Sooke is officially in the race to become Kraft Hockeyville in 2020.
A community initiative was launched by Sooke resident Marianne Waldemaras to support the bid to become Hockeyville, a popular nationwide contest now in its 16th year.
Hockeyville’s grand prize is an NHL game held in the winning community and $250,000 in arena upgrades.
“The reason I nominated Sooke is because, in the easiest way to put it, our arena needs some work,” Waldemaras said.
“From the freezing cold arena, water falling from the ceiling, the old boards, and barely any seating in the warm area, we could use something better.”
Sooke will embark on the two-month process to try and become Kraft Hockeyville, culminating with the announcement live on Hockey Night on March 28.
Hockeyville is perfect for Sooke, Waldemaras said.
“Sooke is an amazing little town that offers many amazing outdoor adventures and entertainment. However, it lacks indoor entertainment. I would love to see arena go in one day, so children do not have to practice at 5:30 a.m.,” she said.
“However, a new arena is unlikely, so why not hope to make the existing one awesome?”
SEAPARC manager Steve Knoke is excited about improving amenities to the local arena.
“There’s no shortage of things we’d be able to spend that money on,” Knoke said.
“The arena is well-maintained now, so this would be extra money we could use to modernize things and make things more efficient.”
Knoke said the most likely project is to create a greener operation with the modernization of the arena’s ammonia plant.
The contest is open until Feb. 9 and requires community members to rally behind the nomination, gain points, and increase the likelihood of winning the grand prize.
Rally points are gained in several ways, including adding photos or personal stories to the nomination or simply sharing on social media. The nomination page can be found here.
Twenty-two Sooke Region residents have already shared a submission on the Hockeyville website, but Waldemaras said other communities across the country have collected more than 200.
Last year’s winner was Rennous, N.B.
The only Island community to have won the contest is North Saanich in 2015.