Sep 07 2017
Jun 14 2017
The town of #brantford built a beautiful memorial to the #gretzky family outside of the #waynegretzkysportscentre. It’s a sculpture that features l’il #waynegretzky (in a #gordiehowe jersey) flanked by his parents Phyliss and Walter. All three are looking up at #thegreatone grown up as number #99 holds the #stanleycup aloft, captain of the @edmontonoilers. It’s worth a trip to #ontario for any dreamer to see but a tearjerker for a Gretzky fan such as myself. I wanted to blaze and gaze for an hour but the sculpture sits outside of a community recreation center that was packed with kids. So I asked @malcolm.ingram to take these pictures instead. #KevinSmith #canada #waltergretzky
Jun 07 2017
Jun 05 2017
Calls Walter Gretzky ‘God’s own representative on Earth’
by Tamara Botting
“He’s God’s own representative on Earth, with all of his charity work,” Smith said on Sunday afternoon when he came to the Walter Gretzky Street Hockey Tournament.
When Smith found out about the tournament in 2009, he decided that he wanted to take part, even though it had been “12 to 15 years since the last time I’d played.”
He put the word out to his fans and got enough response to form four teams. He founded View Askew Street Hockey League and came out to play. It was more taxing than he expected; the night after his first day back to the sport, “I threw up.”
That didn’t stop Smith, though; the next year, he reached out to as many people as he could to beef up attendance numbers, with his eyes on the prize of an official Guinness World Record for the largest street hockey tournament.
“That record belonged to Walter. His kid had won enough awards,” Smith said.
Getting the world record is an accomplishment Smith is still very proud of.
“I still have (the certificate) in my house on the wall,” he said.
Before this year, Smith hadn’t been able to come out to the tournament since 2010. His league of fans carries on enthusiastically, though, under the guidance of commissioner Darryl Clarke and with Smith’s encouragement.
“Whatever’s close to Walter’s heart is close to mine,” Smith said, adding his praise for Clarke’s ongoing dedication.
“It’s beautiful, when you can start something and others pick it up and finish it for you,” he said.
Smith was happy for a chance to return to Brantford, saying, “It’s such a beautiful town. Legends were born here. It’s a town mired in Canadian history.”
Via Brant News
Jun 05 2017
I went to #brantford, home town of Canada’s Dad, #waltergretzky! This weekend, Wally hosted his annual #waltergretzkytournament and the 13 teams of the View Askew Street Hockey League #vashl was in full effect, complete with jerseys inspired by my dopey flicks. Back when I was shooting Cop Out, I spent one glorious weekend playing street hockey in view of the same guy who made #waynegretzky a good human being and a stellar #hockey player. Walter Gretzky is a pillar of Brantford and God’s own emissary on Earth. And while his son is a living legend, Walter is a #canadian Saint! #KevinSmith #canada #streethockey
May 30 2017
May 29 2017
By Vincent Ball, Brantford Expositor
More than 130 ball hockey teams from across North America will be in Brantford for the 11th annual Walter Gretzky Street Hockey Tournament.
“We’re putting everything together now – scheduling and divisions, that sort of thing – and will be doing the final site preparation on Thursday,” Chad Asselstine, general manager of Ball Hockey International, said Monday.
“We’re pretty much on track in terms of our numbers compared to last year, which means we’ll probably have somewhere in the neighbourhood of 135 teams.
“We look forward to this event every year. It’s great to see so many people playing a sport we all love for a great cause.”
Funds from the tournament, which has raised more than $100,000, are turned over to the Ontario Lung Association.
“We love having so many people come and enjoy the Brantford area while having fun playing street hockey,” said Sandy Lee, the Lung Association’s fund development co-ordinator.
“This tournament has been a huge contributor in raising awareness and funds to fight lung disease and we’re looking forward to another great event.”
Teams compete in a variety of youth, adult and corporate divisions enabling people of all ages and skill levels to participate. The games are played on 20 rinks at Bhi Brantford and Lions Park from June 2 to 4.
This year’s tournament could have some extra star power as Hollywood filmmaker Kevin Smith, a fan of Walter Gretzky and the Gretzky family, is expected to make an appearance on Sunday. Thirteen teams are made up of Smith’s fans, said Asselstine.
“He’s in Buffalo for a couple of shows on Saturday and so, the idea is that he might be coming up on the Sunday.”
An actor, comedian, public speaker, comic book writer and author, Smith wrote, directed and acted in the 1994 film Clerks. Subsequent film projects included Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Cop Out in 2010, Red State in 2011 and Tusk in 2014.
Smith expressed his admiraton for the Gretzkys when he was in Brantford for the ball hockey tournament in 2010.
“The Gretzkys have always been about the assist,” he said then. “They could be front and centre but are always happy to pass it to somebody else.
“They’re about helping and giving the assist and I want to help out in a big way.”
Smith’s participation in 2010 helped the event set a Guinness World Record for the largest street hockey tournament with 205 teams and 2,096 players. That mark was eclipsed in 2013 by the Play On! tournament, which is sponsored by the CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
Mar 17 2017
Sep 02 2016
A ball hockey tournament wedding fundraiser for Pj Fulsom and Brittany Fazekas.
Jun 05 2016
Annual street hockey tournament continues to fund lung health research
June 5, 2016
By Sean Allen
Now six years removed from actor-director Kevin Smith’s last appearance at the Walter Gretzky Street Hockey Tournament, its safe to say the dozens of attendees that continue to participate from the View Askew Street Hockey League are big fans of Brantford and Gretzky, too.
The contingent from the VASHL, who attend from all across the eastern U.S. and Canada, grew for the eighth consecutive year at the annual fundraising tournament for the Ontario Lung Association.
The league members were first united in Brantford when Smith attended the tournament in 2009 and 2010. The Hollywood star is a fan of the Gretzky family and wanted the chance to meet and support Walter, who is a leading local booster of the Lung Association.
But even after Smith stopped attending, VASHL players kept on coming back.
The VASHL had 12 teams entered in the tournament this year. They get their own division to compete for the Walter Gretzky Cup each year.
“We appreciate that you mark this date of in your calendar year after year,” Chad Asselstine from Ball Hockey International said during opening remarks on Saturday. BHi operates the tournament on the logistical side.
Five players from the VASHL have made the trek without miss since 2009 – Darryl Clarke, Mike McCutcheon, Paul Saunders, Mike Duyn and Mike Crandall.
Clarke said the league will continue to come to Brantford every year for a chance to spend some time with Walter and support his cause of the Lung Association.
Every year, the VASHL players get together to come up with a gift for Walter.
This year, they all signed an exclusive new VASHL jersey design, which pays homage to Smith’s Silent Bob character and the Chicago Blackhawks, emblazoned with the signature Gretzky No. 99.
Top-level sponsors, including Turkstra Lumber, Scotiabank, Streetseen Media and BHi, were recognized during the opening ceremonies.
In its 10th edition, the Walter Gretzky Street Hockey Tournament had already raised more than $82,000 for lung health research during its first nine years and also set an official Guinness World Record in 2010 for the largest street hockey tournament.
In total, more than 125 teams spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday competing in ball hockey on 20 rinks located in and around Lions Park in Brantford.
In sharing Brant News’ story on the tournament on Twitter, Kevin Smith promised to return to Brantford to play in the Walter Gretzky Street Hockey Tournament in 2017.
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) June 5, 2016
Via Brant News