At first look, the Rink of Dreams 24-hour charity hockey game is a lot of things.
It’s a minimum of four dressing rooms in constant rotation, an hourly exchange as hundreds of players, 15 at a time, populate the home and away benches of Bear Mountain Arena from noon on Saturday (March 31) to noon Sunday.
It’s Marty the Marmot refereeing four- to six-year-old kids.
It’s 39 other mascots battling for the attention of kids and parents off the ice.
“More than anything it’s family, family, family,” said lead organizer Harp Sandhu. “We want people to know just how much there is to do, there’s so much to check out and hang around, it’s basically a hockey carnival atmosphere Saturday afternoon and evening. It’s really just using hockey as an excuse to bring families together for a fun charity event.”
Outside is a Telus Kinnect tent, mini cars for kids and plenty of games. There’s also a bar in the arena with Hockey Night in Canada on TV.
“But best of all is a ton of awesome prizes with 200 balloons at $5 each, and all prizes are a minimum $10 value,” Sandhu said.
One balloon that will be heavily sought after has two Vancouver Canucks tickets to the April 8 home game with Helijet passes and a room at the Four Seasons hotel.
“We also have a chuck-a-puck at 4 p.m. Saturday to win Canucks tickets, B.C. Ferries passes and a $100 dinner card for April 8.”
Calgary Flames fans can bid on a signed Mike Cammaleri jersey in the silent auction.
The hockey part of it is straight forward.
Players, sometimes in teams and sometimes individually, show up prior to their ice slot, be it 2 p.m. or 2 a.m. They gear up, and slip on either a Team Grey or Team Blue sweater. The 2012 version of the sweater, made by Teamworks, has a fresher design and with new sponsors from the 2011 black versus white uni’s.
Last minute player, and even team spots are still available through Rinkofdreamsvictoria.com or through Sandhu at Harp.firstname.lastname@example.org.