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Canuck fever catching hold

Whoop it up with Canuck fans Deb Savory, who plays double duty as  KidSport Cowichan chair, and Kirsten Schrader, aka CVRD arts and culture manager. The CVRD is sponsoring the theatre to project tonight’s Canucks Stanley Cup finals opener against Boston. The theatre has 731 seats to fill for every game of the series. - Ashley Degraaf
Whoop it up with Canuck fans Deb Savory, who plays double duty as KidSport Cowichan chair, and Kirsten Schrader, aka CVRD arts and culture manager. The CVRD is sponsoring the theatre to project tonight’s Canucks Stanley Cup finals opener against Boston. The theatre has 731 seats to fill for every game of the series.
— image credit: Ashley Degraaf

Nikki Nilsson’s voice rattles with excitement.

She’s smoothing out the final details of what could be Cowichan’s coolest Canucks headquarters.

The Cowichan Theatre.

Theatre staffers have been pounding the pavement so Cowichanians can get up close and personal with Kesler, Bieksa and the Sedin brothers on their 19 by 40 feet wide screen.

“The experience is going to be phenomenal,” Nilsson said Tuesday in a quick chat between calls to seal the deal on the Cowichan Valley Regional District sponsored series.

Staffers had to get permissions from both CBC and the NHL to project the match ups.

“It was something we began talking about ever since discussions on Rogers Arena doing it,” Island Savings Centre manager, long-time Canuck backer John Elzinga said, also admitting Boston will be a hard-fought match for the Nucks.

He even went further predicting the Canucks take the Cup in Game 5.

The CVRD series is a fundraiser for KidSport Cowichan and the Cowichan Valley Food Bank.

“They will really be family-oriented events,” CVRD arts and culture boss Kirsten Schrader said, noting organizers used Cowichan’s spirit drummed up during the Olympic Winter Games as a launch pad.

It’s also just one of many local venues raising the temperature on the Cowichan Canuck thermometer.

Boston Pizza’s Bupinder Sandhu didn’t think twice when he slapped on the new “Vancouver Pizza” over the red and blue BP logo.

The name change kicked off about six weeks ago when it become apparent Vancouver would possibly be roughing it up against Boston in the finals.

Re-branding all 62 B.C. Boston Pizzas was a natural change for BP head honchos but was also pretty straightforward for the Duncan shop manager.

“We play them every week and our staff always dresses in Canucks uniforms. The decision must have been pretty easy,” Sandhu said.

Sandhu is a newbie passenger on the ‘Nuck bandwagon, admitting he only really climbed on with this year’s Canucks’ success.

“I was never really a huge hockey fan but the excitement in the restaurant has really turned me over,” he said.

For Station Inn Pub, Bar and Grill owner/manager Kurt Pyrch the “bandwagon’s always been there but sometimes it’s really fun to jump on it extra hard.”

Several Station staffers, as well as their joint business, Best Western hotel employees, are big-time Canuck die-hards and have always been, through thick and thin.

“We’re true fans. We’ve always played the Canucks games,” Pyrch said.

He’s got the establishment’s playoff Canucks promo down to a T.

“Let’s face it, hockey’s a long season,” he said.

In Canuck early play off action, staff simply sported Canuck jerseys, T-shirts, and/or flags/bandanas tied around their legs/foreheads.

Round two brought memorabilia galore.

Blue and white replaced trendy décor, including Canucks posters, flags, menu features, and feature player table cards.

“We’re rabid, minus the drool,” Pyrch said. “Now we’re in the fourth round and this could be really fun.”

The Cowichan Theatre will be broadcasting every game going straight through to Game 7 if need be.

Theatre doors swing open at 4 p.m. with games starting at 5 p.m.

They’ve got 731 seats to fill and 100 per cent of entry donations will be funneled toward the two local charities.

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