Skate The Lake and Minnedosa Minor Hockey Win Partnership Award at Travel Manitoba’s 2018 Tourism Awards

Pictured (L to R): Darren Hughesman (Partnership Award presenter from Esdale Printing); Honourable Blaine Pedersen (Minister of Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade); Dan Johnson and Wes Barrett (Skate The Lake Committee Members); Stuart Murray (Chair, Travel Manitoba Board of Directors).

Minnedosa area residents have long-known about the uniqueness and success of Skate The Lake.


Now the rest of the Province knows this as well.


Skate The Lake and Minnedosa Minor Hockey’s collaboration was the winner of the “Partnership Award” at the 2018 Travel Manitoba Tourism Awards.


Minnedosa’s event beat out the Eriksdale Creamery Days Fair & Rodeo and Winnipeg’s Buhler Recreation Park for the Award.


The nomination for this Award was made by Chantelle Parrott, EDO with Minnedosa & Area Community Development Corporation. In her nomination, Chantelle states “The partnership between Skate The Lake and Minnedosa Minor Hockey provides a large volunteer base for this annual event designed to promote Minnedosa and the surrounding area as a tourism destination. The partnership has enabled the event to grow in size and scope, bringing team from further away as it becomes an annual winter celebration of the Canadian tradition of pond hockey in rural Manitoba.”


Skate The Lake is a volunteer-run, non-profit pond hockey tournament. The tournament takes place on Lake Minnedosa which the Town of Minnedosa prepares the rinks so that multiple games can be played at once. The non-contact, 4-on-4 format features customized nets instead of goalies and special rules to ensure safety and fair play. Lake Minnedosa provides the natural setting needed to hold a successful event. There is no question that our Lake exceeds any other venue out there for an event of this nature.


Skate The Lake was (according to her husband Dan shared with attendees at the 2018 Travel Manitoba Tourism Awards Dinner), the brainchild of Gaylene Johnson. Gaylene was on the Board of the Minnedsoa Community Childcare Cooperative to establish a much-needed Community Daycare in our community. They were looking at ways to raise money for this project. She saw an article in magazine that talked about a Pond Hockey Tournament in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. Gaylene said to Dan “If they can do something like that in a place like Plaster Rock, why the heck can’t we do something like that here in Minnedosa and raise funds for the Daycare?” They pulled together a group of common-minded friends and got to work. The incredibly cold temperatures did not stop our teams, volunteers and organizers from having a great time while support the efforts of the Minnedosa Community Childcare Cooperative. The first Skate The Lake donated $2,700 was donated to the Minnedosa Community Childcare Cooperative.


The partnership between Skate The Lake and Minnedosa Minor Hockey was started in 2010 for the 4th Annual Event. Minor Hockey in Minnedosa was shut-down for the weekend. Minor hockey parents and families volunteered at the event to provide much-needed assistance. With a larger group of volunteers working together to promote and run the event, Skate The Lake was able to donate $8,000 to the Minnedosa Regional Events Centre Project.


Skate The Lake is successful because of all the community partners that assist with the event. The event would not happen without their contributions of time, equipment, staff and volunteers. We are grateful for the support we get from so many different groups and organizations.


In 2018, Skate The Lake added a new component and activity – Rock The Lake. Rock The Lake is two-person stick-curling on Lake Minnedosa. The event proved to be popular with curlers and non-curlers alike.


Proceeds from the 2018 Skate The Lake/ Rock The Lake Event were $12,000.


Since its inception in 2006, Skate The Lake has donated close to $100,000 to community projects.


The 13th Annual Skate The Lake / Rock The Lake will take place February 16 and 17, 2019.