OUR VIEW: Local rink is on national stage

Voting is complete and all that’s left is the waiting.

Voting is complete and all that’s left is the waiting.

For the second time in two weekends, people will be on the edge of their seats at Panorama Recreation Centre’s Arena B, as the winner of an NHL preseason hockey game will be announced. Panorama is in the running against their counterparts in Chatham, Ontario. If Vancouver Islanders, and westerners in general, did their job right, there’ll be two pro hockey teams on the Saanich Peninsula next season.

Win or no, congratulations must go out to the people behind the push to get the west to choose Panorama in the nation-wide Kraft Hockeyville contest. There was some pretty good competition in there — the Island just seemed to want it more.

The effort to win the Hockeyville title started with a nomination by Jason Fletcher. He said he didn’t know how far it would take the local rink, but today there are probably plenty of others looking to him for advice on writing grant applications. It’s an art and he seemed to do it right, attracting the imagination of the larger community — not just hockey parents.

The staff of Panorama jumped on board immediately and worked hard to hit social media with a blitz of publicity. Then came the myriad of people who re-Tweeted and re-posted the ‘get out and vote’ message.

If only our politicians would learn from all of this, then we might get just as excited over the voting process more often (or at least every three to four years). It’s safe to say that politics might not have the same caché as hockey — but every effort would help voter turnout rates.

This Saturday, Panorama hosts a day-long celebration from pancake breakfast to the big Hockeyville NHL game reveal. Most events are free and everyone is welcome as the rec. centre thanks the community for its support.

No matter the outcome of the voting on Saturday, Panorama is already a full-fledged member of the Hockeyville alumni and should be proud that their community thinks so highly of them to propel them to a national stage.