By Sports and Lifestyle Editor Cole Schisler

Nanaimo is one of 24 communities included in the Hometown Hockey Tour. The Local Organizing Committee has allocated $122,750 for community events leading up to the festival, which will begin on February 18 with the opening of an outdoor ice rink at Maffeo Sutton park. The rink will remain in place for up to two weeks during the festival, which concludes on February 26 following a game between the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers.

Along with the outdoor ice rink, the city is purchasing several floating docks, which will be placed in Swy-A-Lana Lagoon for activities during the festival. After the festival, the docks will be permanently placed at the Brechin Boat Ramp, Diver Lake Park, and Colliery Dam Park. The docks will cost $271K, and the ice rink will cost $200K, for a total of $593,750. Richard Harding, Director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Nanaimo, hopes that the festival will leave a long lasting, positive impression on the community.

“When big events like the Rogers Hometown Hockey tour come to Nanaimo, we want to create a legacy that residents can use for years to come,” Harding said. “An outdoor ice rink is something unique that can bring the community together in a healthy and fun way.”

The Local Organizing Committee is made up of several agencies and organizations in the community and include representatives from the City of Nanaimo Council and staff, Snuneymuxw First Nation, Nanaimo Minor Hockey Association, Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo Museum, Nanaimo RCMP, Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation, Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, The Port Theatre, Nanaimo Clippers, Nanaimo Buccaneers, and Nanaimo Hospitality Association.

More events will be announced as the festival comes closer, however, the current schedule of events, available online at includes the following:

Friday, February 18

Outdoor Ice Rink opens (until February 26)

– Maffeo Sutton Park

Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19

Old City Quarter Selby Cup (ball hockey tournament organized by DNBIA) – Selby Street

Monday, February 20 and Tuesday, February 21

School District 68 Pro-D Days – stay tuned for activities in City recreation centres

Wednesday, February 22

Skate with Nanaimo Buccaneers – 7 – 8 pm

Thursday, February 23

NDSS Theatre Performance – The Port Theatre

Nanaimo Buccaneers Home Game – Nanaimo Ice Centre

Friday, February 24

NDSS Theatre Performance – The Port Theatre

Nanaimo Clippers Home Game & Tailgate Party – Frank Crane Arena, Beban Park

Saturday, February 25

Day 1 of Rogers Hometown Hockey Festival

– Maffeo Sutton Park

Sunday, February 26

Day 2 of Rogers Hometown Hockey Festival

– Maffeo Sutton Park

Live Sportsnet broadcast 4 to 4:30 pm – Maffeo Sutton Park

Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers game will be livecast 4:30 pm – Maffeo Sutton Park

Fireworks Display to follow game – Maffeo Sutton Park

Monday, February 27

Gee Dan Productions present Tom Cochrane live in concert – The Port Theatre

Cole is a second-year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in creative writing, minoring in political science. He has an interest in all things exciting, mundane, or otherwise. He hopes to one day become an author, actor, comedian, editor, and rapper, while moonlighting as an astronaut.

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