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Who’s going to claim the Penticton-made, world’s largest hockey stick?

The 205-foot structure has been on Vancouver Island for 35 years but is now up for sale
The world’s largest hockey stick was made in Penticton in the mid-1980s, and commissioned by the federal government for Expo 1986 in Vancouver. It has resided outside the Cowichan Community Centre on Vancouver Island since 1988. (Black Press Media photo)

It appears as though the world’s largest hockey stick may never return home.

The Penticton-made stick that weighs 61,000 pounds and holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest hockey stick has resided outside Duncan’s Cowichan Community Centre on Vancouver Island since 1988.

It was commissioned by the federal government for Expo 1986 in Vancouver.

But it’s now reached the end of its “serviceable life,” and a recent survey conducted by the Cowichan Regional District indicates most residents don’t care about their community keeping the aging artifact. It didn’t take long for the stick — and accompanying world’s largest puck — to go up for sale, as a result.

Hoping it finds a new home in Penticton? Don’t get too excited, local officials warn.

Shane Mills, senior communications adviser at the city, says there has been no indication that Penticton will get involved in bidding on the structure.

“There have no been talks about the hockey stick,” Mills wrote in an email.

The world’s largest hockey stick, which has been on the side of the Cowichan Community Centre for 35 years, is up for sale. (Black Press file)

Penticton is also home to the BC Hockey Hall of Fame. Could that be enough to restore any hope the stick could be coming to the Okanagan?

Pat Loyer has watched the story from Vancouver Island unfold with interest but says he doesn’t believe the structure has an immediate future in Penticton.

The curator of the provincial museum — located inside the South Okanagan Events Centre — cites space and transport costs as among the reasons bringing the stick home could be a logistical challenge.

“It’s an interesting piece for sure,” Loyer said. “But I’m just not sure it’s feasible for us.”

The Cowichan Valley Regional District has advertised the sale of the stick publically. Under the New West Partnership Trade Agreement, the district is required to do so if the item’s estimated purchase value is more than $75,000. It would have cost $1 million to $3 million for the regional government to replace the structure, its community survey reads.

It is unknown who, if anyone, has submitted a bid on the hockey stick and puck as of Dec. 19.

But by the time a potential sale happens, the Canadian artifact may no longer be the largest of its kind.

Lockport, Illinois, a city of 26,000 people located about 48 km southwest of Chicago, has its eyes set on making the Penticton-made structure nothing more than just a really big hockey stick.

In January 2023, that the city had approved plans to mount a 250-foot-long hockey stick outside its soon-to-be-constructed 71,000-square-foot facility, which will feature two NHL-sized rinks.

If all goes as planned, Lockport’s hockey stick would be larger than the one made in Penticton by 45 feet. When asked for an update on the project’s status, officials at the Illinois city did not respond before deadline.

Renderings of the proposed Summit Ice Centre in Lockport, Illinois, featuring what would be the largest hockey stick in the world. (Photo- City of Lockport/Instagram)

For now, though, Penticton and Duncan own the bragging rights.

But the question becomes: does anyone want it?

“It’s been a community icon and many will be sad to see it go,” said Cowichan Core Recreation Commission chair Tom Duncan, per Black Press Media’s Cowichan Valley Citizen. “However, we are really excited to see what proposals come forward on possible future uses for the [hockey stick].”

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About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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