The Sylvan Lake Lakers minor hockey team has high hopes to win Hockeyville finals and bring home $100,000 to put towards a new multiplex.
On March 15, citizens received the announcement that the Lakers are included in the final four teams of the Kraft Hockeyville Tournament.
Current standings give the town $50,000 towards their arena.
Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre said there is support from virtually all local businesses right down to protective services who volunteered their time (last) Sunday to do a check stop to make sure everyone knew the town was in the competition and that it needed their support.
“The whole Hockeyville competition is a community-led movement, and what I’m seeing is everyone expressing their support in their own personal way,” he said.
Sylvan Lakers lost their arena in 2013, when unusually high amounts of snowfall caused the roof to cave in. McIntyre explained why losing an arena hit the town so hard.
“I think a lot of people in town have so many deep memories in that arena and so to see it lost really keyed in for us, and reminded us what that arena has meant to us through the memories that we have.”
Sylvan Lake Communications Officer Joanne Gaudet said she really felt the community come together after the loss of their arena.
“There is excitement everywhere you look. You see jerseys everywhere and signs all over town, so it’s good times,” said Gaudet. “It was good timing on behalf of the Hockeyville competition to kind of lift everyone’s spirits after the arena collapsed.”
The loss of the arena means the town will be eventually gaining a new multiplex, funded in part by the $50,000 that the team has already earned for making the final four in the Kraft Hockeyville Tournament.
Gaudet said that the significance of the multiplex is huge for the active and ever increasing community of Sylvan Lake.
“A community of our size that has grown so much in the last few years really needed something more than simply an arena.”
There are plans for a walking track, a look at housing a new seniors facility, a new childcare facility and conference spaces. There will also be a new commercial kitchen, and most recently announced, a curling rink.
“With plans looking how they are now, we can certainly look at accommodating larger groups for meetings, conferences, weddings, anniversaries – that type of thing,” said Gaudet.
Sylvan Lake currently has no such facility to meet those requirements, and it could mean big things for the tourist town, she said.
Officials are looking into architectural services that will lead into conceptual design planning.
If the Lakers can go all the way, they will receive a grand prize of $100,000 towards their arena reconstruction, as well as a visit from CBC and they will host a 2014-15 pre-season NHL game.
“The concentration now is to create a legacy and make sure that future generations will also be able to make those same memories,” said McIntyre.
The Sylvan Lakers will hear the announcement for the top two competition finalists on March 22 during CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.