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Help our ‘second home’ in Hockeyville contest

It’s no great Rocky Mountain secret that Jasper’s Shirley Doran is foundational to the community here, in particular, minor sports (or that she’s not going to love being singled out, again).

The Jasper Activity Centre has been nominated for the 2017 Kraft Hockeyville contest. N. Veerman photo

The Jasper Activity Centre has been nominated for the 2017 Kraft Hockeyville contest. N. Veerman photo

What’s new is that inspiration she provides through her tireless work at her much-more-than-a snack bar in the arena could actually help its foundation.

Lesleigh Campbell, mom to twin eight-year-old hockey players and a longtime member of the Jasper minor sports committee, was still basking in the New England Patriots’ latest Super Bowl win (her sons are Carson and Brady – yes, that Brady) when she drew on Doran’s example as she nominated Jasper for the 2017 Kraft Hockeyville contest.

Five other individuals have nominated the Jasper Activity Centre to the preliminary round in hopes of making the top 10 (from among about 3,000 entries) by impressing Kraft’s judges with their social media prowess, then garnering enough votes to win the $100,000 grand prize.

“Shirley donates so much towards these minor sports teams,” Campbell said. “I know she does things people don’t always know about, and I’m not sure she wants any thank you for it.”

There is a lot of love going around and the arena needs some of it. The “legendary” ice of arena manager Peter Bridge, who you may or may not know, was one of four head ice makers at the 2010 Olympics (remember the loonie?), is being let down by the floor beneath.

“Rotting and heaving” are the floorboards beneath the ice plant, placing their replacement ahead of improving the changerooms to stop teams having to share bathrooms in Campbell’s eyes.

Tina Gibbons, who also nominated Jasper, wrote that there aren’t enough change rooms in the arena to allow it to host half-ice tournaments for younger players.

“Because Jasper is a world-class destination, we host visitors from all over the world,” she wrote. “We should be able to show our guests that Jasper is passionate about hockey and that it is a big part of our lives. We need to have facilities that reflect that.”

She said Jasper may appear to be a ski town to the rest of Canada, but it’s no bowl of prairie oysters that the arena is “booked solid with minor hockey, a vibrant commercial league, and tournaments. Who wouldn’t want to play hockey in The Rockies?”

Working at the children’s centre attached to the arena, Campbell said they take the three-to-five-year-olds to the rink for a free skate weekly. She takes her family to the arena just to watch other teams or chow down at Shirley’s, and like many parents in town, holds her kids’ birthday parties there, too.

“There is no charge for the ice time, the kids love the food and to top it off, Peter gives the birthday boy or girl a ride on the zamboni! The arena is a second home to all of us!”

Visit to join the social media storm and start Facebooking and tweeting. It is these mentions that will compel judges to nominate the top 10 on March 4.

If Jasper is successful, you’ll have your first chance to vote on March 12-13.

Craig Gilbert

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