By Josh Howald
Kincardine will not be Hockeyville - this year, anyways.
Saturday night on CBC Hockey Night in Canada, 16 communities were named finalists in the Kraft Canada and CBC competition. Those centres will receive a minimum of $25,000 for arena upgrades and improvements, with the chance of moving on. Voting opened shortly after the finalists were named Saturday night, and was to continue until Monday night. From there, the list will be pared down again.
Eight communities from eastern Canada and eight from the West were named finalists. In the East, Kincardine was beaten by Ontario's Richmond, Prescott, Beeton and Exeter, as well as Plateau Chicoutimi in Quebec and two Nova Scotia centres, Kingston and Amherst.
Emerging as finalists from Western Canada was British Columbia's Salmon Arm, Marysville and Osoyoos, Alberta centres Bruderheim, Alberta and Sylvan Lake and Swift Current, Saskatchewan as well as Arborg, in Manitoba.
It came as no great shock or disappointment to the Hockeyville committee that Kincardine was not among the 16 finalists named Saturday night. The campaign was late getting started, but plenty of momentum was gathered in a short few weeks. The committee will continue to meet, and make a pitch to become Hockeyville 2015. In just a short time this year, Kincardine held jersey Fridays, stores decorated downtown windows and there was full involvement from local schools, the Kincardine Minor Hockey Association and the Nicol Insurance Junior C Kincardine Bulldogs. Zehrs, Presto-Crest and The Independent were all major backers of the bid, and numerous businesses sponsored the Hockeyville t-shirts you may be seeing around town. The Kincardine for Hockeyville 2014 Facebook page had garnered 1,777 likes as of Monday morning.
The Kincardine Independent will give away a Hockeyville t-shirt to the first person who can name the teams of all the jerseys that were displayed in our Hockeyville front window display. Here's a hint - there were six of them. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer.
"Thanks to everyone for all their hard work in making Kincardine Hockeyville," said committee member Paul Jeffrey. "I think we did great for our first try, and I'm looking forward to next year when we go all the way!"