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LETTER: A rink befitting the Birthplace of Hockey


We live in Canada, a country whose citizens are as diverse as the nation itself. One of the things, love the sport or not, that is part of our collective soul and heritage is hockey.

Most of you reading this live in or have some connection to our community and you know we are the Birthplace of Hockey. So why I am telling you something you clearly are aware of? I am doing it because we, as a community, are at a pivotal moment. We can come together and take full advantage of the powerful and culturally significant position we are in or we can settle.

Before our community is a proposal to develop a hockey facility in the vicinity of College Road. King’s-Edgehill School is a driving force in this project and I commend their initiative. But as a long-time and valued member of our community, I hope they can agree that we deserve more. I hope they can be part of it because this way we all benefit.

I would argue there is no better “branding” tool in Canada than hockey. The bidding wars for naming rights and broadcasting rights of anything hockey brings out the  Rogers, Tim Hortons, and Canadian Tires of the world. They know the immense value in supporting and being seen to support all things hockey; and we are the Birthplace of Hockey. This fact alone is enough to tell me the current proposal doesn't go far enough. It doesn't think big enough. Our community deserves more.

There are also legit concerns about the location of this project. I would argue it needs to be in a much more visible location, but that is a different debate.

We need to develop a strategy that includes not only hockey infrastructure (rinks, hockey museums/centres, et cetera) to enable us to host major hockey events, but also a branding and marketing component that will attract tourism and corporate money and support. We need a world class, transformative and community-focused initiative that says to the world if you love hockey you need to come to our community.

This needs to happen soon. So, I ask anyone who agrees that we deserve better, that it’s time we took this incredibly valuable gift we have and make the very best of it for our whole community, to stand up and be heard.

Call your councillor, mayor or warden. Write a letter to the editor. Organize a meeting — whatever way you can be heard, do it, and ask for better.

Now is the time that we ended the conversations that start with “Windsor/West Hants could be so great if…” and started saying ”Windsor/West Hants is going to be world class because….”

Maybe I am wrong, but I think we at least need to talk about it, as a community.

 

Joey Archibald,

Halifax, originally from Windsor

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