This year’s Opeongo Heritage Cup Hockey Tournament will take place the weekend of March 24 through 26 at the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre in Barry’s Bay. Whether you support the Kasubian Griffins, the Irish Shamrocks, the German Black Eagles, or the Algonquin Thunderbirds, this will be the weekend for Valley residents to come out in force to enjoy the friendly rivalry of the Heritage Cup. It’s a common misunderstanding of newcomers or seasonal residents to think that the players on the roster of each team all belong to a particular ethnic group; in fact, in true Valley spirit, there is a huge amount of crossover and camaraderie. As the Tournament Commissioner Dave Shulist aka Johnny Kashub said, “The concept of Valley Heritage and Multicultural Hockey is to bring communities together and help everyone be aware of their cultural roots. We are all proud to be Canadian and proud of our cultural roots. Hockey is our vehicle and diversity is our fuel.” A host of volunteers brings the Tournament to life, and proceeds go back to local heritage groups: the Combermere and Killaloe Heritage Societies, Zurakowski Park and the Barry’s Bay & Area Minor Hockey Association, the Algonquin Thunderbirds, Kashubian Griffins, Irish Shamrocks and the German Black Eagles Hockey Teams.
To help you plan your weekend, here is this year’s Tournament Schedule: