TORONTO, ONTARIO — Today, Kraft Heinz Canada, in partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), announced the Top 4 Canadian communities that are competing for the coveted title of Kraft Hockeyville 2021. This year’s shortlisted communities are (West to East):
• Lumsden, Saskatchewan (Lumsden Community Sports Centre)
• Saint Adolphe, Manitoba (Saint Adolphe Community Club & Arena)
• Bobcaygeon, Ontario (Bobcaygeon-Verulam Community Centre)
• Elsipogtog First Nation, New Brunswick (Chief Young Eagle Recreation Centre)
Over the past 15 years, Kraft Hockeyville has established a legacy of breaking down barriers and encouraging participation in Canada’s beloved sport by upgrading local hockey arenas in need of repair and refurbishing. Even in a year impacted by the pandemic, the program received thousands of nominations from communities across the country who rallied together in support of their arena, all while adhering to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
The Top 4 community finalists are now one step closer to the grand prize after being selected based on their unique nomination story and their ability to score additional rally points by engaging their community.
“An outpouring of nominations and participation in this year’s program make it clear the pandemic has not extinguished the passion and enthusiasm of hockey communities across the country” said Matt Bruce, Senior Brand Manager, Kraft Heinz. “With so many deserving communities, selecting finalists is never easy, but we are thrilled to announce our Top 4 finalists and look forward to watching Canadians virtually support their big push towards the Kraft Hockeyville 2021 title.”
About the Finalist Communities
Lumsden Community Sports Centre in Lumsden, Saskatchewan
Like so many Prairie towns, Lumsden is a hockey community with an arena at its heart. Before the pandemic, it was typical to see its parking lots packed full of cars on any given day. Lumsden is a feeder arena and residents from all over the immediate and surrounding communities have worked tirelessly over the years to sustain and develop hockey programs, especially women’s hockey, through countless hours of volunteerism. Lumsden is in need of arena upgrades that will make their hockey culture more vibrant and aid them in their effort to grow women’s hockey.
Saint Adolphe Community Club & Arena in Saint Adolphe, Manitoba
The Saint Adolphe Community Club & Arena is the foundation of many friendships and a true sense of collective pride. It seems to locals that once folks get involved with the arena, in any capacity, lifelong friendships are made by adults and kids alike. This is evident in the history of the arena, which was created in the late 1980s after the community came together to raise enough money to turn the outdoor rink to a fully functional arena. During the winter, the arena is often fully booked up by hockey clubs, ringette teams, figure skating squads, and public skating. In 2021, the City of Saint Adolphe is banding together in the hopes that the $250,000 can help them tackle a mold problem, update the dressing rooms, replace the ice plant, and complete other necessary improvements.
Bobcaygeon-Verulam Community Centre in Bobcaygeon, Ontario
Bobcaygeon-Verulam Community Centre has been the focal point of local community life and spirit for over 50 years. Generations have learned team building, social skills and a true sense of community by playing and coaching the game. But the pandemic is threatening the closure of this community keystone. Bobcaygeon is determined to preserve this important fixture for future and aging generations and make it more inclusive to all community members. If Bobcaygeon can win the title of Kraft Hockeyville 2021 they will work to remove barriers for both the young and young at heart by installing accessible washrooms, improving changerooms and upgrading mechanical equipment and amenities.
Chief Young Eagle Recreation Centre in Elsipogtog First Nation, New Brunswick
Elsipogtog First Nation, one of Atlantic Canada’s largest First Nation communities, has always considered their arena as a catalyst for connection. Since it opened its doors in 1979, their rink played a special multi-functional role in the community. In addition to hockey, it has been used for community meetings, dances, and even boxing matches. But the primary function has always been to play hockey. Some members of the community feel that the racism or daily challenges faced by First Nations fuel their commitment to the game and constant drive to play harder and better. Elsipogtog First Nations would use the $250,000 prize to repair significant structural damage to their arena which remains inoperable today.
The Kraft Hockeyville 2021 grand prize winner will have an opportunity to host an NHL® Preseason Game and receive $250,000 for arena upgrades. The remaining community finalists will also be awarded $25,000 each for arena upgrades and the winner and each of the three-runner up communities will receive $10,000 to purchase brand new hockey equipment for their minor hockey programs, courtesy of the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund.
The Top 4 communities are now tasked with safely rallying their community and Canadians from across the country! Kraft Heinz Canada encourages all participants to adhere to COVID-19 health and safety protocols that may be required or recommended by federal, provincial, or local authorities in your respective jurisdiction. This may include social distancing, limitations on large gatherings, and mask wearing. We encourage you to also consider virtual alternatives to replace any human interaction that may put you or others at risk.
To determine the winner of Kraft Hockeyville 2021, Canadian residents can vote for one of the remaining communities online at krafthockeyville.ca. Voting opens at 9:00 a.m. ET on April 9th and closes at 5:00 p.m. ET on April 10th. Votes can only be cast on the website during the voting phase and voting per person is unlimited. The final announcement will take place later that evening on Hockey Night in Canada on Sportsnet and CBC during the first intermission of the 7:00 p.m. ET NHL games.
For complete contest rules and programs details, and to learn more about the Top 4 finalists, including their stories, photos, and videos, please visit krafthockeyville.ca.
About Kraft Hockeyville Canada
Kraft Hockeyville is a partnership with Kraft Heinz, the National Hockey League (NHL), and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) to support local community arenas across Canada. Since its inception in 2006, Kraft Hockeyville has awarded $3.5 million dollars to support 81 communities.