In this 2012 file photo, Brothers Jeremy and Jordan Willey play shinny at the Wasagaming Rink behind the Riding Mountain National Park Visitor’s Centre during the 2012 Hockey Day in Canada and Winter Adventure Weekend at Clear Lake. This year, events throughout the Feb. 8-10 weekend will include a hockey tournament, a winter survival clinic, a birding clinic and the Cabin Fever Reliever Social among others.
The third annual Hockey Day in Canada and Winter Adventure Weekend will be held at Clear Lake and Onanole from Feb. 8-10.
The event is jointly hosted by Friends of Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP) and the Onanole and District Recreation Centre. This partnership is proving to be very successful at attracting visitors to the area so that they can discover for themselves all the magic that a Manitoba winter can hold.
The inspiration for this event stems from the enthusiasm for winter sports that exists in the area.
"The first year we held Hockey Day in Canada the event was planned basically on the spur of the moment," said Onanole Rec Centre president Scot Shellborn. "We weren’t sure how it would be received. Then 500 people attended. It was amazing to see such a great response. We had to keep it going because everyone had so much fun."
The event’s budget is virtually zero with local recreation organizations and businesses taking part too, offering to host activities and promote the event with their members and customers.
"It shows that we’re on to something good when so many people jump on board to help," said George Hartlen, CAO of Friends of RMNP. "Maybe it’s the time of year and people are feeling the need to get out and have some fun, but everyone we ask agrees without reservation to take part in this event."
The weekend kicks off on Friday, Feb. 8 with the Onanole Hockey Leagues annual men’s tournament. This year the team will have a family-friendly pizza and beer garden onsite with big screen TVs so folks can refresh themselves and catch up on NHL action. The tournament runs until Saturday.
On Saturday, staff from Asessippi Ski Hill will pay a visit to Clear Lake. They will introduce a hilarious new event, human sled dog races and they will be bringing their mascot Ollie to help co-ordinate the fun. There will also be a boot hockey tournament. Teams can register by calling the Friends of RMNP office (204-848-4037).
Also on Saturday, Fabien Carriere from the Parkland Snowshoeing Club will put on a winter survival clinic and guided snowshoe event. Following that there will be a winter photography workshop led by local nature enthusiast Melanie Robinson.
Saturday evening will feature the Valentine skate on Clear Lake hosted by Whirlpool Bed and Breakfast. Imagine skating hand in hand with your sweetheart under a starry night sky with the lake lit up by ice lanterns.
But this event isn’t just for couples, families with kids will enjoy it too.
Following that there will be the annual Cabin Fever Reliever Social at the Onanole Rec Centre. This social sells out every year so purchase your tickets early from Onanole Hockey League members, as well as at Home Hardware and FasGas in Onanole.
On Sunday, Feb. 10, Friends of RMNP will put on a number of workshops including a scavenger hunt, a S’Mores clinic, a ski waxing clinic and a birding workshop. For more information about the weekend’s activities, visit friendsofridingmountain.ca, or call the Friends office.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 21, 2013