Victoria Royals’ ‘Way Back Wednesdays’ take fans through the decades

Victoria Royals' 'Way Back Wednesdays' take fans through the decades

The Victoria Royals’ have introduced numerous special jerseys through the years, including those with a retro look. In the 2021-22 Western Hockey League season, the club is planning uniforms to give fans a true trip back in time.

“It’s going to be ‘Way Back Wednesdays’, so there’s going to be a different decade that night,” said Royals’ Senior Manager of Fan Experience Christian Gagne.

The first of those ‘Way Back Wednesdays’ is October 13 against the Kamloops Blazers, when fans that attend the contest will travel back to the 60s. The club describes the night as “going back to the 60’s black and white HNIC (Hockey night in Canada) era of television, bright and bold patterns, as well as Woodstock-inspired fashion in the stands.”

The Royals’ will introduce a jersey that night inspired by the decade.

“It’s not actually black and white, per se, there’s a lot of different grey colours that came into the screen itself,” Gagne said.

“Jerseys at the time were sewn by hand as opposed to machines, so there’s all those little imperfections into the lines or the numbers that were on the jerseys. So we took all those things and incorporated them into the jersey itself.”

‘Way Back Wednesdays’ is part of a season filled with theme nights, including the return of ‘Canadian Forces Appreciation’ on Nov. 6, the ‘Teddy Bear Toss’ game on Dec. 17, and ‘Pink in the Rink’ on Feb. 11, a night to raise funds in the fight against breast cancer.

The jerseys worn every Wednesday will be auctioned off after the game and there is a spot on the jersey that will feature the date and the opponent the Royals faced that night.

“Making it more a collectible, something that is really special and unique to that night. So that in two-three years, you can say ‘I was there, I got this and this was the player who wore that jersey’,” Gagne said

And proceeds from the auction Oct. 13 will go to ‘Seniors Serving Seniors‘, a non-profit charity whose purpose is to promote the well-being of senior citizens.

“Whether it’s to aid seniors that have no family members living in Victoria in a time of need, or sometimes just helping others, they’ve been amazing helping restaurants keep going through the labour shortage from the pandemic,” said Gagne

While the Royals haven’t unveiled future ‘Way Back Wednesday’ sweaters, not all of them will be throwbacks, according to Gagne.

“So for a person that were to come to ‘Way Back Wednesdays’, they will see something a little bit different, a little bit more fitting to when that decade was each time, until the conclusion of the (season), when we slip into future, and we take it to the year 2042, and what we think the future will be 20-years from now.”


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