What could be more Canadian than an outdoor hockey tournament?
If you have young hockey players aged five to eight, you’ll want to check out the Phoenix Winter Carnival hosted by the Headingley Phoenix Recreation Association. This year’s carnival runs Feb. 11 to 17.
Join Phoenix mascot Blaze to cheer on your favourite team. On Friday night there’s a family BBQ, bonfire and fireworks display.
During the tournament, prepare to enjoy treats such as hot dogs and special homemade perogies and kielbasa.
Every year sells out, drawing teams from at least 20 house leagues, so register early to make sure your team is included.
Phoenix Recreation Association President, Sandra Miller says that the carnival has grown over the last 18 years.
"It used to be run by the volunteer/ parents before Phoenix Recreation Association took over the event. Ads for the carnival program are sold to local businesses. This is our major fundraiser."
Carnival profits also fund other community family events such as the annual Halloween Howl, a monthly children’s movie night and the Phoenix Nursery School program which operates daily.
"It (the carnival) supports all our teams (hockey and baseball) when they need new jerseys . We buy new toys for the nursery, and we are able to show recently released movies for movie night" said Miller.
Mixed boy-girl teams are welcome. According to Miller, last year saw the first all-girl team compete.
Parent and tournament registrations convener, Gerry Munday said, "My children love to play hockey and at this event they see many friends they know from Headingley and the surrounding areas."
As an added bonus, each player can look forward to receiving a bag full of loot. For the adults, there’s a raffle for a 50-inch television and potential to win auction prizes.
Phoenix Recreation Association Treasurer, Tom Roche said, "With the involvement of the nursery parents, the baseball and hockey parents, the Headingley Seniors and other members of the community, this tournament that started in the 1970s has become a very significant event in the community."
Mark your calendars and join this blazing good time.
Valerie Chatain-White is a community correspondent for Headingley. You can contact her at Valerie@thenext30years.com