Country, hockey collide

NHL alumni and country music collided Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre, for the first day of Pics and Sticks.

The two-day charity event kicked off with a friendly game between former Edmonton Oilers, other NHL alumni and country music icons.

The NHL lineup included Scott Niedermayer, Glenn Anderson, Marty McSorely and more while Gord Bamford, Dallas Smith, Aaron Pritchett and Chad Brownlee (a 2003 Canucks draft pick) represented country music.

Organized by Osoyoos resident and former Oiler Kevin Primeau, Pics and Sticks is inspired by a similar event held 10 years ago in Edmonton by the Gord Bamford Foundation.

Primeau said he bumped into Bamford last year at another charity hockey event and suggested over beers in the dressing room he relaunch Pics and Sticks in the Okanagan.

“So Gord was onboard and he got the country music guys… that’s a lineup, you don’t see them together unless it's charity,” Primeau said. “It just grew from that beer in the dressing room.”

The event is supporting BC Children’s Hospital, Make a Wish, Basics for Babies, Spirit of the Game and the various minor league hockey teams who acted as ticket sellers. Two scholarships have also been launched in honour of the Humboldt tragedy that were awarded to local players Wednesday.

Primeau said launching the event in its first year was a challenge, but he hopes to turn Pics and Sticks into an annual thing.

Bamford has been hosting a charity golf tournament and concert in Alberta since 2008, raising a half million dollars last year.

“A pretty significant guy, and pretty significant for us in the Okanagan to have him come out here and do what he does and leave all the money here,” Primeau said.

Day two of Pics and Sticks Thursday will see a charity golf tournament in Osoyoos and country concert at Spirit Ridge.

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