Bid to host Aboriginal youth hockey championships moves forward

Terrace council votes in favour of waving the arena fees for the seven days of the tournament

The drive to bring an aboriginal hockey championship here moved further down the ice with the committee struck to make the bid asking council to waive the fees of renting the arenas for the event.

In addition to bringing the teams and fans here from around the region and country, the championship serves as a way to build relationships between the aboriginal communities and the city, showcase northwest aboriginal culture and provide role models for youths, said councillor Brian Downie to a city council committee of the whole meeting May 4.

And since the games will be webcast, they will bring national viewers online to see them, he said.

During dead time between games and periods, videos showing coverage of the area could be added for viewers to see, he said.

Members of the committee for the championship bid came to give their support and talk to council too.

That included Cal Albright from Kermode Friendship Society, Joe Bevan for Kitselas, and Yulanda Leighton from CFNR.

To rent the main arena and the Hidber arena for the seven days of the championships, the facility rental fees would be about $25,000 and ice installation about $30,000.

The committee was requesting that council and the city waive the facility rental fees, said Downie.

The cost to host could be $100,000 although it will probably be in excess of that, said Downie.

And if Terrace was selected to host the championships, then $50,000 of that would come from the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council, said Downie.

Councillor Sean Bujtas said it was an important event to grow aboriginal youth involvement in sports here.

Councillor Stacey Tyers said a concern was that First Nation youths be able to go to the games since sometimes fees can keep the people who would benefit most from attending because they can’t afford to pay.

Setting up screens to watch the games in the park would be a good idea, she said.

Committee member Yulanda Leighton said for the Meet the Canucks event, the free tickets were given out so lower income youths would get them and Kermode Friendship Society gave them out to its clientele too.

That could be done again to be sure that the youths who would most benefit would get to go to the event, she said.

Councillor James Cordeiro made the recommendation that the City of Terrace support the 2017 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships by waiving the arena rental fees.

A formal resolution will be made at the next council meeting when council accepts the report.

Mayor Carol Leclerc said she was excited and looking forward to this event, saying the city already has a good relationship with First Nations and with this event, it would only get stronger and better.