The National Hockey League's loss is minor hockey's gain during the lockout, as Kraft Canada announced the cancellation of Kraft Hockeyville 2013 and will invest in a new program called Kraft Hockey Goes On, awarding $1 million to Hockey Canada-affiliated minor hockey associations across the country.
"Through our many years of involvement in community hockey, we realize there are countless unrecognized hockey volunteers and it's because of them that our favourite sport goes on," said Jack Hewitt, Vice President of Marketing Insight & Services, Kraft Canada. "There are over four million volunteers who dedicate themselves to ensure the game is played from coast to coast. This year, we're celebrating these heroes of the game."
Kraft Hockey Goes On is celebrates and recognizes local hockey volunteers and providing them with a way to give back within their community.
Through the program, Kraft Hockey Goes On will:
- recognize the top 5 volunteers and award his or her local hockey association with $100,000
- recognize an additional 20 volunteers and award his or her local hockey association with $20,000
- provide $100,000 to Hockey Canada to distribute to Learn to Skate programs at the local level.
"There are many things that help set up a game of hockey but the magic of the sport is the people who make it happen," said Bob Nicholson, President and CEO, Hockey Canada. "It's the spirit of the Canadian communities that makes this sport so special. You feel it when you catch a game at a local arena. That's what hockey is about."
Communities can nominate local hockey volunteers by going to KraftHockeyGoesOn.ca from January 21, 2013 until March 8, 2013. A panel will determine the top 100 individuals. Canadians can vote for their local hockey volunteer starting March 23, 2013. The top 5 winning communities will be announced March 30, 2013.
Hockeyville is an annual project sponsored by Kraft, the NHL and the NHL Players' Association in which communities across Canada compete to demonstrate their commitment to the game. Each year, the winning community received money dedicated to upgrading its local arena, a national broadcast from the community and an NHL pre-season game.