TSN making tracks for Armstrong

Some jump up and cheer while others cover their ears to block the noise at Nor-Val Sports Centre Tuesday after it was announced on TSN that Armstrong had won the Kraft Celebration Tour. - Jessica Schwitek/Morning Star
Some jump up and cheer while others cover their ears to block the noise at Nor-Val Sports Centre Tuesday after it was announced on TSN that Armstrong had won the Kraft Celebration Tour.
— image credit: Jessica Schwitek/Morning Star

Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole are coming to Armstrong.

And Armstrong, you have been forewarned.

The popular, hilarious TSN Sportscentre hosts, seen regularly at 11 p.m. PDT and again on the station’s Morning Loop the following morning, will be in Armstrong Friday, Aug. 19, to broadcast the 3 p.m. Sportscentre edition from a locale to be determined shortly, the result of the city’s winning the B.C. leg of the 2011 Kraft Celebration Tour.

Onrait and O’Toole will kick off the Canada-wide tour in the North Okanagan.

“So beware, Armstrong,” laughed TSN director of communications Greg McIsaac. “Those are two guys who really embrace the Kraft Celebration Tour program with their energy and enthusiasm. Nobody embraces it more than those two.”

Armstrong beat out Creston in a 24-hour online voting campaign held Monday and Tuesday. The winner was announced Tuesday during the 3 p.m. Sportscentre show. A crowd of about 200 gathered at the Nor-Val Sports Centre let out a loud cheer when TSN anchor Rod Smith announced Armstrong as the winner.

The city will also receive $25,000 from Kraft Canada for upgrades to the aging Hassen Arena, which could be a prime spot to host Sportscentre.

“We met with TSN and Kraft reps today (Wednesday), and we toured some possible locations with the team,” said Armstrong Coun. Ryan Nitchie, an organizing committee member. “They are reviewing with their producers and we hope to have the location narrowed down shortly.”

TSN producers will be visiting Armstrong in the next week doing site checks and starting to shoot some visuals, things such as generic landscape shots and shots of the community in action.

Those shots will be used throughout the Sportscentre broadcasts from Armstrong on Aug. 19.

“It’s definitely the highlight of the year for everyone involved,” said McIsaac of the Kraft Celebration Tour, which is now in its third year. “It’s one of those unique programs that touches all aspects of the company.

“You can lose a little bit of perspective sitting in a Toronto studio, you forget how many people actually watch and appreciate what we do. So getting out into the community is a great opportunity for us.”

Thousands of people took part in the online voting between Armstrong and Creston, though the final vote count won’t be released until after the 10 winning communities in the Kraft Celebration Tour have been selected.

Wallaceburg, Ont., like Armstrong a big lacrosse community, was named the second winner on Wednesday, beating out Trenton, Ont. Residents of Wallaceburg cast a number of votes Armstrong’s way, and Armstrong citizens returned the favour.

“Congrats to Wallaceburg who won today,” said Nitchie, an assistant coach with the Armstrong Junior Shamrocks. “I also want to commend Creston for all of their efforts in rallying their community for this challenge.”


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