Hockeyville sign goes dark

Hockeyville sign goes dark

Postby oneh2obabe » Jan 17th, 2013, 8:11 am

92% of the population was against the sign and the Ministry shot it down. Findlater stated "We want to consider the input of the (Hockeyville) committee and find something that works that still has public support." What's wrong with letting the public have a say where the $25K would go?

Question ... does anyone know where the hockey equipment given to the finalists by Kraft & CBC (due to the winner being announced early) went?

Wayne Moore - Story: 85962
Jan 17, 2013 / 6:00 am

Hockeyville prize money will not go toward purchasing a highway sign directing people to municipal hall and the Mount Boucherie Complex in West Kelowna.

The idea, which was not widely popular with residents of West Kelowna, was shot down during council's budget deliberations Tuesday.

The sign would have cost $125,000 with $100,000 coming from the 2013 municipal budget.

West Kelowna Mayor, Doug Findlater, says the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure basically vetoed the sign.

"They said that the sign would not go ahead if they had anything to say about it," says Findalter.

The mayor says he's like to disconnect the Hockeyville money from the sign issue.

He says the sign has been in works for about five years, ever since Royal LePage Place was finished.

"(We'll have to) Go back to the committee and find out what we'll be able to do with that money that creates the legacy that will satisfy the committee," says Findlater.

"We want to consider the input of the (Hockeyville) committee and find something that works that still has public support."

He adds the municipality may be in a position to match the money obtained from Hockeyville which would become a $50,000 legacy.

Findalter acknowledges there was a lot of backlash from the community when it was announced the money could go towards a highway sign.

A poll on Castanet showed 92 per cent of people responding against the idea.

"I heard from the public that they wanted it to go to kids - they wanted it to go to youth hockey in some way," says Findlater.

"Allowing low income youth the opportunity to get into hockey, providing equipment and someone even mentioned there was a lack of a place to store nets."

A decision on where the funds will go is expected sometime later this year. ... .htm#85962
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Re: Hockeyville sign goes dark

Postby mexi cali » Jan 17th, 2013, 9:41 am

Good question. I'm not sure either.

Nice to see though that the ridiculous idea of a neon sign on the highway was finally discarded. I just wish that stuff like this didn't get as far in the process as it sometimes does. I think it was basically a done deal in the minds of council so whatever it took to finally bring rational thought to the forefront, amen.

I had the opportunity to chat with hiz onner a little bit ago and I got the sense that the sign issue had become similar in it's popularity to the ice cream truck fiasco so I'm not sure that it was the ministry who put the brakes on. I think that blaming them was seen as a way to save a bit of face in light of another wholly unpopular council driven decision.

There are lots of ways to spend that money that will benefit the hockey community as I understood it was intended to.
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Re: Hockeyville sign goes dark

Postby FreeRights » Jan 17th, 2013, 9:46 am

I'm most surprised that a) A neon sign would cost $125,000, and b) that they would even consider buying a sign that costs $125,000.
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Re: Hockeyville sign goes dark

Postby LordEd » Jan 17th, 2013, 12:54 pm

There was a new article about tons of upgrades needed for Jim Lind:

He said that the District of West Kelowna council is aware of over $1 million in upgrades that are necessary for both arenas.

Findlater said several aspects of Royal LePage—such as washrooms and concessions—were made to service an arena with 500 seats: Royal LePage has 1,500.

“On the other hand, Jim Lind is in tough shape. It’s a 30 to 35-year-old arena. The floor under the ice, the piping infrastructure and so on all has a shelf life. It’s approaching the end of (that) shelf life.

“We know that has to be fixed or the whole thing could fail on us.”

