It’s only fitting the end of an era would conclude with an Oilers hockey game—although this one features the Okotoks Oilers.
Northlands Coliseum is preparing for its farewell weekend, starting with a Friday night game between the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints and Okotoks Oilers.
Northlands President and CEO Tim Reid says planning for the weekend started just after the rodeo ended.
“The nostalgia that was in the building, the memories, and the people saving dirt really just made us realize that we should provide an opportunity for the community to get in without having to buy a ticket. As we were talking about what to do, Ryan Smyth reached out and said ‘any chance we could do this hockey game?’”
Former Oilers winger Ryan Smyth is a part owner of the Spruce Grove Saints Junior ‘A’ hockey team.
Watch below: The doors will soon close to Northlands Coliseum and the celebration of the former home of the Edmonton Oilers begins tonight. Kevin Karius spoke to Northlands CEO Tim Reid about the goodbye on Global News at 5 Edmonton.
There will be no entrance fee, and Northlands is partnering with 630 CHED to spread some holiday cheer.
“We’re hoping in exchange for free access to the Coliseum, people will either make a donation to 630 CHED Santas Anonymous and bring a toy with them for a young person, or a community that could use something at Christmas,” Reid said.
The farewell to the Coliseum extends into the weekend as well.
Saturday will bring a pancake breakfast starting at 9 a.m., as well as tours of the building and free skating. On Sunday they will say good bye to the coliseum with an aboriginal round dance.
“The feedback we got was that this building does sit on Treaty Six traditional soil and Treaty Six traditional land and its been important to our indigenous partners as well,” Reid said.
“Given what we’ve done in the last year [with a partnership], it just made sense. It is a great way to bring a community together.”
The round dance begins at 4 p.m. on Sunday, with doors opening at 3 p.m.
Puck drop for the game between the Oilers and Saints is 7 p.m. on Friday. Parking is free with a donation to 630 CHED Santas Anonymous.
Watch below: As Edmontonians get ready to say farewell to Northlands Coliseum, Kevin Karius asked Oilers legend Grant Fuhr to talk about saying goodbye to the arena.