A popular event is coming back to Barry’s Bay this spring and it’s meant to celebrate two things Canada is known for: hockey and multiculturalism.
The Opeongo Heritage Cup will return to the Paul. J. Yakabuski Centre on the weekend of March 24 to 26.
The tournament draws teams that represent their players’ ancestry. Traditionally there have been teams representing Germany, Ireland and the Algonquin nation.
Tournament organizer David Shulist says it’s competitive, but in a friendly way. He says it’s ultimately about bringing communities together.
“The concept of Heritage Hockey is to bring communities together, make everyone aware of their cultural roots and be proud of their ancestoral roots and at the same time be very proud to live in the greatest country in the world,” he says.
The tournament often packs the Yakaubski Centre with fans waving colourful flags, but it didn’t happen the last two years due to COVID.
Shulist says the tournament formed in Barry’s Bay years ago because it’s a diverse community.
“We just wanted to celebrate our culture through sports and, in this case, hockey being Canada’s game, we thought, ‘what a place to do it.'”
To get involved, you can reach out to Shulist through the tournament’s Facebook page.