September 13, 2009

Welcome to Hockeyville

This is Hockeyville. Terrace, British Columbia. My hometown.

We live along the mighty Skeena river, one of many notable tributaries in the area. We are one of the most famous sport fishing spots on the globe, luring anglers from all over North America and Europe.

As you can see we are nestled in amongst the many mighty mountains, with the Kitimat, Coastal and Hazelton ranges towering nearby. The mountains make for unforgettable scenery, unparalleled heli-skiing and world-class hiking, camping and mountain biking.

There's a pretty good chance you'll see some bears around our neck of the woods. If you are really lucky you will catch a rare peek at the Kermode Bear, a black bear with a white coat. Northwest BC is the only spot in the world where this endangered bear still survives.

If you are real lucky maybe you will even catch a glimpse of those amazing Northern Lights.

Native culture reigns supreme here. The rest of the world is enthralled with the art and culture and of course the totem poles. Museums around the world are constructing displays to recreate it. This is the real thing.

Terrace is the service center of northwestern BC. We have an approximate official population 12,000 people, with that number inflating to about 20,000 including the nearby smaller and native villages. Pretty much the entire region could fit inside GM Place or Nassau Coliseum.

Those numbers are down pretty significantly from a decade ago or more now. Logging was easily the number one industry in town, but in the past decade one mill has been dismantled while the other is used periodically at best. Not surprisingly, many people have had to leave town.

Losing the number one industry in town has meant the rest of town has suffered, too. There have not been too many industries to thrive in the decade-long down turn. These have been very lean years, indeed.

What keeps this community going is an undeterred spirit. It is that spirit that has brought the National Hockey League, the Vancouver Canucks and the New York Islanders to town this Monday.

Against long odds Terrace banded together like never before to embrace the Hockeyville contest for the first time. Hockey is very much a big part of our lives. The arena is our community hall.

We rallied together in a love for hockey and a bigger love for Terrace. We successfully brought the NHL and the hockey world home.

Home. . . to the game's grassroots.

Home . . . to Hockeyville.

GHL Hockeyville coverage sponsored by Skeena River Fishing Lodge:

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