By David F. Rooney
The Revelstoke Hockeyville 2010 Committee’s submission has been accepted making the community an official Kraft Hockeyville contestant.
“We’re IN!” exulted Committee Chariman Gary McLaughlin in an e-mail to supporters Friday morning. “Today our bid was officially accepted into the 2010 Kraft Hockeyville competition! Congratulations Revelstoke! We couldn’t have done it without you!”
You can read the submission below or by going to http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/hockeyville/community/150/en/.
The application includes a 500-word story about the community, the arena and hockey, which you can read below, as well as three photos. Two of the photos are by local photographer Kip Wiley. The third is a historical photo from the Revelstoke Museum & Archives that shows the men’s hockey team of 1902.
As of 10 p.m. Thursday evening 68 other communities had submitted their own stories and three photos. All submissions are reviewed before they are either accepted or rejected. The committee invites Revelstoke residents to visit the official Kraft Hockeyville Website at http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/hockeyville/home/en/ and compare their stories and photos with ours.
Here is the story and our three photos, as submitted at 3:15 p.m. Thursday afternoon:
Revelstoke’s story begins… and ends… on the ice
Hockey has always sizzled in the blood of Revelstoke, BC’s, people. Before it was even a city young men and women played hockey on the ice-covered Columbia River. That 111-year love affair with what many Canadians say is our real national game continues today.
Our community of 8,500 people straddles the Trans-Canada Highway 400 kilometres west of Calgary. A railway and timber city gradually becoming a tourism mecca, our homes and schools grace both banks of the Columbia with the snow-capped Selkirk and Monashee mountains as our backdrop.
Our arena, the Revelstoke Forum, is a major focus of our lives. We are a winter city and from September until April the shwick sound of blades on ice, the crack of the slap shot and the roar of the crowd echo beneath its cavernous roof. We love hockey but there wasn’t always an arena here.
After almost 20 years of playing on river ice, our ancestors decided the young city needed an indoor arena and so, in 1900, they built our first indoor rink. Men’s and women’s teams flourished. Then, in 1912, disaster struck when the arena burned to the ground. Rebuilding it was beyond the means of our then-isolated community and with the advent of the First World War all plans were put on hold. For the next 12 years there was no indoor arena. Fortunately for hockey lovers, the city built outdoor rinks that were very heavily used.
In 1924, Revelstoke’s second indoor rink was erected with the newspaper of the day stating that “the rink is being put into shape for ice-making as soon as the frost makes itself felt.” This rink, with an attached curling surface, was maintained until it was demolished in 1962.
Our current arena, the Revelstoke Forum, was built in 1963. At the time, there was just enough money for seating on one side. But in 1967, local high school students staged a walkathon along the Trans-Canada, raising enough money to bring its seating to full capacity.
Hockey culture thrived with great local teams as The Selkirks, Revelstoke Bruins, the Jr. A Rockets, the Revelstoke Merchants, the Kodiaks and the current KIJHL Revelstoke Grizzlies playing before enthusiastic crowds.
The spirit of our ancestors and those students in the 1960s are emblematic of our community. We know how to get things done: it’s The Revelstoke Way.
We are passionate about hockey. Residents young and old enjoy minor co-ed hockey at all levels and show their support by filling the stands of The Forum.
From those first pucks dropped on the cold winter ice of the Columbia River in the late 1800s to The Forum of today, hockey is nurtured by local people. Our pride in tradition is reflected in the special Revelstoke History of Hockey exhibits on The Forum’s walls.
When fans visit The Forum today, they bear witness to the 46 championship banners that tell our story — a story that begins and ends on the ice.