences and benefits the Oliver and District Arena has provided to the community since 1969. Sponsorship packages can be found on the Oliver Parks and Recreation website.
Advanced general admission and VIP tickets go on sale at the Oliver Community Centre on Dec. 11 and can be purchased in person with cash, debit or credit or over the phone with a credit card. Ticket information is available at www.oliverrecreation.ca or 250-498-4985.
Organizers of the event said proceeds will help with repairs to the brine lines that cool the ice and the concrete slab, washrooms and dressing rooms that need updating for accessibility, the original bleachers and to address concerns about the stairs and hand rails up to the mezzanine level.
A concept design and budget to address the concerns, as well as other potential improvements to the facility, are currently being developed and will be on display in 2019 for the community to review. The work is tentatively scheduled for 2020, dependent on confirmed project funding.
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