Hoisting the Stanley Cup- St. Louis Blues Coach Craig Berube, 2019 Stanley Cup champion.
by Lucie Roy and Stephen Dafoe
The Population of Calahoo increased 35-fold Tuesday as roughly 3000 people from the hamlet and broader Sturgeon Region came out to welcome the Stanley Cup and St. Louis Blues Head Coach Craig Berube, who was born and raised in Calahoo.
Berube wanted to share the success and give the community a chance to get a photo taken with the Stanley Cup.
William Norton, a cousin to Berube, was the lead planner and emcee for the event.
The Stanley Cup was carried in by Berube and escorted into the facility by current athletes of the Calahoo/ Riviere Qui Barre Knights minor hockey.
Norton thanked everyone for coming to Calahoo and joining them in the Stanley Cup celebration. “For those not from the area, you have entered an area ripe with sporting success,” Norton said. “You don’t have to look far to see the long history of sport proficiency. Look to the rafters or at the fastball pillar by the ball diamonds to see how successful a small community can be and achieved by the people of this community.”
Speaking at the event was Brayden Arcand, someone that has found his own success as an elite referee, well-decorated hockey player and one of the fastest skaters from Calahoo.
Sturgeon County Mayor Alanna Hnatiw spoke to the crowd already lined up for photos followed by a few words from Craig Berube.
“As every hockey parent and hockey player can attest to, lifelong friendships … are preserved in the small town rinks across the region,” Hnatiw said, adding lessons including independence, work ethic and leadership are developed there. “These are qualities that turn small-town rinks into big dreams.”
Division 3 Councillor Wayne Bokenfohr said he was honoured and privileged to have both the coach and the cup in his division.
“It is something that you don’t expect, so it is certainly nice to have it come home, especially being a cousin [of Coach Berube],” Bokenfohr said, adding he was pleased with the large turnout in the hamlet. “It’s a small community of 85, but it’s a big support.”
Inside the arena, among the thousands who came out was Keaton Boddez, a County resident from just outside Riviere Qui Barre.
“It was a great experience,” Boddez said, adding although he saw the cup in Toronto once, Tuesday’s viewing was particularly special. “With the winning coach in the home town. It’s great. It’s a great experience.”
Boddez said he was rooting for the Blues in the playoffs due to the coach being from Calahoo and the number of Canadian players on the team.
Another participant Tuesday was lifelong hockey fan and Morinville resident Joe Jacob.
“It has been a lifelong dream to see the cup in person,” Jacob said. “This is the clearest opportunity I’ve had. I’m glad to see it today.”
Jacob said he was impressed to see how many people came out to see the cup.
Berube family members in the background with members of the CR Knights- Calahoo/ Riviere Qui Barre Knights.
Above: Richard Beaumont and 10-month-old son Barry were among the many who got a photo with St. Louis Blues Coach Craig Berube and the Stanley Cup Tuesday in Calahoo.
Sturgeon County Mayor and Council with Craig Berube.
Brayden Arcand addressing the crowd.
Craig Berube and Maurice Touchette.
Craig Berube with Frank Vollmer.
Craig Berube with Gib Boddez.