City of Trail

January 10, 2007 15:47 ET

Hockey Week in Canada Celebrates 50 Years

TRAIL, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 10, 2007) - Can you guess where Minor Hockey Week originated? It started in the only city that can claim two world hockey championship teams.

If you guessed BC's "Home of Champions": Trail - you're a hockey history expert!

Cities and towns across Canada have Hockey Week festivities planned for next week. They do it in a big way every year. Seven years ago, CBC jumped on board with three NHL games and a host city, branding their broadcast day "Hockey Day In Canada". This year's 13-hour hockey marathon, serving as the unofficial kickoff to Minor Hockey Week, is on Saturday, January 13 - and the CBC will host the show from Nelson, BC.

In 1953, a hockey fanatic in Trail by the name of Charlie MacLean originated the idea for Minor Hockey Week in Canada. He drafted a proposal which was accepted unanimously by the Trail Minor Hockey Association and with its instant success, it moved to the provincial level and then a few years later on to the national level where it was adopted by the Canadian Amateur Association. From 1957 onwards, Minor Hockey Week was celebrated across Canada.

Charlie MacLean was deeply committed to hockey in the region. He served for 29 years with the Trail Hockey Association. He was also a president, treasurer and secretary-treasurer of the Trail Boys' Booster Club. Charlie was also president of the West Kootenay Minor Hockey Association, the West Kootenay Junior Hockey League and a director and Referee-in-Chief with the Western International Hockey League.

"Although Charlie MacLean passed away 40 years ago, he represents the heart of the many sports volunteers we have in Trail today," says Trail's Mayor Dieter Bogs. "Hockey is such a part of the fabric of this community. It's no coincidence that the City of Trail has two hockey sticks in our Coat of Arms."

Minor Hockey Week in Canada turned out to be a huge success. The idea was to celebrate the people who make our national game available to our children and reinforce the idea that minor hockey is a community asset to be cherished.
In the first years at the Cominco Arena in Trail, Minor Hockey Week was promoted with the slogan: "Don't SEND your boy to play hockey - TAKE him!" That slogan, slightly modified to encompass the many girls now involved in Minor Hockey, is still used today.

Now thousands of Canadian girls and women have joined in and actively play in leagues across the country.

Next week, residents in Trail and across Canada will be celebrating with hockey events like these activities at the Cominco Arena:

- Fri, Jan 19 - dinner and dance Minor Hockey fundraiser on Friday evening

- Sat, Jan 20 - free pancake breakfast for all Minor Hockey players

- Sat, Jan 20 - BCHL's Trail Smoke Eaters vs. Surrey Eagles

- Sat, Jan 20 - full host of house league games throughout the day, including a skills competition

More information on the Home of Champions is available at the City of Trail's archive and website: www.trailhistory.com.

Contact Information

  • City of Trail
    Mayor Dieter Bogs
    (250) 364-1262
    Website: www.trailhistory.com
    or
    City of Trail Promotions Committee
    Betty Anne Marino
    (250) 368-9234
    or
    Trail Museum and Archives
    Sarah Benson
    Director
    (250) 364-0829
    or
    Peak Communicators
    Ross Sullivan
    (604) 689-5559