The Jean-Cote Canadiens hockey team began in the 1961/62 season and played for three or four years before shutting down from a lack of members, due in part to local people working away at the lumber mills.
However, in 1969, the team started up again and continued to play until 2010, giving the team almost a fifty-year run.
For about twenty-five years, they played in the Smoky River League, after the league ended the team continued to play in a beer league until 2010.
Over that time, generations of local players joined the team and now coming up to a decade since their last game a reunion seems like a perfect idea.
The inspiration for this reunion came to Lucien Dubois who along with his nephew Dustin began looking into organizing a team reunion.
Using social media, Lucien got the word out and has had an enthusiastic response to holding a Jean Cote Canadienes team reunion.
To date, eighteen people have signed up to play in the Jean-Cote Canadiens alumni hockey game and seventy others have committed to attending.
“There are people coming from Ontario, the U.S. and southern Alberta, people who have moved on but when they heard of the reunion they said they were coming down to play,” says Dubois.
Three original team members from the early sixties will attend the event and the sons of some of the deceased players have said they will be there.
In organizing the event, the spirit of cooperation and the spirit of generosity played a positive role in bring everything together to create an exciting, community event at which people can reconnect and reminisce around the experiences of the team.
The spirit of cooperation played its role when the Nampa Bandits, who are having their own event at the Arena the same day as the reunion, are also holding a dance that evening, so Dubois. through his business sponsored a number of tickets for the dance to give to people at the reunion. In return, the Nampa Bandits donated ice-time to the reunion team.
And in the spirit of generosity, the Jean Cote Cultural Society has donated a pancake breakfast on the morning following the reunion game in Nampa.
The breakfast is at the Jean-Cote Community Hall from 9am to 2pm on Sunday March 24.
An exhibit of photographs, team trophies and other memorabilia will be on display at the breakfast and a PA system will be set up for those who want to tell stories of their experiences when being a part of the team.
It is also fitting that the reunion breakfast will take place in the community were the Jean-Cote Canadians originated.
For those interested in attending reunion or playing in the Jean-Cote Canadiens alumni hockey game, contact Lucien Dubois on Facebook or call 780-617.4137.