The EKC Zamboni Ice Time Trials are coming to Western Financial Place.
Beginning Nov. 7 when the Kootenay Ice host the Edmonton Oil Kings, East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC) has partnered with the Kootenay Ice in order to find the most skilled Zamboni driver in the East Kootenay.
“EKC is a very valued partner of ours. Them coming together with us to put on this kind of event is a really unique and interesting idea,” said Chris Wahl, Kootenay Ice director of sales and public relations, Tuesday afternoon. “Hopefully it’s something the fans enjoy, too.
“I think the most important part of it is there’s charity involved. Anytime you can involve charities and give back a little bit, it’s a great thing.”
Zamboni drivers will be tasked with navigating an obstacle course on the ice during the first and second intermissions in head-to-head time trial competition Friday night. Time penalties will be issued for driver error.
“We’ve got four charities on board that are going to be there on game night [Nov. 7],” said Jane Davies, marketing consultant for EKC, Tuesday afternoon. “If nothing else, they’re just going to be there to give exposure to their charity and what’s going on in their world.
“We’ve got different needs in each community and some very similar.”
Each driver will be racing on behalf of a local community group. The winning driver will be rewarded with a $500 donation for their respective community group from EKC. Runners-up will also receive a $250 donation for their community group from EKC.
The initial run of time trials will support the Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre, Canal Flats Youth Group for a Skateboard Park, Fernie Women’s Resource Centre and Kimberley Early Learning Centre.
The community groups involved will be on-hand at the game in support of their representative driver and to provide information on their community initiatives.
“If you’re coming from Sparwood or Kimberley, wear your Kimberley jerseys. Bring a Kimberley flag,” Davies added. “I would love to see the crowds roaring for their team.
“If you’re from the other local communities, be supportive, be local.”
Communities participating in the season-long challenge include Cranbrook, Kimberley, Canal Flats, Elkford, Fernie, Invermere, Sparwood and Creston.
The distinction of ‘Master Zamboni Driver’ will be awarded during the final time trials, set for Friday, March 13, 2015, when the Medicine Hat Tigers visit Western Financial Place. The two drivers with fastest recorded time trials will duke it out one last time for ultimate zamboni-driving supremacy.
The second set of trials is slated for Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, when the Swift Current Broncos roll into Cranbrook.
Apart from the charitable donations for her or his respective community groups, the winning zamboni driver will be enshrined on a plaque at Western Financial Place and will also take the ‘Master Zamboni Driver’ trophy back to their home rink for one year.
Friday’s game between the Ice and Oil Kings is scheduled for 7 p.m.