The Winnipeg Jets will play hockey for food. Actually

The Winnipeg Jets will play hockey for food. Actually

Five Hole For Food, founder Richard Loat go top corner in 2013

After raising 133,000 pounds of food in 2012, Five Hole For Food intends to raise 250,000 pounds across Canada this year.



Five Hole For Food’s concept is simple: they drive across Canada, you show up with a can of food and a stick, and you all play a massive game of road hockey.

The bigger the place, the bigger the game. But, every year, Five Hole For Food (FHFF) raises more and more pounds of food for local banks. Last year, their goal was 100,000 pounds and they raised 113,000 – 43,000 of them coming from the tour’s last stop in Vancouver.

This year, FHFF founder and SFU student Richard Loat and his team raised the bar – their goal is 250,000 pounds of food. It’s hefty, but it’s a convenient figure, and Loat thinks Five Hole is well on its way to going shelf.

“It’s a nice round number, a quarter of a million pounds,” said Loat on Thursday, while his team was taking a break in Marathon, Ontario (the ironic title of the town was purely coincidence, I’m told).

Since Thursday, Five Hole has already played two more games in Winnipeg and Regina, and they’re on their way to Calgary for Tuesday (July 16).

“The goal is picked on the confidence Canadians give us,” said Loat. “We’re gonna surpass it (250,000 pounds) in Vancouver… We’re just past the halfway part of the tour.”

(*Victoria and Vancouver’s games will take place this coming Friday and Saturday: July 19th at Saanich Plaza, and July 20th on Granville Street.)

————————————————————

Winnipeg:

Regina:

————————————————————

Before Toronto, Loat says FHFF’s total was at 75,000 pounds. That’s including the West and Canada’s biggest city – or its flagship games in Vancouver and Victoria.

“For me, it’s about raising more and more every year,” he said. “Even if it’s just one pound of food more, it’s considered a success… The more impact we can leave on the community, the more impact we can make from year to year.”

Five Hole For Food’s concept isn’t the only thing unique about their operation. They also promote themselves almost entirely on social media, relying on word of mouth and the strength of their cause.

Also, Canadians loves road hockey, and a few worthy celebrity endorsements always help.

Past Five Hole tours have garnered the attention of musicians and TV celebrities, but this year’s version featured testimonials from Canucks stars like Trevor Linden and Roberto Luongo. For a hockey fan like Loat – and for an event like Five Hole – it doesn’t get much better than that.

“The Luongo one was pretty special,” said Loat. “I enjoyed the fact, in Ottawa we had Kyle Turris come out with us. To have an NHL player of his calibre supporting us, year-in and year-out, coming out to a game I think is pretty special.

“Trevor was a special one,” he continued. “It’s an immense point of pride just because this has been my baby that I’ve grown year-over-year.”

————————————————————

Toronto:

————————————————————

Loat founded Five Hole with the help of a few friends in 2010, just after the Winter Olympics in his hometown of Vancouver (Loat’s originally from North Van, to be more specific). Everyone who travels and works with Five Hole is there for the cause, he says, and they all do the work of well-paid professionals for the salary of a free volunteer.

(As an example, Five Hole’s media page and its YouTube channel operate like a manicured broadcast network, and its site and organization have the look and feel of million-dollar charity or a Fortune 500 company. If you told me Five Hole was run by Virgin and the British Branson, it wouldn’t surprise me.)

“I feel very fortunate that I get to do what we do with Five Hole and find (NHL) players lending their image, their name, and their clout,” Loat says. “You don’t see a lot of organizations that have 50-plus volunteers that are running the show. Most volunteers, it’s a role… with us, volunteers fill a position on the pay scale.”

As a Vancouver kid, Loat says experiencing the Maritimes has been one of the best parts of every tour, and Five Hole’s videos from the start of the 2013 tour (in St. John’s, Halifax, and Charlottetown) give image to Loat’s words.

“Being out in the Maritimes… you see the small town effect really kick in,” he said. “They care about hockey just as much as any city in Canada.

“They talk about Maritime hospitality. There’s a connection between people out there that’s really special.”

The tour is a whirlwind for everyone involved – 13 cities in 17 days across the second-largest country in the world – but it also ends with a bang. The final days in Victoria and Vancouver have become Five Hole’s signature series, with the B.C. capital rivalling its mainland brother.

“Coming home is just really special,” Loat says. “Coming to Granville Street (where the Vancouver game is held), it’s a bit of a homecoming.

“Vancouver is our flagship, but the Victoria event is not far behind. They’re always competing with Vancouver to raise more. Calgary and Edmonton always compete, the prairies are always competing… I look forward to all the cities, there’s something special about all of them.”

Next year’s Five Hole is expected to be its biggest yet, seeing as its the tour’s fifth anniversary.

And, with pounds of food turning into tons – and Loat’s goals growing at the end of every July – hockey fans everywhere might want to mark their cities’ dates on their calendars.

————————————————————

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A partnership is looking to identify skeletal remains that were discovered by recreational divers in the Gorge Waterway this February. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Divers find partial human skull in Gorge Waterway

B.C. Coroner Service determines remains likely historical, not ancestral

This rendering shows the proposed warehouse for lands under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority near a Sidney residential neighbourhood. (York Realty/Submitted).
Sidney calls on Victoria Airport Authority to improve design of planned warehouse

Council stops short of a definitive statement for or against proposal

The Victoria Police Department is looking for help identifying a person of interest after an April 29 hit-and-run. (VicPD handout)
Victoria police looking for suspect in hit-and-run investigation

The suspect was driving a four-door grey Dodge Ram 1500 truck

A man was arrested after allegedly threatening people downtown on May 10 while brandishing this knife. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Man armed with a knife arrested for allegedly threatening people in downtown Victoria

Officers used de-escalation techniques during afternoon arrest

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

Most Read