CBC looking for Hockeyville

Toronto: CBC has begun shooting preliminary footage for its new 7 x 60 series Kraft Hockeyville, while fielding applications from communities across Canada hoping to become the show’s titular town, and host an NHL exhibition game at their local arena.

According to Pam McNair, the series’ executive producer, the Hockeyville winner will be the Canadian town that best exemplifies the hockey spirit and love for the game. The communities will be briefly profiled during the series’ premiere on March 29. All the shows will be broadcast live from Kingston, ON, and feature musical acts and NHL guest stars. By the time the top 25 towns have been selected in April, the NHL playoffs will be ready to begin.

‘During that time, we’ll be going to those 25 communities and shooting big projects with them,’ says McNair. ‘This is where we’ll see what their community spirit is really like.’

Community reps will be put through debates, hockey skills challenges and trivia testing. A yet-to-be-named judging panel will whittle the crop down to the top 10 communities, then down to five finalists, with viewers selecting the winner. The audience will vote by way of text, phone and Internet. The victor, to be announced on June 11, will be awarded with an NHL exhibition game between two Canadian franchises, $25,000 in arena repairs from The Home Depot, and $10,000 in hockey gear from CCM/Reebok.

Harry Doupe, Stuart Northey and Betty Orr will produce, with Dan Spence serving as show director. Various helmers, producers and camera operators will handle the community segments.

The program is being produced with funding from corporate sponsors Kraft Canada, Home Depot, CCM, Reebok, Ford, the NHL and the NHL Player’s Association.

McNair says applications are ‘starting to come in quite quickly from all over Canada,’ although she adds the producers have yet to receive a single application from P.E.I. Application deadline is March 19.

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