The RBC Fan Fest is loads of fun for fans and volunteers alike. Taking place at the PNE Rollerland, Agrodome, and Forum, just outside the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, there are interactive activities aplenty for people of all ages.
At the Forum, fans can play video games at the EA Sports area, test their hockey trivia knowledge, and check out the great trophies of hockey history, including the Stanley Cup, the Memorial Cup, the 2004 Men’s Worlds trophy, and the 2005 World Junior trophy.
Another highlight is the Esso Legends of Hockey exhibit, which features jerseys and skates that belonged to the world’s finest players and an exhibit outlining the evolution of goalie masks. Fans can even get into the action by having their picture taken in the 2005 World Junior Championship celebration photo.
Meanwhile, the Agrodome will host selected games for the Richmond International Midget Hockey Championship, as well as a skills challenge sponsored by the BC Amateur Hockey Association and Hockey Canada for minor hockey kids. The venue will also witness a sledge hockey exhibition series between Team Canada and Team USA in preparation for the 2006 Torino Paralympics.
Another featured attraction will see BC media celebrities interviewing NHL and international hockey personalities (including some awesome World Junior alumni) on the Ice Stage, with fans getting to throw in their own questions. "It's safe to say the who's who of hockey in North America will be at this tournament," said Stuart Ballantyne, General Manager of the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship. Watch for contests and prizes awarded throughout each day.
Whether you’re playing the interactive goalie game or testing how hard your slapshot is at Rollerland, the Fan Fest is a fabulous place to see how you measure up.
Volunteers are happy to help you with any game you wish to play. They are also just as happy to beat you in a game of one-on-one hockey.
Brothers Jim and Dave Gauthier, both of North Delta, B.C., played puck stoppers at the one-on-one tent on Tuesday, Dec. 27.
“It’s good practice for myself,” said Dave as he took a break from slapshots. “It’s enjoyable to do something you like.”
“[The fan reaction] has been pretty good. People always like to shoot on a live goalie.”
Jim echoed those sentiments after shutting out two consecutive shooters.
“Letting the kids shoot on you is probably the best part,” said Jim. “[I let] the kids score on me and then I try a little harder when Dad gets in there.”
Over at the shot accuracy tent, Scott Muscroft of Coquitlam, B.C. hit targets like a seasoned veteran.
Although Muscroft did well in a short time frame, he thought his effort could have been better.
“I did it in 30 seconds and that’s not very good but it was fun,” he said.
For the younger fans looking to take on kids their own age, there’s a mini-rink designed for children under six years, where they can battle in foam corners.
Hazel Boettcher, a retired Grade One teacher from the Vancouver area, is in charge of the mini-rink. Hazel said she had to limit the size of the kids getting in the rink to the height of a bistro table for safety purposes, but the kids who get in there have a good time.
“Kids three, four, or five years old have fun batting the puck back and forth, playing just like the big guys do,” she said.
“Even little children are hockey fans—they have their stars up there, too.”