Why are they 'looking' for items to spend the money on when they have a huge list of necessary fixes that nobody would dispute the money would be a 'good use' for?
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Re: Hockeyville sign goes dark

Postby Steve-O » Jan 17th, 2013, 1:11 pm

Seems to me I recall reading that the money was already budgeted for the upgrades. Reading this Cap news article it sounds like this is the case. Because the money was already budgeted, there were some novel ideas being thrown around, including the sign, on what to do with the Hockeyville cash. The sign didn't seem like such a bad idea to me. $125000 seems a little over the top for cost however. Cost being the downside as well as all the negative feelings towards another sign on the hwy, the upside is a sign would have directed more traffic towards the areanas and helped generate more revenue. Ad space could of been sold on the sign, again more revenue. If it helped increase attendance to Warriors games, thats a win as concession sales would increase and the Warriors already give back to to the community, they could increase this giving. So I'm just saying, if you look at the sign idea objectively, it was perhaps not as bad an idea as it was made out to be.
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Re: Hockeyville sign goes dark

Postby oneh2obabe » Jan 17th, 2013, 1:37 pm

Why not use all or part of the money to fund the West Kelowna's KidSport program? Would go a long way in addition to the monies donated by local businesses, fund raisers and the provincial government.


West Kelowna Kid Sport Application Form

KidSport™ believes that no kid should be left on the sidelines and all should be given the opportunity to experience the positive benefits of organized sports. KidSport™ provides support to children in order to remove financial barriers that prevent them from playing organized sport. KidSport™ grants help cover the cost of registration fees for a sport season. Funding is limited, so please contact the District of West Kelowna at 778-797-8813 to determine how the West Kelowna KidSport™ chapter can assist you.

Criteria to apply for Kid Sport funding include:

Only one application per calendar year, for one eligible sport, may be submitted.
Children ages 6 to 18 years are eligible for a grant.
Maximum grant provided is $300.00 per child per year.
Camps, equipment, travel, fundraising, championships, etc. are not eligible expenses.
Sport activities must be affiliated with the member sport organizations of Sport BC.
Preference is given to athletes who are being introduced to organized sport.
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Re: Hockeyville sign goes dark

Postby canadman » Jan 17th, 2013, 5:13 pm

As Co-Chair of that Hockeyville campaign, I figured I might as well throw my two cents worth in here, though I don't intend to engage in a big back and forth on here, as I know that's how these things go on this forum. Nonetheless, I do think there are a few misinterpretations and misunderstandings going around, so allow me to clarify.

• Where did the equipment go?

The equipment, which was donated to us not by Kraft Hockeyville, but by the media company who mistakenly released the winner's announcement prematurely on the final day of the competition, was presented to both a non-profit (I think it was KidStart? Does that sound right?) and The WMHA this past Summer. I'm not sure what they've done with it or how they plan on using it. You'd have to ask them.

• Upgrades to the arena

Both arenas are already earmarked for upgrades, budgets for which, as has been explained to me by Mayor and Council, have already been allotted. The $25,000 prize money was awarded to the municipality, who in turn chose to ask the Hockeyville committee to recommend how it would be spent.

There were actually three ideas we recommended. The sign was one of them. WiFi upgrades in Royal LePage Place was another, as was improvements to the media gondola.

At the time, it was our belief that each of those things wouldn't cost more than around $30k.

What we decided was that since all necessary upgrades were already budgeted for, that we would recommend something that represented a creative way, outside the already budgeted upgrades, for using the money to both help the arena but also help the whole community in a broader way.

After all, not everyone who contributed to our success were hockey players, or even hockey fans, and we wanted to see if there was something that could be done that would benefit the hockey community but also pay dividends to others outside the hockey community as well.

WiFi didn't seem to address that and we just didn't see enough people realizing the benefit of upgraded WiFi to make that a worthwhile choice.

Improving the media gondola was a good idea, to help attract bigger sports events at the arena, but again, it's benefits seemed limited.

So we chose the sign idea (which, as I say, at the time we were under the impression would be around $30k) because:

a.) It could be used to direct people to the arena/complex and promote things going on there, from hockey tournaments, to Warriors games, to figure skating competitions, even special events like the hockey swap, etc. Right now the arena is hard find for those not familiar with it, and hard to get the word out about things going on there.

b) The board would also serve the greater community because groups and organizations could also use it to promote their events, etc (ie: Westside Daze, Charity fundraising events, and so on). Charities in this community lack the budgets to advertise their programs through conventional media to get their event messages out. On a main artery, this board would have been an enormous aid for those groups to deliver their message.

c) The board could easily be used in cases when the community needed to be addressed during emergencies, etc. For example, several times in recent years, wildfires have forced evacuations in our community. What better way to inform people of relief stations, road closures, evacuation notices, etc., than an electronic board on the highway in the centre of town. I won't bother going into all the other possible uses like amber alerts, council meeting notifications, etc.

d) A physical structure like the board, would serve as a lasting physical legacy, and a reminder to people throughout the community they could see and touch that would be a celebration of the effort we all went through to achieve the success we all achieved.

