Lisa Gervais: Shh ... Hometown Hockey is coming
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | August 31, 2017|
It was maybe the best kept secret in Haliburton County.
County CAO Mike Rutter tells us that Rogers Hometown Hockey first approached the county in February or March about hosting one of its shows. Warden Brent Devolin said it took the county about “two milliseconds” to say “yes.”
Then, there were complications.
First up was the Feb. 28 NHL trade deadline. We all know that Matt Duchene was perhaps tops of the rumour mill. Avs GM Joe Sakic said he’d entertain trade offers and Duchene said he was open to a trade. The Columbus Blue Jackets were supposedly in hot pursuit but the asking price may have been too high. The trade deadline came and went and Duchene remained an Av.
Next up was a decision about whether or not NHL players were going to compete in the 2018 winter Olympics in South Korea. If they were, what kind of disruption would that mean for the 2017-2018 season? It was really only after that question was answered – they’re not going – that the NHL could announce its upcoming schedule and Rogers its season’s plans.
Through it all, a lot of local people had to keep it under their hats although we’ve heard there may have been leaks.
Officially, it was embargoed until last Friday morning’s announcement.
Anyone who’s grown up in Haliburton County knows hockey’s in the DNA. Sure, it’s in lots of Canadians’ DNA, but just one look at the mural outside the hockey barn in Haliburton and you see there’s something a little bit different here. Something in the water. Mural aside, we’re talking names such as Duchene, Hodgson, Nicholls, Stackhouse, McKechnie and Morrison.
Devolin told us Hometown Hockey is bringing quite a team of its own, 40-60 staff. He said an event such as this can have a $1m-plus impact on the local economy. And, everybody from coast to coast who tunes into the Vegas Golden Knights-Bruins game Oct. 15 is going to know where Haliburton is.
It’s pretty exciting stuff.
The second Minden Pride Week kicked off Aug. 21 and came to an end Aug. 27.
This event has not only grown from a flag-raising and picnic last year, to a full week of events this time around, but attendance has grown phenomenally.
The Highlander attended the rainbow flag-raising last year along with a handful of people. This year, organizers said there were more than 80 people at the kickoff. We didn’t make it to all of the events, but were told more than 100 people attended the tea dance social at the Dominion Hotel on Friday night. We were at the picnic this past Sunday and it was packed. Combining a sunny day with good music and food on the grounds of the Wild Swan made for a pretty great atmosphere.
A large committee came together this year to plan the expanded event, representing all age groups.
It was a roaring success and planning will no doubt be soon underway for Minden Pride 2018.
So, good work, County of Haliburton and Minden Pride 2017.
Lisa Gervais is the editor for The Highlander.