Terrace loses hockey bid but hopes still high

Terrace lost their bid to host a national aboriginal hockey tournament, but organizers have not given up on hosting a major cultural event.

Terrace lost their bid to host a national aboriginal hockey tournament, but organizers have not given up on hosting a major cultural event.

“We are completely confident that we have the capacity to host an event of that magnitude and we’d definitely like to have another crack at something in the future, whether it’s the hockey tournament next year or another sport,” said city councillor Brian Downie.

Downie was part of an organizing committee who submitted a bid last May to host the 2017 tournament.

The tournament features eight male and eight female teams of players in their mid to late teens.

The committee also included mayor Carol Leclerc, Kitsumkalum chief councillor Don Roberts, Kitselas chief Joe Bevan and Cal Albright, the executive director of the Kermode Friendship Society.

The bid was won by Penticton, which is now the B.C. nominee running in a national selection process.

Albright said the committee was disappointed by the outcome and had proposed and planned  a cultural event around the hockey tournament which it hoped would give Terrace and area a competitive edge.

Albright said the committee had wanted to showcase aboriginal culture, especially highlighting northwestern B.C. First Nations. The list of to showcase included local food, arts and crafts as well as songs and dances from all different groups and nations in the region.

Downie says the committee will see what other opportunities  it can pursue beyond this.

Some of his ideas include building a cultural event around a basketball championship or the Riverboat Days soccer tournament.

“There is a lot of interest in showcasing Terrace and northwestern BC First Nations culture,” he said, adding that the group is “very motivated, has great ideas and has time and energy” to plan a cultural event.

Now that they have made all these plans in applying for this tournament, Albright says they are more forward looking as they lookout for other opportunities.

“We are going to keep our options open,” he said.