Over a dozen downtown Salmon Arm businesses are getting in the spirit of Rogers Hometown Hockey with elaborate storefront decorations.
Encouraged by Downtown Salmon Arm and Salmon Arm Economic Development to participate in the Paint the Town Red Storefront Window Decorating Contest, local business owners have risen to the challenge. Displays range from hockey-themed window paintings to arenas filled with handmade gnomes to historical exhibits of hockey memorabilia.
While there is a prize for the contest, an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Rogers Hometown Hockey on Saturday, March 7, business owners appear more focused on supporting the event.
“I think it’s just one of those things, if we’re going to have it here we just definitely want to make sure that people know it’s coming,” said Gerald Foreman, manager of Shuswap Clothing & Shoe Company.
The clothing shop’s ground to ceiling windows are packed with hockey related-items ranging from Salmon Arm hockey history, game worn Calgary Flames jerseys and Don Cherry and Ron Maclean bobbleheads. Foreman says the display, which took over a day to put together, has made many people curious about the event and want to learn more.
Barb Belway, owner of Inclusive Arts, spent a few weeks putting her gnome-themed hockey arena together which comes complete with a “Gnomeboni” to clear the ice. Belway says she is most excited about the national media coverage that will show Salmon Arm to the rest of Canada.
Belway’s hockey arena also includes two teams of handmade gnomes, gnome spectators, a miniature jumbotron and a broadcast booth.
Graham Archer manager of Kinetic Footwear & Orthotics is happy to see the number of businesses displaying their pride for the Canadian game in their windows.
“The town has really responded well and there’s lots of buzz around it,” Archer said. “I think it’s important that when stuff does happen downtown that local businesses participate. It really drives the downtown core and downtown business.”
Linda Thompson, manager of RE-Market etc., used the opportunity to showcase her family’s close connection with the game. The family created their own hockey jerseys, hosts annual family hockey games and Thompson’s husband drives zamboni for most of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks games.
Rogers Hometown Hockey starts in Salmon Arm’s Marine Park on Saturday, March 7 through Sunday, March 8.