Today, May 21st, 2020 would have marked the opening of the 2020 Memorial Cup. In celebration of this day, we felt it would be appropriate to share the video which allowed Kelowna to be successful in winning the bid for the 2020 Memorial Cup. In the hope of providing good feeling and inspiration, we are releasing this video publicly for the very first time. This video was prepared in 10 days with the assistance of SW Audio and was built upon the theme of “Welcome to our Community.” This video showcases all 22 Western Hockey League team jerseys as an indication that we wanted to welcome the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL to our beautiful city of Kelowna for 10 days of celebration.
We would like to also share with you the extremely inspirational vision of Wendy Falkowski, who was Chair of our opening parade ceremonies. Wendy shares with us her thoughts on how this spectacular day in our community would have unfolded…
Please take a moment, lean back in your chair and visualize the following…
May 21, 2020. It is the day of the “Memorial Cup Arrival” Parade. Water Street is lined with hundreds of people, including Minor Hockey League players each wearing their team jersey – hockey sticks in hand waiting to salute the ‘Memorial Cup’.
The parade participants are lined up in the City Park marshalling the area, ready to go. Finally, they hear the command, “Wagons Ho!”
First, the Police Escort ensures the road is cleared of pedestrians. Then you see them. Leading the way are six Navy Cadets, each holding a flag depicting the CHL, WHL and the four teams playing in the Memorial Cup. Behind them come the proud Veterans and the Navy Cadet Band. What an entrance! Here comes the Kelowna float. The other participants fall into line – KIA cars with dignitaries, Military vehicles, a marching contingency representing Military, Navy and Airforce as well as the RCMP, Firemen and Emergency Services.
The spectators clap and cheer as the parade passes by. Finally…. What everyone has been waiting for… the Military Band appears and behind it, The Memorial Cup, “shiny” and “sparkly”. (I hope it’s securely anchored on that Military vehicle.)
As the parade approaches Stuart Park, the Military vehicles are parked on display along Water Street and the KIA cars stop at the entrance where the dignitaries are met by a Cadet and are helped from their cars and escorted to their seats. As they enter the grounds, they can see that the VIP guests have been seated on white wooden garden chairs under market umbrellas.
The Ceremony is about to begin. The bands have joined together to make a grand entrance. They appear from behind the stage at the top of the stairs. Proceeding down the stairs, flags flying and drums drumming they take their place on stage making space for “The Cup” to be set in the place of honor. What a grand entrance.
The music comes to an end and the Chaplin steps up to the podium. He asks us to bow our heads in prayer and a moment of silence to honor the men and women of service who lost their lives in the line of duty defending this wonderful country we call home. As we stand with our heads bowed in silence, we
suddenly hear the soft voice of our soloist as she starts to sing “O’ Canada” and as she gets
louder the crowd joins in because we are proud to be Canadian.
A thundering applause and the MC steps up to introduce our speakers and guests. The
‘Welcome’ video is shown on the huge day-screen setup on stage and the final speaker steps up to the mic. It is our proud Chair, Tom Dyas. “Let the Games Begin”! The band starts to play to bring this event to a close. But wait! There is one more thing to do. Set off the confetti cannons. The Parks Department cringe at the thought. But never fear… the confetti is environment friendly with disposable paper. What an afternoon!
This could not have been done without the fine team of volunteers on the Memorial Cup Arrival Committee. That’s YOU!
Although this was ‘what should have been’, I want to thank each of you for all the work you did prior to the cancellation. I hope we will get the opportunity to work together again someday soon.