It was only months later, days before the recommendations were made to Council that we were informed the board would in fact cost $125,000, a cost we still question.

• The sign would be an eyesore and another advertising board

The board was NEVER intended to be an advertising board. It was intended to be not unlike community boards you see in other communities (in front of Parkinson Rec, the SOEC, ec).

Unfortunately, the proposal to council and the image provided by the municipality as an example of the board, was an image captured somewhere of a commercial electronic billboard, which of course immediately gave everyone the impression that this would be an advertising board, which wasn't the case.

There would certainly be ways to generate revenue from the board, but not from commercial advertisers. In fact, we believed return revenue opportunities generated from the board would pay back the investment in the board in short order, if Council wanted to go that way.

As for it being a distraction and an eyesore, I recognize several of the names of people opposing the sign idea. Some of these are the same people who've expressed no concerns and have had no objection to giant hand painted Westbank billboards placed up along the highway.

• Why should the Hockeyville committee be consulted and this not just be put to the community at large?

The Hockeyville committee was the official body behind the campaign. While so many people invested a lot of time voting during our two voting phases, and many participated in other ways, the Hockeyville committee dedicated more than 6 months of almost full time work on the campaign. the Hockeyville committee represented the community in the campaign, it was logical the committee represent the community in determining use of the prize money.

That's basically all I wanted to say.

I'll finish by saying, we believe Hockeyville did a lot for our community. It brought people together and helped boost our community spirit and it put us front and centre on a national stage for several months, something that is invaluable to a new municipality.

The $25,000 wasn't the reward from Hockeyville in my view. How that money is spent, in the whole scheme of things, isn't really the point of all this.

Frankly, while some who voted have said they wouldn't have had they known the $25k would have been used towards a sign, I can tell you, those of us on the committee wouldn't have invested the thousands of hours of our own time we invested if we'd thought those efforts would be measured purely by whatever prize money we came out the other end with. This was about community pride and showcasing our community (our new municipality) to the rest of the country on a national stage for several months. the $25,000 was a bonus in our minds.

Hopefully though, some of you at least will appreciate our intent was to do something good for the community, and I still believe, for the reasons stated above, the sign would have proven to be a good idea. But the sign is now a dead issue.

We hope the District chooses an alternative use for that money that better meets the community's approval.
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Re: Hockeyville sign goes dark

Postby mexi cali » Jan 18th, 2013, 9:23 am

Canadman. Great post and as usual, eloquent. I won't change my stance on the sign though regardless of the cost because it just doesn't feel like the best use of the available funds nor does it feel like it would be the best representation of the intent.

However, I would like to state emphatically that the job done by the committe was nothing short of outstanding and as long overdue as it may be, Thankyou.

You are correct in that the process brought the community together in a way not seen before and it was hard to not get caught up in it.

Lastly, I also agree that the committee earned the right to decide what to do with the money. i am just glad that it won't be the highly contentious sign. There are lots of other beneficial ways to spend it and I know that the next choice will reflect this.

Thanks again for all of your work and dedication.
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Re: Hockeyville sign goes dark

Postby Dash5 » Jan 18th, 2013, 10:30 am

Very well said Canadman, thank you very much.

Personally I liked the sign idea to an extent because I feel that upcoming events are not currently well advertised. I would quite likely bring my family to attend more events at RLP if I knew about them ahead of time and a sign on the highway would have provided a highly visible medium for this. All that said, I don't think that I liked the sign idea to the tune of $125k!

Hopefully they will find something beneficial to the community to spend the money on but I'm not overly optimistic about it.
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