Students at Charles Bloom Secondary School are ready to vote for Lumby as Kraft Hockeyville.

Students at Charles Bloom Secondary School are ready to vote for Lumby as Kraft Hockeyville.

Lumby gets out the vote

The village’s proposed upgrades to Pat Duke Memorial Arena made the top 10 finalists for Kraft Hockeyville

From North Okanagan neighbourhoods to the halls of power in Victoria, support is growing for Lumby’s bid to be Kraft Hockeyville.

The village’s proposed upgrades to Pat Duke Memorial Arena made the  top 10 finalists for Kraft Hockeyville 2016. It is the only B.C. town on the list.

“I am going to encourage all of my colleagues to vote,” said Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA, who is reaching out to Liberal, NDP and Green politicians.

“I want this to be a non-partisan effort to support a B.C. community.”

Voting opens Sunday at 6 a.m. and closes Monday at 9 p.m. to decide the two finalists.

When the voting opens, you can cast your ballot at http://khv2016.ca/

“We need provincewide support,” said Angie Clowry, one of the campaign organizers in Lumby.

“We have help called in from communities across the province.”

The winner will receive an NHL pre-season game and $100,000 in arena upgrades. Second prize is $100,000 in arena upgrades, while the remaining eight arenas each will get $25,000 in arena upgrades.

The Village of Lumby is helping spread the word about the two-day voting session.

“We want to get everyone involved,” said Mayor Kevin Acton.

“I have sent letters to all mayors in B.C. and we hope they will support small town B.C. The mayors and directors in the North Okanagan are behind this 100 per cent.”

To encourage people to vote, there will be a tailgate party and road hockey game at Lumby’s Arbour Park Sunday at 9 a.m.

And people who may not have access to a computer, can vote at the Lumby Chamber of Commerce office from 6 a.m. Sunday to 9 p.m. Monday.

“We will have people there all night,” said Clowry.

Updates on special events and voting will be posted on Facebook at Vote for Lumby to be Kraft Hockeyville 2016.

“With social media, we can get people involved hard and fast,” said Acton.

If Lumby receives the funds, the goal is to ensure a proper change room at Pat Duke Memorial Arena for female hockey players.

“They use an old equipment room. They need good facilities,” said Foster.

The current change room for girls is eight-feet-by-10-feet.

“Creating a space for our girls who play hockey now and in the future is important as they are a strong and vital part of our teams. And more are signing up to play every year,” said Clowry.

The other top 10 communities are St. Laurent, Man., Martensville, Sask., Okotoks, Alta., St. Paul, Alta., Toronto, Ont., Brockville, Ont., Oromocto, N.B., Tatamagouche, N.S. and Saint-Isidore, Que.