Organizers behind the Saskatoon tribute concert honouring the Humboldt Broncos say they hope to attract 30 NHL hockey players and alumni for the fundraiser.
“We’re doing pretty good, so far,’ says Terri Sewell who is booking the athletes.
Sewall plans to have one player representing every team in the league in attendance at the city’s SaskTel Centre on April 27.
“Some are local NHL players, current and former, and some are flying in from the states and all across Canada,” she told The Canadian Press in a phone interview.
Sewell works for Spark Creations and Bookings, which is co-owned by former Humboldt Bronco and NHL player Kelly Chase. They’re working in co-operation with the NHL and the Country Thunder Music Festival, which booked the evening’s musical acts.
Juno Award winners Dallas Smith, Brett Kissel and Jess Moskaluke are among the musicians who will join the players and special guests from the community.
Other performers include Gord Bamford, Chad Brownlee and Saskatchewan natives the Hunter Brothers.
A number of athletes have already thrown their full support behind the event, including Canadian women’s hockey Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser and former Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who was raised in Alberta.
Each player will donate one of their jerseys to an online auction raising money for the families of the Humboldt Broncos players. Winners will have an opportunity to attend a meet-and-greet with the player after the concert.
The Country Thunder Music Festival holds a number of four-day events each year in the United States and Canada, including one in Craven, Sask.
Country Thunder’s chief executive Troy Vollhoffer, who was raised in Regina, said sales of the $65 concert tickets will also be donated to the players’ families.
Finding an appropriate and timely date to hold a tribute concert was important for the cause, Vollhoffer said.
“To maximize the ability to raise money to actually help these folks out is an immediate situation,” he added.
“There’s no questions asked and everyone is donating their time.”
It’s the latest in a number of fundraisers that sprouted up after the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash earlier this month, which killed 16 players and staff and injured 13 others.
A GoFundMe page dedicated to the hockey team has raised more than $14 million in the 10 days since it launched, with the page closing later tonight at 11 p.m. PT
With files from The Canadian Press