Queen's Place Emera Centre and the community of Liverpool will host the annual BFL National Women's Hockey Team Fall Festival, September 9-15.
More than 50 people attended the announcement that took place at Queens Place Emera Centre, August 14. Many of the people in the crowd were sported hockey jerseys and waved Canada flags in anticipation of the announcement.
Region of Queens Mayor, David Dagley, told the crowd that this is the biggest event that they will host to date.
"Today I could not be more proud to be the mayor. I believe it is the most important event to be held in Queens Place Emera Centre, not because of its duration, not because it will attract more visitors than ever before, but because of the impact it will have on our community," he said.
"The legacy it will leave with some of our community members will be immeasurable and for many, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Jillian Saulnier, from Halifax and a seasoned veteran of the National Women's Program, was at the banner unveiling with a few female minor hockey players.
"This is incredible. It's good Nova Scotian hospitality and nothing short of fabulous," she said. "It's good to see all the faces here and the excitement," she said. "This is what we want around this upcoming world championship. To have our training camp here, with the excitement around it, is really exciting for us."
She called it a great opportunity for minor hockey players to see and interact with the national team members.
"To be able to have this here where girls can come out and see it with their own eyes and not see it on TV or the internet, that's huge," she said.
The camp will feature 45 of the top senior women hockey players for the festival, a training camp aimed at helping develop and evaluate the nations' best players.
The roster and schedules for the event will be announced in the coming weeks. Players will be split into two teams – red and white – for a series of on-and-off ice practise sessions. All practise sessions are free to anyone that wants to attend.
The festival will also feature four games, including two intrasquad games, plus two match-ups against local junior hockey clubs on September 11 to 14. Tickets are being offered through Ticketpro.ca or at Queens Place Emera Centre. Cost for one ticket for all four games is $20 plus applicable fees and taxes.
Sandy Graham-Muise, from Liverpool and a member of the Lady Cougars hockey team, said: "It just brings so many opportunities to the community. The girls and boys get to see somebody that has managed to reach and dream and it gives them something to hope and work for. "
Ceilidh Hayes, 13, a player with the Western Riptides can't wait for the event.
"It's a pretty great experience for learning." she said. "I'm wanting to see Jill's team play against the junior all-stars. I've never seen them play together live, so I'm pretty excited to see how it turns out."
This is the beginning of the season for the national women's players, leading up to the 2020 IIHF Women's World Hockey Championships that Truro and Halifax will host from March 31 to April 10, 2020.