Salmon Arm could show its selfless spirit – Sylvan Lake deserves it more

Roughly two months after the community
Roughly two months after the community's old arena collapsed, Sylvan Lake's Medican Multiplex is now up against the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm for a $100,000 prize after making the top four in Kraft's Hockeyville contest.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Sylvan Lake News

Since this piece went online, I have since learned that it may not be legally possible for Salmon Arm to give any of the money away, as this is dependent on the Kraft Hockeyville competition rules and regulations. This column is solely my opinion, but it has put pressure on the Hockeyville Committee to make such a decision. It was not my intention to cause them stress, but to offer my viewpoint as an option for community discussion.


I, like many other people in Salmon Arm, spent part of my weekend clicking that Hockeyville vote-again button over and over. For some bizarre and unknown reason I developed a rhythm to the tune of the Bee Gees disco hit Stayin’ Alive: click, type the four digit code, click, repeat. But I must also admit that in my frenzy of clicking, my conscience began to bother me.

Salmon Arm is now up against Sylvan Lake, Alta. for the western berth into the final of the Hockeyville competition.

Sylvan Lake is a community of 13,000 people. On Jan. 20 the roof of their arena collapsed onto one of their two indoor ice sheets. It was a hard winter and it appears the 50-year-old facility’s roof couldn’t handle the exceptional snow load.

Whereas our children have the options to play on two beautiful full-sized sheets in a building that is still relatively new, modern and in excellent structural condition, their community is now struggling to accommodate the children and adults who want to use their remaining ice sheet. I can remember what it was like when Salmon Arm only had one sheet of ice. It wasn’t great – that was what drove the building of the Shaw Centre in the first place.

So while this idea may not make me the most popular kid in school, I’m going to come out with it.

I think that if Salmon Arm wins the $100,000 prize, we should donate $50,000 of our winnings to Sylvan Lake.

If Sylvan Lake beats us, then we keep the $50,000 in upgrades to the Shaw Centre we have already won, thank you very much. But if we make the final two, we are guaranteed $100,000 and then the ultimate winner gets the opportunity to showcase their community on CBC and host an NHL preseason game. (I, too, think we should absolutely keep the NHL game if we win. Our community does deserves that exposure and the fun of hosting such a game after all our hard work.)

While the idea of giving some of our hard-earned cash away might upset some of the people who have been clicking away to win the contest for our community, doing so would simply be the right thing to do.

It reminds me of going to the emergency room. You might be waiting for a long time, but when you see the person being brought in who obviously is in a more serious situation, you understand why they get to see the doctor first. That’s as it should be.

Sylvan Lake needs this more than we do.

Salmon Arm is a community of generous hearts – a community where people help each other, a place that is warm and friendly and where people care about more than just themselves. It’s part of what I love about living here. Frankly, I cannot think of a more fitting way to show this country what our community is about than to offer to give away a portion of our good fortune.

And, I’m willing to call a spade a spade. Salmon Arm would also benefit from helping out Sylvan Lake. One of the reasons the Hockeyville bid has been so attractive to people like the folks over at the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society is for the marketing value of the media coverage our community would get by being featured on CBC.

How much good press would be generated by showing the rest of Canada how big Salmon Arm’s hearts are? In my business I know a good news story when I hear it –  and that would be a great story. So how ’bout it Salmon Arm? What do you think of the idea? Let us know on our website at or on our Facebook page.


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