SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente

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Thanks Canada! Sylvan Lake named Kraft Hockeyville 2014

$1 million in prizing awarded to 16 communities determined to keep local rinks alive

TORONTO, April 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Forty days of nominations, millions of votes and countless rallying cries for support in communities across the country has culminated in the announcement made by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that Sylvan Lake, Alberta is Kraft Hockeyville 2014. In a live spot last night on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, representatives from Sylvan Lake cheered as they received the news that their local arena will benefit from $100,000 in upgrades, the opportunity to host an NHL® pre-season game between the Calgary Flames and the Phoenix Coyotes, and a visit from CBC. To mark its eighth season, Kraft Hockeyville came back bigger than ever, awarding a total of $1 million in prizing to 16 different hockey loving communities from coast-to-coast.

"Everyone at Kraft Canada sincerely congratulates Sylvan Lake on winning the title of Kraft Hockeyville 2014," said Jack Hewitt, Vice-President, Consumer Insights & Portfolio Marketing, Kraft Canada. "The passion Canada has, not only for its national sport, but for the communities across this great country is astounding. Sixteen amazing communities now have the funds to upgrade their local rinks - and that means there are 16 rinks that will continue to be the heart of their communities."

"The passion for hockey is passed from generation-to-generation, and the community rink plays an essential role in that special relationship," NHL Commissioner Bettman said. "Kraft Hockeyville is committed to keeping community rinks vibrant, ensuring the health of the game in communities large and small. The National Hockey League is thrilled to support and be a part of this wonderful program and we, too, celebrate the communities that make hockey strong."

"On behalf of CBC, congratulations to Sylvan Lake on being named Kraft Hockeyville 2014," said Jeffrey Orridge, Executive Director of Sport Properties & General Manager, Olympics. "Each year more and more communities from across Canada rally together for this title and we are pleased to be part of this grassroots movement that directly benefits so many people through the sport of hockey."

Sylvan Lake embodies Alberta's huge passion for hockey and community spirit in their quest for the Kraft Hockeyville title, gaining the support of the entire country that intensified after the roof of their beloved community rink collapsed on January 20, 2014. The community organized several events to get people voting, including road-side voting check stops, a Kraft Dinner "Let Your Fun Out" party, and a rallying poem, read in the province's House of Commons, to raise further support of the community.

"We are thrilled that Sylvan Lake, Alberta has deservingly earned the title of Kraft Hockeyville for 2014," said Flames President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke. "The Calgary Flames are very proud of our Alberta roots and have made it a priority to be a strong supporter of our community's well-being. We look forward to celebrating our great game with Flames fans in Sylvan."

"We are very excited to participate in next season's Kraft Hockeyville event in Sylvan Lake, AB," said Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney. "We look forward to celebrating the game of hockey with all the fans in Sylvan Lake and supporting this great hockey community."

This year, a record-breaking total of 532 communities were nominated for the program, 16 of which moved on to the voting rounds. Across three voting rounds, an overwhelming 15,971,095 total votes were cast by Canadians, which narrowed the 16 deserving communities to one. The top 16 communities include: winner Sylvan Lake, AB; Top 2 finalist Kingston, NS; Salmon Arm, BC; Marysville, BC; Osoyoos, BC; Bruderheim, AB; St. Albert, AB; Swift Current, SK; Arborg, MB; Richmond, ON; Prescott, ON; Beeton, ON; Exeter, ON; Chicoutimi, QC; Central Bedeque, PE and Amherst, NS.

A total of $1 million in prizing will be awarded, with each of the top 16 communities receiving prize money to go towards upgrading their nominated arena. Prizing is as follows:

  • Sylvan Lake, AB will receive the grand prize of $100,000 in arena upgrades, the opportunity to host an NHL® pre-season game played this fall between the Calgary Flames and Phoenix Coyotes, and a visit from CBC;
  • Kingston, NS will receive $100,000 in arena upgrades;
  • Salmon Arm, BC and Central Bedeque, PE will each receive $50,000 in arena upgrades; and
  • Marysville, BC; Osoyoos, BC; Bruderheim, AB; St. Albert, AB; Swift Current, SK; Arborg, MB; Richmond, ON; Prescott, ON; Beeton, ON; Exeter, ON; Chicoutimi, QC and Amherst, NS will each receive $25,000 in arena upgrades.

For complete program details, please visit KraftHockeyville.ca. Kraft Hockeyville can also be found on Facebook (Facebook.com/KraftHockeyville and Twitter @hockeyville).

About Kraft Foods Group
Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: KRFT) is one of North America's largest consumer packaged food and beverage companies, with annual revenues of more than $18 billion.  With the spirit of a startup and the soul of a powerhouse, Kraft has an unrivaled portfolio of products in the beverages, cheese, refrigerated meals and grocery categories.  The company's iconic brands include Kraft, Capri Sun, JELL-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters and Velveeta.  Kraft's 22,500 employees in the U.S. and Canada have a passion for making the foods and beverages people love. Kraft is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 and the NASDAQ-100 indices.  For more information, visit www.kraftfoodsgroup.com and www.facebook.com/kraft.

About the NHL
The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL® consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League's international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other major professional sport. The NHL entertains more than 250 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (NBC Sports Network, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, and NHL Network™) and radio (NHL Radio™, Sirius XM Satellite Radio).  Through NHL Green™, the League is committed to reuse, recycle and reduce its ecological impact by pursuing sustainable business practices and raising awareness of environmental issues among its fan base. The NHL Foundation, the League's charitable arm, raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer™ and NHL Youth Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more information on the NHL, visit NHL.com.

About the National Hockey League Players' Association
The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), established in 1967, is a labour organization whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labour relations, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations, all in furtherance of its efforts to promote its members and the game of hockey. In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. Over the past 14 years, more than 60,000 deserving children in 30 countries have benefited from the players' donations of hockey equipment. NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $21-million to grassroots hockey programs, making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit www.nhlpa.com.

About CBC/Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages. 

For a complete list of publicity contacts and for more information including series synopses, press releases, hi-res images, video clips and bios, please visit the CBC Media Centre at cbc.ca/mediacentre. Follow CBC's publicity team on twitter @CBC Publicity.

NHL and the NHL Shield are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League.  NHL and NHL team marks are the property of the NHL and its teams.  © NHL 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

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