The past 11 days have been simply fantastic for our community.
In my opinion, the Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, was just what the doctor ordered, and the community stepped up in every way. Estevan needs more events like this that benefit everyone.
To everyone involved in getting this event here, including; the Estevan Bruins, the Centennial Cup organizing committee, volunteers, and the City of Estevan. Thank you. You deserve all the credit in the world.
Where we stood out the most was how the community handled it. I did my best to talk to as many people from out of town as possible. The feedback I received was unbelievable. Everything was positive. Everyone mentioned how friendly and accommodating the community was.
One story I needed to share was an interaction with a parent from Montreal who had a son playing on the Summerside, P.E.I. team. This gentleman was retired from the Montreal Police Department after a 35-year career.
He and another parent had stopped in the dealership to look at a couple of older vehicles we have on display. I saw him wandering around and so I asked him if he had been helped out or was he being ignored? He laughed and said “I haven't been ignored anywhere in this community”. As we continued to talk, he said this experience has changed him.
He was going back to Montreal a different person and it was thanks to the community of Estevan, thanks to the hospitality. He was 100 per cent serious. He couldn’t believe how friendly everyone was. He said “It’s not what I’m used to, where I come from”.
The families and fans did a lot of shopping and eating out in Estevan. They loved the specials that the stores and restaurants offered, as well as all of the signage throughout town welcoming everyone to Estevan.
I was told years ago the word “welcome” is the warmest feeling word in the dictionary. I like to use it often and the community evidently likes to use it as well.
As we move forward, we have to treat every event we host like we did this one. Let’s step up and decorate the city again welcoming players and fans. This summer Estevan Minor Baseball is hosting three provincial tournaments and two Western championships. We have a major curling event coming in January. Side note: Curling Canada loves Estevan and it shows as they continue to bring events to our community. I have a feeling Hockey Canada now loves Estevan. Looking forward to hopefully having another major event from them in the next few years.
My biggest fear was having an empty rink for the final. You often see that on TSN for Hockey Canada events when the local team isn’t involved. Not here. Estevan delivered again. As the game was on, I was getting texts from out of town watchers saying how good the rink looked with all the fans.
In closing all I can say is, Estevan you did well. The real winner of this event was our economy.