Canada’s top-level amateur football comes to the North Okanagan.
The newly formed Kalamalka Bowl Society in Vernon has confirmed that the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds will take on the University of Calgary Dinos in a preseason competition on Wednesday, August 24 at the Greater Vernon Athletic Park.
Kick-off will be at 7 p.m
The two rivals of the Canada West Conference play in the so-called Kalamalka Bowl.
“This will be the first varsity football game ever hosted in the northern Okanagan,” said Society Member Sean Smith, head coach for the Vernon Secondary School Panthers.
Both teams will have players on their rosters who grew up in the Okanagan and played high school or minor football.
Five former Panthers are slated to line up for Calgary: fifth-year defensive end Josh Hyer, a trio of sophomores — linebacker Liam Reid, center Brady Szeman and receiver Zack Smith — and rookie receiver Roan Reid.
Third-year linebacker Brad Hladik will showcase the Thunderbirds’ local flair.
“I think this is a great opportunity to showcase our football to Okanagan fans,” said UBC head coach Blake Nill. “It’s a game where Canada West’s last two teams won the Vanier Cup (national championship). It’s a great rivalry.”
The T-Birds won the Vanier in 2015 and the Dinos in 2019.
“We’re really excited to be coming to Interior and to Vernon,” said Dinos head coach Wayne Harris. “There are a number of players from Vernon and Kelowna who have done very well and bringing these guys home to play in front of family and friends is going to be special. It’s going to be a good show and I’m looking forward to it.”
The game is the culmination of a two-day event promoting football in the northern Okanagan.
The day before, Tuesday, August 23, a youth football skills camp will be held at the GVAP from 4 to 6 p.m., in which both teams will take part.
The camp is open to players under the age of 13 from Vernon and neighboring smaller football organizations. Camp attendees will receive a game entry ticket as part of the camp cost.
Registration for camp is through Vernon Minor Football. A camp link will appear on their website VDMFA.com and the company’s website kalbowl.com once the details are clarified.
Ticket sales have been set up on Eventbrite and will start on Thursday 16th June. A link has been set up on kalbowl.com that directs traffic to Eventbrite for sale.
Tickets are $22 for grandstand seating, $12 for standing.
Seating is limited, so those who prefer to sit for the game should get tickets sooner rather than later.
“The Greater Vernon Athletic Park was built almost 10 years ago and has yet to host an event of this magnitude,” said Malcolm Reid of the Society.
“We anticipate that the Kalamalka Bowl will attract significant attention and energy in the community in August 2022 and for years to come.
“Our aim is to promote and organize amateur/minor football and develop the highest possible standard of sportsmanship and citizenship for the youngsters participating in the game. Maintaining and increasing interest in football and supporting other existing associations/groups and programmes.”
Sponsorship opportunities are available including title sponsorship for the Kalamalka Bowl.
For more information on sponsorships, please call Reid at 250-549-6954.
Every financial support receives a tax certificate.
CalgaryCollege AthleticsFootballLocal SportsNorth Okanagan Regional DistrictUBCVernon