The Comox Valley Minor Hockey Association is requesting financial assistance from the regional district to help its rebranding project.
Last year, in conjunction with the K’omoks First Nation, the CVMHA decided to replace the Chiefs name and logo with an image that does not invoke Indigenous stereotypes.
“The Comox Valley Flyers is the name we have chosen,” association member Trevor Pritoula said in a Feb.15 presentation to the CVRD board. “We embrace this name. We feel it represents a powerful, fast, above-the-rest entity.”
Pritoula noted the name has a local connection to 19 Wing, to wildlife and to airplanes.
With more than 500 players in the five- to 20-year age bracket, the CVMHA has the highest number of users of local ice surfaces. It operates on an annual budget of about $215,000. Funding assistance will help the association purchase new uniforms.
The rebrand project budget is $65-70,000 to order uniforms. The association has raised $30,000. It hopes for $30-40,000 assistance, and $8,000-$10,000 from a title sponsor.
Courtenay director Wendy Morin asked if the CVMHA educates players about the topic of breaking down stereotypes.
“I think it’s such a huge learning opportunity to go beyond just changing the name,” she said.
Simon Morgan of the CVMHA agreed the rebrand provides a learning opportunity for young players.
Courtenay director Doug Hillian asked if there is a low income program to help families pay registration fees. Morgan noted the First Shift Program offers six ice sessions and coaching, and half price for the first season.
Pritoula said fees will need to increase substantially to cover rebrand costs.
The board received the presentation and will respond to the association’s request.