Earlier this week, a video of a man going down the stairs onto the ice at the rink in Lang started going viral. The short video has racked up now millions of views across all platforms. It is also helping to lead the way for a GoFundMe campaign for the rink in Lang, which was by pure coincidence timed for just when the video started to make its rounds.
The video did catch the attention of a YouTuber based in Halifax. Although he is more known for his Eckhart’s Ladder channel about science fiction, Justin has also created a second channel about something else very near and dear to him, hockey. He saw the video when it was making its way around the internet, but it wasn’t necessarily the video that caught his attention.
“I think that was kind of the first thing that really got me interested as it being more than just kind of an interesting video – I saw a bunch of local people from the area talking about it, and talking about their fond memories,” Justin told Discover Weyburn. “I think it’s a cool little bit of Canadian history, I guess.”
He would end up making a video about the rink and put it onto his channel about hockey, as well as other social media platforms. The video then took off.
Justin linked the GoFundMe to his video, and within a short period of time, donations started rolling in from around the world, all saying they came to the fundraiser for the rink in rural Saskatchewan thanks to the attention brought to it by Eck.
By the middle of the third day of the fundraiser, nearly 10 percent of all the donations that have come in so far could be linked back to the YouTube video.
“I can’t really take too much credit for it because at the end of the day, I’m kind of just a voice talking over it, and I’m lucky enough to have a platform where I can easily reach a bunch of people,” Justin added.
He is also quick to point out that the way the community embraces the rink is evident by the online reaction, and how people have been sharing their memories everywhere about what is likely the oldest operational rink in Saskatchewan.
“I’ve never been to Lang; I’ve never been actually further west than Ontario, as I’m an East Coaster, but even I could kind of feel through the videos and the stuff I saw on Facebook kind of how the town just obviously really appreciates the place,” he stated.
“Lang itself, from what I understand, is a town of 200 – obviously there are other surrounding communities – but you don’t have the population, necessarily, for a big four pad brand new rink so you do what you do to make hockey and to make curling and to make skating and to make the community work, and I just found that really cool, and I think that's ultimately what’s resonating with people more than anything I had to add,” Justin added.
Those who are interested in making a donation can do so through the Lang Rink GoFundMe page.