The contest to find Canada's Hockeyville kicks off each January, with the winner announced in March. Wilkie will once again be campaigning to be the country's Hockeyville 2019.

Helen Urlacher, Organizer for Wilkie's Hockeyville Campaign, said it's a great contest to show off their hockey spirit, "We nominated Wilkie for Hockeyville. We're going to try and make it again this year."

The Hockeyville winner will receive $250,000 for arena upgrades, as well as the opportunity to host an NHL Game. Runner ups also receive a smaller cash prize.

Urlacher said in 2017, the town made it to one of the final spots, but was unable to claim the grand prize, "We made the top 10 but didn't make it any further. We did receive $25,000 for upgrading our rink, which came in handy after the fire. That money was put towards our rink and we were finally able to get back into it."

Wilkie received over 200 nominations in 2017 and Urlacher is hoping to surpass that this year. O'Leary, PEI was named Hockeyville 2017, with Ituna, SK as the runner up.

In 2018, the town decided to pass over the contest.

Anyone can nominate the arena up until February 10th. From there, the top four finalists will be announced on March 16th and the grand prize winner announced on March  30th.

wilkie hockeyvilleWilkie community members commemorating their Hockeyville 2017 run. (L-R) back row; Noah Goodall, Mike Sittler, Kingston Sittler. front row; Brooklyn Salewski, Lyndin Urlacher, Helen Urlacher, Ocean Urlacher. (photo courtesy of Kathy Heilman)

Urlacher said however, this year, the town is looking at more upgrades and repairs to the SaskCan Centre, "The roof could use some repairing, the change rooms need upgrading. We could sink some money into our ice plants as well. Just the little things that insurance never covered, is basically what we're looking to spend the money on."

The Wilkie Arena has been a work in progress since October 2015, when a fire destroyed the centre. The community was left without a rink for the season.

After almost a year of rebuilding, the ice plant was back in action in late October 2016. Renovations were not completely finished until 2017.

"Wilkie is a big town hockey town, a lot of hockey spirit and over 100 years of Outlaws." Urlacher said the hockey spirit in Wilkie hadn't diminished even when they were left without an arena, "Since we had the fire, we had minor hockey teams that had to go elsewhere, so we're finally getting our minor hockey teams back in our rink."

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