RBC rally kicks off at Sunshine Festival

A rally and celebration will mark Vernon being awarded the 2014 RBC Cup Canadian Junior A Hockey Championship tournament.

A rally and celebration will mark Vernon being awarded the 2014 RBC Cup Canadian Junior A Hockey Championship tournament.

The half-hour rally will start at noon Saturday on the main stage at the corner of 30th Avenue and 29th Street during the annual Downtown Vernon Association Sunshine Festival.

“Originally we planned to meet at Spirit Square at city hall,” said RBC Cup 2014 planner Don Klepp. “But when the Sunshine Festival’s Holly Schmidt invited us to join the event, we jumped at the chance.”

At the rally, a representative from Hockey Canada will give the final word about Vernon’s bid for the RBC Cup. Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky and Regional District of North Okanagan chairperson Patrick Nicol will state their positions regarding hosting the national championship.

Jason Williamson, head coach and general manager of the B.C. Hockey League’s Vernon Vipers, will indicate how the team will be involved in the event.

“Rally organizers welcome all local hockey fans, civic supporters and minor hockey players and parents,” said Klepp. “Host committee co-chairperson Mike Lane will announce plans for RBC Cup ticket sales, including a special partnership with local minor hockey associations.

The popular Vipers T-shirt cannon will distribute special edition RBC Cup T-shirts, and those supporters who have donated $20 or more to help the bid committee will be eligible for an all-tournament access VIP package, valued at $400.

One other highlight comes from the Royal Bank, the RB in RBC.

Scott Johnstone, manager of the downtown branch, has arranged for the Royal Bank’s interactive puck shoot display to be flown from Toronto with its two handlers.

“The display was a big hit at the recent RBC Cup in Humboldt (Sask.),” said Klepp. “It will be open all day on June 16 in front of the 30th Avenue Royal Bank.”

After the rally, Boston Pizza will host a celebration party, starting at 2 p.m.

At Boston Pizza and at the Royal Bank location, fans will be able to sign up for RBC Cup ticket packages and volunteer opportunities.