The opening ceremonies of the 2003 Royal Bank Cup for the Canadian National Junior “A” Hockey Championship gave the delegates a chance to express their best wishes for a fun and exciting tournament.
As the five teams – the Wellington Dukes (Central team), Humboldt Broncos (West team), Camrose Kodiaks (Pacific team), Lennoxville Cougars (East team) and Charlottetown Abbies (Host team) – entered the ice surface to the sound of pipers from the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada from Summerside P.E.I.
The teams received a smattering of clapping from the small crowd who attended the ceremonies at the Civic Centre in Charlottetown P.E.I.
Some of the delegates who were presented during the opening ceremonies were the Premier of P.E.I. Pat Binns, Shawn Murphy the Member of Parliament for Hillsborough, Charlottetown City Coun. Sterling MacFadyen, the President of the P.E.I. Hockey Association George Trainor, Tom MacDonald with the Royal Bank, Kevin Murphy the President of the Charlottetown Abbies and Wayne MacDougall the Chair of the Host Committee for the Royal Bank Cup to mention a few.
Binns said the hosting the tournament has brought the Island full circle since the Summerside Western Capitals won the championship in 1997.
Many of the delegates said they believe the tournament will be very successful during their speeches.
MacDougall said he is very excited about the tournament. He said he believes the opening ceremonies were a success.
“Especially when you get the premier of a province at an event like this is really first class. Unfortunately, the mayor of Charlottetown was in Ottawa but one of the alderman filled in quite capably,” said MacDougall following the opening ceremonies.
MacDougall said, the committee wanted to give as much exposure as possible, during the opening ceremonies to the Royal Bank, because they are the major corporate sponsors for this event.
“In order to continue (having the RBC as the title sponsor) you have to have a partnership and in that partnership you’ve got to give as well as receive,” said MacDougall.
All thought there weren’t many people in the stands for the ceremonies MacDougall doesn’t think that will be a reflection of the attendance for the tournament its self.
“I think because of the fact that people in Prince Edward Island get to games about five minutes before and run in and get their seats. They drop the puck and away they go,” said MacDougall.
He added, “I would say that we probably would be expecting around 2,500 people. The afternoon games will be difficult as people are working and what not.”