(Kraft Hockeyville / Facebook)

Do you know of an arena that needs an extra little bit of love?

Kraft Hockeyville wants to grant that wish, to the tune of $250,000, to be exact!

In partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), Kraft Hockeyville has officially opened nominations for 2021.

Hockeyville has a 15-year long track record of encouraging community participation in Canada’s favourite sport by upgrading local hockey arenas in need of repair and refurbishing.

Since 2006, Kraft Hockeyville has awarded a whopping $3.8 million to 85 communities across the country – they’ve also celebrated 13 NHL preseason games in eight different provinces.

You might recall one particular nomination that was particularly close to home; in 2015, North Saanich’s very own Panorama Recreation was announced the grand prize winner of Kraft Hockeyville and received $100,000 to fund arena improvements.

They also hosted an NHL pre-season game between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks on September 21st, 2015.

Kraft Hockeyville looks to keep that community spirit alive, and are now accepting nominations for 2021’s crowning arena.

“For many communities, hockey is more than a sport and being crowned the Kraft Hockeyville champion is more than a title,” says Matt Bruce, Senior Brand Manager, Kraft Heinz Canada.

“It represents a passion, a way to connect and feel like their community is part of something bigger. We love seeing that excitement come through every year in the nomination stories, the local and now virtual rallies and the NHL preseason game. The Kraft Hockeyville legacy is a powerful tool to ignite community spirit, which feels more necessary than ever after a challenging year for all Canadians.”

Currently, only one arena on Vancouver Island has been nominated, Alberni Valley Multiplex in Port Alberni.

One more in the province has been nominated thus far, Minoru Arenas in Richmond.

Communities looking to get in on the action can submit their nomination story online before February 14th.

The 2021 grand prize winner will have an opportunity to host an NHL preseason game and receive $250,000 to be used towards necessary arena upgrades, as well as the coveted title of Kraft Hockeyville 2021.

This year’s winner and each of the three-runner up communities will also receive $10,000 to purchase new hockey equipment for their minor hockey programs, courtesy of the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund.

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