The day that Hockey Alberta came to be. One hundred years later and the celebration is on for its Centennial birthday.
“It all kicked off with Hockey Day in Canada (in January)” said Hockey Alberta spokesperson Christina Rogers. “We’re extremely excited for this year, and we have a lot of great things planned.”
In addition to the Hockey Day in Canada celebration, Alberta also has the honour of hosting not one, but two national championships in 2007.
The Allan Cup, indicative of Canadian Senior AAA hockey supremacy, took place in Stony Plain in mid-April, with the Lloydminster Border Kings coming out on top.
The Border Kings’ championship pushed Alberta’s total at national championships to 24 titles, second only to Ontario.
That includes six Allan Cups, three TELUS/Air Canada Cups, seven RBC Royal Bank/Centennial Cups and eight Esso Women’s National Championships.
The other event Alberta is hosting is the TELUS Cup, Canada’s National Midget Championship. That is taking place this week in Red Deer, and features the top six Midget teams from across the country.
In addition to hosting national events, there has also been an introduction of new grassroots hockey programs, including the Team Alberta Challenge.
This provincial event is an entry-level program for female players into the Team Alberta Under-18 program, which competes at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship, as well as every four years as the Canada Winter Games.
Hockey Alberta has made sure the rest of the province knows about their Centennial, whether it be with a presence at existing events, such as the Hockey Alberta Provincials or Alberta Cup, or with Centennial-specific events, such as the Family Day Jamboree.
“We will have silent auctions and intermission giveaways, and our Hockey Alberta mascot will be present at all of the events,” Rogers said. “We want to make sure people know about our Centennial, and we want it to be a celebration of hockey in our province.”
The biggest of all Centennial celebrations will go on November 29th, the official Hockey Alberta 100th birthday, when the Centennial Gala will be held in Edmonton, at Rexall Place.
With 100 years in the rear-view mirror, Hockey Alberta now looks to the next 100 years.
“We will continue to developing different programs to continue to grow and try to produce the best hockey players in Alberta” said Rogers, who has high expectations for Hockey Alberta in the future. “We’ve proven we’re one of the premier hockey organizations in this country, and we plan on building on that.”
Only two years into the province’s existence Hockey Alberta was born, showing how important the game was to the people of Alberta.
100 years later the game continues to grow, and continues to play an integral role in the lives of many Albertans.