Sun Peaks will officially kick off the 2016 Hockey Day in Canada festivities with the opening ceremony taking place in the village on Feb. 3.
CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada star Ron MacLean will host the event that will feature the Stanley Cup, various NHL alumni players and live music on an outdoor stage at the base of the mountain.
The festivities will start with a torchlight parade, a tradition usually seen only on New Year’s Eve, which will hopefully include the Stanley Cup sliding down from the mountain. The Stanley Cup was in Sun Peaks in August 2014 after Kamloops native Davis Payne won the NHL championship as the assistant coach of the Los Angeles Kings.
“We don’t have anything confirmed right now, but we’re working with the Hockey Hall of Fame on incorporating the Stanley Cup into the torchlight parade if possible. If we can get that confirmed it would be really cool,” said Aidan Kelly, director of sales and marketing for Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR).
The event will start around 6 p.m. near the Sundance chairlift and will be free to the public.
“The most iconic sports trophy that we have will be here in the resort and add a bit of a vibe midweek. It will really liven it up for our guests and locals here at the resort,” Kelly said.
It is yet to be confirmed who the players are that will be attending the opening ceremony, but former Kamloops Blazers Mark Recchi, Darcy Tucker and Corey Hirsch, as well as former NHL stars Lanny McDonald, Wendel Clark, Bryan Trottier and Trevor Linden are expected to attending events throughout the four-day celebration.
“I think from a hockey related specific event this will be one of the bigger ones we’ve ever had here at Sun Peaks just due to some of the personalities,” Kelly said.
The event will have a community focus around the entertainment in the village, but some hockey related events at the Sun Peaks Centre may also be part of the event.
“We still might do some stuff, get some fun shinny games going on and build some fun things around that, but it won’t be a focal point,” Kelly said. “We want to make a good community event at the base of the mountain.”
The majority of the festivities will take place in Kamloops throughout the first weekend in February. Road hockey tournaments, a pro-am alumni game, the music of hockey, as well as live broadcasts throughout Saturday’s Hockey Day in Canada will take place in Canada’s Tournament Capital. The highlight of the weekend will be a WHL game as the Kamloops Blazers host the Edmonton Oil Kings.
A bus will be available for locals and guests for the Blazers game on Feb. 6 and bus service may be expanded throughout the event if there is enough demand.
“It will be an exciting week in Kamloops with all the concerts, all the different games and everything going on. I’m sure there will be a number of guests and locals up here at Sun Peaks that are going to want to venture down to Kamloops and take in some of the events,” Kelly said.