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Canmore fan fest, games among plans for 2025 Hockey Day in Canada

Kick-off concert, hockey games, fan fest and live broadcast on tap when Canmore hosts Canada Day in Canada

CANMORE – Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada is coming to the Rockies when Canmore hosts the hockey celebration on Saturday, January 18, 2025.

Announced this week by Canadian broadcaster Ron MacLean, who will host the annual event’s broadcast live from Canmore, the 25th anniversary features special programming, fan events such as a concert, NHL alumni clinics, local games, and stories from across the nation.

“We want to put on the best Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada that they’ve had in 25 years,” said Andrew Milne, co-chair of the Canmore Local Organizing Committee. 

“As we progress in the next month or so, we’ll be able to announce some different things with the event and I’m hoping that people will be just as excited as we are.”

Confirmed to be taking place over the course of the day is the Sportsnet broadcast, with its analysts, special guests and tours of the mountain community. That night, all seven Canadian NHL teams are in action.

A variety of hockey games will also be played locally throughout the week and during the Sportsnet broadcast, with NHL alumni, minor, university and the hometown Canmore Eagles Junior A club taking centre stage.

“The plan is to have a minor game throughout [Jan. 18], then a [university] women’s game throughout the afternoon and then an Eagles game in the evening on that Saturday,” said Milne, who’s head coach and general manager of the Junior A club.

Elsewhere, as part of the fan festivities, the local organizing committee is in talks to bring in a musician for the kick-off concert, as well as NHL alumni.

Most activities are tentatively taking place at the Canmore Recreation Centre and Canmore Golf and Curling Clubs, but an outdoor rink is being considered in areas around town like Cougar Creek and Larch.

How Canmore Landed Hockey Day in Canada

The organizers of Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada approached the Canmore Eagles about possibly hosting the event last December. Milne said the franchise jumped on the opportunity, and teamed up with the Town of Canmore, Canmore Minor Hockey Association and Tourism Canmore Kananaskis to create an organizing committee.

To get a feel for the magnitude of the event, Milne travelled to Victoria, B.C. last January during the 2024 Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada. 

Sportsnet personnel have also visited the town in the past few months, including executive producer for NHL Special Events Joel Darling, who attended an Eagles playoff game to see what a packed Alex Kaleta Arena in the Canmore rec centre was all about.

“A top destination and vibrant community known for its stunning scenery and outdoor activities, Canmore promises to deliver a hockey celebration like no other with a picture-perfect winter backdrop for our milestone event and national broadcast,” said Darling, in a media release.

It’s the first time Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada visits Alberta since 2014 when Lloydminster hosted and only the third time being held in the province since 2000.

The mountain town has a storied history with the winter sport, including Canmore-born and former NHL player Alex Kaleta being credited with coining the Hat Trick phrase, for whenever one player scores three goals.

In the late 1990s, Hollywood came to Canmore to film the underdog hockey movie Mystery, Alaska, starring Russell Crowe and Burt Reynolds.

A few recent players to come out of Canmore and play in the NHL are the Ottawa Senators’ Jacob Bernard-Docker and the Chicago Blackhawks’ Luke Philp. 

The festival is expected to take place over four days in Canmore, which, since the 1988 Olympics, has been a go-to spot for Nordic athletes and outdoor recreationalists. With World Cup Nordic events coming to the Canmore Nordic Centre in recent years, plus the high number of elite athletes living in town, Canmore undoubtedly stands out as one of Canada’s sports meccas. 

“Hosting this event aligns perfectly with our mission of providing astonishing adventures that nourish your soul,” said Rachel Ludwig, CEO at Tourism Canmore Kananaskis, in a media release. “This celebration of our nation’s favourite sport will not only bring excitement and vibrancy to our community, but also significant economic impact.”

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

An award-winning reporter, Jordan Small has covered sports, the arts, and news in the Bow Valley since 2014. Originally from Barrie, Ont., Jordan has lived in Alberta since 2013.
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