Celebrity event in the desert

A two-day celebrity fundraising event with a hockey game and golf tournament will take place in Osoyoos this spring.

Local realtor Kevin Primeau is organizing the fundraiser called 'Sticks and Pics' along with Canadian country music star Gord Bamford, which is booked for May 16 and 17. 

Primeau is an ex-Vancouver Canucks player and former assistant coach of the Edmonton Oilers. He said alumni from the Canucks and Oilers will be taking part in the charity hockey game, booked at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

"I was looking for what I could do to contribute to the community here, and this was just a natural thing. I participate in these things all the time," Primeau said, noting he has lived in Osoyoos part-time for almost 30 years before he became a full-time resident last year.

Primeau said 5,000 tickets will be available for the charity hockey game and half of the money from each ticket will be divided between minor hockey associations in the South Okanagan.

A round of golf will also take place at the Nk'Mip Desert Canyon Golf Course, followed by a banquet and a "small concert" featuring Bamford's house band and local musicians.

The Spirit Ridge Hyatt Resort in Osoyoos will be the host for accommodations and the event's banquet and concert.

Charities being supported include the Spirit of the Game Society in Osoyoos, the Children's Miracle Network, the Make a Wish Foundation and several others.

Primeau hopes to host the event annually in the desert.

He said for 2019 the golf tournament is already being arranged at the Osoyoos Golf Club, while the NHL alumni game could expand to include alumni from other pro teams as well as former Olympic athletes.

While he has the connections, Primeau is asking for additional support from the Town of Osoyoos to host the fundraiser.

He spoke at council's open budget meeting on Thursday asking for $25,000 to help the event succeed.

"The guys are coming for a fraction of their normal appearance fee, but we need $40,000 just to bring the people here," Primeau said.

"It's an expensive event but I think it's going to be very good for Osoyoos to put it on the map," he added, noting the marketing exposure, the economic spinoff and the community focus during the event as main reasons. 

Finalized details for the event can be expected in the weeks ahead, Primeau said.

Osoyoos council has yet to approve its budget for 2018.

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