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REPORTING · 21st February 2014
Walter McFarlane
Brent Robinson, Co-Chair of the 10th Annual Planning Committee for the Kitamaat Basketball Tournament and Martin Gould, Head of Leisure Services were at Council on Monday, February 17th to talk about the upcoming Cultural Warming Basketball Tournament. The event is planned for April 4th, 5th and 6th at the High School and the Village Rec Centre.

“It’s our tenth year coming up this year, and it’s gone bye. I’m happy to say the event has grown, each year, it’s been getting bigger and bigger and we can accommodate 28 teams in the weekend format that we have,” said Robinson.

Robinson this milestone tournament has taken a lot of work. In the first four years, the Committee worked hard to make the tournament known. The Guaranteed Prize Money helped make this possible. Now, teams come out from around the province to compete.

“We’ve had teams from throughout the province, the last few winters have been from Vancouver actually, they’ll come up here. We’ve had College teams from Prince George, Ladies teams from Quesnel, Hartley Bay, all over the province and throughout the Northwest,” said Robinson.

The event is co-hosted by Kitamaat and Kitimat, the two communities work together to put on the tournament. It was made as a way to work together. The tournament is a family event. He thanked Gould and his staff for making the tournament professional, run smoothly and the tournament would not be what it is without them.

He also thanked the late Joe Iannarelli for kick-starting the tournament. “It’s a great event and I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Robinson.

He explained he was before Council to ask for a grant to cover the 10 year anniversary. While they charge the teams entry, door entry for spectators and receive sponsorship, they want to do extra things for the players because of the tenth anniversary. He said the intention is to have the Haisla Nation Council Match the funds from Kitimat. He asked for $3000.

“It’s always a great event. I really enjoy watching it, you have some really great games. I’m hoarse by the time I finish screaming so I hope everyone takes in some of those events,” said Mayor Joanne Monaghan.

Gould added that the Haisla Council’s people also bring a lot to the tournament as well. He hoped the event would still be going when he retires.

Councillor Mary Murphy wanted to know how they were addressing the lack of hotel rooms. Robinson explained this really only came up in the last couple of years. He explained a lot of the players are First Nations players who have family in the area whom they can stay with. There were some hotel rooms available. Gould added the Terrace teams typically travel home, but there was one team stayed in Terrace last year.

Murphy suggested using the schools gyms as places the teams could stay. She stated they used to do this when they took the kids skiing.

Councillor Edwin Empinado asked if the District contributed financially last year. Gould told Council they contributed $750 last year.

Councillor Rob Goffinet asked if they ever gave more. Gould explained they can give $950 for each night for the first three years. Then it drops lower. In the fifth year of the tournament, Council gave $1500 to the tournament for the milestone.

Robinson told Council he received a nest egg of $5000 from each Council at the start of the tournament 10 years ago. He hoped to see an upswing due to the economic activity.

Councillor Mary Murphy made a motion to grant the $3000. It was called and carried.