A street hockey festival may be coming to Cloverdale.
The Cloverdale BIA is currently trying to work out the details with Play On Canada. Play On Canada is a not-for-profit sport organization that is holding street hockey events in nine Canadian cities this summer and fall.
If the festival happens, it’ll be held Sept. 24-25 and the streets in Cloverdale’s downton core will be transformed into dozens of street hockey rinks.
Paul Orazietti, executive director of the Cloverdale BIA, said an announcement will come soon.
“We’re trying to make it happen,” he said. “We met with a group, Play On Canada, last week. They approached the city about coming here and (the city) suggested Cloverdale as a location.”
Orazietti said he’s met with city staff and special event people and he said everybody seems to want to make it happen.
“This thing is starting to snowball,” he added. “It’s not official yet, but the snowball is rolling down the hill, and it looks promising.”
He said there’s a lot of planning that still needs to happen, as streets need to be closed, security needs to be sorted out, notice has to be given out to people, and firm design plans for rinks and stages need to be drawn up.
He said if it happens, there will be up to 35 road hockey rinks set up on various streets in the downtown core.
“It’ll be throughout the town centre,” said Orazietti. “Primarily, the event would be anchored on 176A Street and then there will be little pockets where there will be rinks added to the roadways.”
The rinks would run along 176A, they’d wrap around at 58A, and partially come down 176th Street.
He said while nothing’s official, he’s had great responses from local business owners and area residents. He still wants to survey everyone to get feedback and work out any concerns that any affected people will have with the two-day hockey festival.
“We also want to give everyone an exact layout,” he explained. “That way we minimize disruption.”
He said they want to set up an entertainment zone in the King Street parking lot (on 176A between 57 and 58 Avenues) with a stage for live music performances along with a food and drink area.
“Once we get it locked in, we’ll add other activities to it,” said Orazietti. “Right now, there’s talk of having some Canuck alumni on hand, there’s talk of having a celebrity game, and some other interesting ideas.”
Minor divisions for the two-day tournament start at U7 and go up to U17, while adult divisions include beginner, intermediate, advanced, and elite levels. There are also Legends (over 35) and Masters (over 45) divisions.
“I’m surprised a lot of people have already said ‘yes’ rather than ‘no’,” he added. “It’s just like out of Wayne’s World. It’s as Canadian as you can get. I mean a lot of us have played street hockey.”
Orazietti expects an official announcement by mid-July.