Prince Rupert will be the next Kraft Hockeyville, if Kelly Clifton has anything to say about it.
The Rupert resident and hockey fan started a campaign this month to get the city into the final ten communities for the annual Kraft Hockeyville competition, which awards a Canadian community that best demonstrates their commitment to the game of hockey.
“The seating and the arena is not how it looks in Terrace and Kitimat and Smithers. I think that Prince Rupert deserves a little bit more than that,” Clifton said from the hockey stands at Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.
The Russell Gamble Gymnasium recently got updated and that’s part of why Clifton started this campaign. She wants the arena to get updated as well so people can enjoy watching hockey as much as they do basketball.
Residents of Prince Rupert have more than responded to her call to submit nominations. Almost 60 nominations had been submitted as of Sunday evening.
“The support has been good and we’ve been getting lots of emails about it. Our biggest task is getting those nominations in, so we’re working pretty hard right now trying to get family members and friends involved,” Clifton said.
In response to the amount of feedback, Clifton has put together a committee of three members who will help manage her social media feeds, respond to emails and encourage Prince Rupert to keep submitting nominations.
“I have really high hopes that we’re going to make it. We can make the top 10 and I do believe that the northwest can rock it again,” she said.
Clifton is hoping that communities from Prince George all the way down the line to Prince Rupert will support her campaign to crown Rupert Hockeyville 2017.
The prize for winning includes the opportunity to host an NHL pre-season game and $100,000 in arena upgrades.
Nominations — which can be done at www.khv2017.ca — are accepted until Feb. 5 and the top 10 announcement comes on March 4, leaving a long waiting period for Rupert residents.
To follow the campaign, like ‘Prince Rupert For Hockeyville’ on Facebook.