By Jordan Parker
The town of Gull Lake shot a video for their Kraft Hockeyville application, in hopes of being crowned and getting $100,000 for rink funding.
“We had applied the past two years, and any city or town across Canada can apply,” said Sara Kuntz, the town’s recreation director.
“Kraft puts in a bracket and picks the top ten places, which are pitted against each other to become the next Hockeyville. Basically, to win you must be the most hockey crazy city in Canada.”
Kuntz changed up the application process this year, and got help from resident Craig Baird under his BlueBox Media banner to shoot in the rink as part of the application.
“He was super gung-ho about it, and I figured it was a better way to go. We had people come in and a good turnout. We had kids skating and the fans were unreal,” she said.
The whole video was meant to show the hockey pride Gull Lake displays, day in and day out.
“We had a huge group of people, and they were loud, enthusiastic and it was awesome to see everyone coming out. We really appreciated it.”
Kuntz says the rink is a worthwhile investment for a town that loves the game. “Our rink is packed seven days a week. We have 15 hockey teams that make use of it, and not a lot of ice. That speaks volumes for our hockey programs. People love hockey around here,” she said.
“So many people play here. It’s just so huge. It’s really good on days when it’s cole and gross to be inside and be active and social rather than hibernate. We’re super lucky to have such a great rink.”
She says that $100,000 prize could do a lot of good for Gull Lake.
“ W i t h our rink revitalization going, we could use the money for lighting. It costs about that much to replace all the lighting in the facility, so it works out,” she said.
The winner could also get the chance to host a pre-season NHL game, but Kuntz says this may have to be an event Gull Lake presents in a larger arena.
“We may have to work a bit to make that go ahead, but bring on that cash. We can do lots of upgrades. We put in our boards and brand new glass already. It looks so sharp,” she said.
“But we decided as a board we won’t start on anything else until all the money is secured. Our admission booth, sound room and other rooms and been purchased and donations have come in. People have been super generous.”
Applications are due Feb. 8, but Kuntz will be promoting Gull Lake for Hockeyville all over the Internet.
“We need to try to spread hype, and we’re supposed to create a hashtag on Twitter. Keep your eyes peeled and hope we get in the top 10 for Hockeyville.”