Breaking News Update: artist Michael Slotwinski will be displaying his series of artwork: Hockey’s Masked Men on co-exhibition with the Hockey Hall of Fame TOMORROW (Saturday, December 29) in Alvinston for the Silver Stick Hockey Tournament.
Read about the event below:
Assistant curator with Hockey Hall of Fame grew up in Inwood
Izak Westgate with the Hockey Hall of Fame is helping bring the Stanley Cup to Alvinston on Dec. 29. Westgate, who grew up playing hockey in Alvinston, is now assistant curator at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Stanley Cup is coming to Alvinston.
Hockey’s Holy Grail, along with other NHL trophies — including the Conn Smyth, Rocket Richard, Hart and Lady Byng awards — is making a one-day stop at the Brook-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre Dec. 29. Local and national hockey exhibitions, interactive games and other Hockey Hall of Fame attractions will also be featured.
There are already 20 groups — including teams, companies and families — tentatively lined up for group pictures with the cup, said event chairperson Chad Hayter.
“To be able to have all these things come together and to have the Silver Stick tournament in Alvinston, in Watford, and in Petrolia going on at the same time is pretty neat,” said Hayter, with the Alvinston Optimist Club.
Former Inwood resident and Alvinston minor hockey player Izak Westgate has been working with Hayter to organize the event.
Westgate, 38, manages the Hockey Hall of Fame’s outreach program and is the Stanley Cup’s assistant curator.
“I wanted to give a little back to where I grew up and that was my mindset a few years ago when I sort of started trying to do this,” he said.
Outside of an appearance at the 2005 Memorial Cup in London, it’s been more than 20 years since the Stanley Cup’s visited southwestern Ontario with the Hockey Hall of Fame, he said.
The NHL lockout, he said, means there are fewer scheduled events for the Stanley Cup, making the Alvinston event possible.
“It’s a pretty unique opportunity for the entire area, not just for Alvinston itself,” he said.
Curator and “Keeper of the Cup” Phil Pritchard will also be at the community centre, presenting exclusive “Tales with Stanley” presentations at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Meanwhile, Hockey Hall of Fame movies will play continuously in the auditorium from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.
There will be 12 Hall of Fame displays featuring teams and stars from Strathroy, Sarnia, Toronto and others, plus hockey artifacts from Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Sidney Crosby, the World Junior Championship, Olympics and Women’s National Team.
“The winning pucks and sticks and shirts and jerseys,” Hayter said. “We have the coolest of cool stuff coming.”
He’s also working on getting NHLers with connections to the area to make appearances Dec. 29.
“Why would anyone need to go the Hall of Fame when everything’s here,” he said. “And you actually get to see the real Stanley Cup here.”
Group pictures with the cup are $200 and must be booked ahead of time by contacting Dennis Meston at 519-844-2576 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Hayter said. The cost also includes individual photos with the cup, he said.
Alvinston is paying less than the $12,000 typically charged for an event this size, he said, but it’s still very expensive. Everything is free except for pictures with the cup.
“We’re not looking for it to be a fundraiser,” he said, “but if it could be cost recovery, that’d be really cool.”
The Hockey Hall of Fame event is sponsored in part by the Alvinston Jr. “C” Flyers Hockey Club and the Alvinston Atom Silver Stick Tournament.