TORONTO, ON – Hockey Canada and RBC Financial Group today named Art Comeau of Saint John, New Brunswick the national winner of the first ever RBC Local Hockey Leaders program.
Comeau was chosen from the 13 regional winners of the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program, announced on . As national winner, Comeau will receive a $25,000 donation from RBC for a local hockey cause in his
Comeau was honored as the national winner of the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program based on his coordination of a school hockey league that allows more than 400 Saint John youth to play hockey on eight junior high and 28 elementary teams.
“For 34 years, Art has been coordinating school hockey for underprivileged kids,” said Mike Dawson in his submission essay. “Art is a true local hero and there are thousands of individuals who have been able to experience hockey over the past 30 years in the Saint John area that can attest to this.”
Hockey Canada, RBC Financial Group, the Hockey Hall of Fame and hockey commentator Ron MacLean launched the RBC Local Hockey Leaders Program to recognize behind-the-scenes individuals who dedicate their time to grassroots hockey in their community. A panel including Ron MacLean, Hockey Hall of Fame representative, Ron Ellis, Olympic Gold Medalist Hayley Wickenheiser and Hockey Canada officials reviewed submissions and selected winners based on hard work, dependability, enthusiasm, leadership and commitment to making hockey an accessible, community-binding and positive experience in the community.
“Art Comeau has had a positive impact on a lot of young hockey players in his community, and we’re proud to recognize his commitment,” said Ann Louise Vehovec, senior vice-president, RBC Financial Group. “Art exemplifies everything the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program represents: commitment, passion and leadership.”
"Congratulations to Art Comeau for being chosen as the national winner of the RBC Local Hockey Leaders program," said Bob Nicholson, president, Hockey Canada. "The dedication of volunteers involved in hockey, such as Art Comeau, is the reason why the game of hockey from coast to coast in our country is so strong."
The regional winners, one from each of the Hockey Canada 13 regions, all received an autographed Team Canada jersey and, along with Comeau, will be recognized in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
|2004 RBC Local Hockey Leaders:|
|Region||RBC Local Hockey Leader||Nominated By|
|NATIONAL WINNER plus New Brunswick||Art Comeau, Saint John, NB||Mike Dawson|
|Hockey North||Joe Walsh, Yellowknife NWT||Joe Latremouille|
|British Columbia||Jane Herman, Chase, BC||Jane Torbohm|
|Alberta||Kevin Yellowaga, Pincher Creek, AB||Rick Carter|
|Saskatchewan||Vince Stevenson, Shaunavon, SK||Cam Dickie|
|Manitoba||Alan Vergouwen, Toutes Aides, MB||Beverly Didychuk|
|Ontario||Martin Porteous, Orangeville, ON||Lisa Henrick|
|Northwestern Ontario||Grant Sherred, Kenora, ON||Gary Norris|
|Ottawa District||Craig & Janet Shouldice, Nepean, ON||Mario Arnone|
|Quebec||Martin Longchamps, Montreal, PQ||Phillipe Levesque|
|Nova Scotia||Clint Lettice, Sydney Mines, NS||David Lewis|
|Prince Edward Island||Susan Dalziel, Borden, PEI||Mike Connolly|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||Gerrard Morry, Stephenville, NFLD||Phyllis Hapgood|