Following an outpouring of Canadian pride to the tune of a record 570 nominations, Kraft Canada and TSN revealed the Top 20 communities selected as finalists for the Kraft Celebration Tour - and for the first time ever, one of the stops will be in the Yukon or Northwest Territories. Now it's up to Canadians to determine which 10 communities will receive $25,000 for improving a community project or creating a brand new one, and host a live broadcast of SportsCentre or Sports 30 Le Magazine.
As announced earlier today exclusively on SportsCentre on TSN and Sports 30 Le Magazine on RDS, the Top 20 communities have been paired up and will be narrowed down to 10 tour stops for the award-winning Kraft Celebration Tour through 10 days of head-to-head online voting from July 8 to 19.
Top 20 Finalists
The Top 20 communities, along with the match-ups and scheduled online voting dates are as follows:
• Monday, July 8 – Whitehorse vs. Fort Smith, N.W.T.
• Tuesday, July 9 – Morell, P.E.I. vs. Pownal, P.E.I.
• Wednesday, July 10 – Bridgewater, N.S. vs. Windsor, N.S.
• Thursday, July 11 – Invermere, B.C. vs. Pemberton, B.C.
• Friday, July 12 – Salisbury, N.B. vs. Fredericton, N.B.
• Monday, July 15 – Vulcan, Alta. vs. Raymond, Alta.
• Tuesday, July 16 – Saint-Étienne-de-Beauharnois, Que. vs. L'Assomption, Que.
• Wednesday, July 17 – Rocanville, Sask. vs. Esterhazy, Sask.
• Thursday, July 18 – St. James Town (Toronto) vs. Wilmot, Ont.
• Friday, July 19 – Dryden, Ont. vs. Fort Frances, Ont.
"We're absolutely thrilled by the passion and commitment these communities demonstrated in their nominations for this year's Kraft Celebration Tour," said Jack Hewitt, Vice-President, Marketing Insights and Services, Kraft Canada. "The Kraft Celebration Tour is an enabler for community projects coast-to-coast. We're proud of the role we play in helping Canadians stay active."
"The Kraft Celebration Tour is an incredibly special project for all of us at TSN. Year after year, there's nothing more rewarding than partnering with Kraft Canada to put a national spotlight on these deserving Canadian communities," said Stewart Johnston, President, TSN. "Along with Darren, Jennifer, Rod and Kate, we all join SportsCentre fans in counting down the days until the Kraft Celebration Tour gets underway in the Top 10 communities."
Online voting at KraftCelebrationTour.ca or Tourneedecelebrationkraft.ca begins July 8 and continues each weekday through to July 19. Voting for each match-up is unlimited and runs online from 12 noon ET each weekday for a 24-hour period. Results of each vote are announced the following weekday on SportsCentre on TSN and Sports 30 Le Magazine on RDS.
Leading up to each vote, SportsCentre and SPORTS 30 will profile each match-up with a look at both communities and their proposed community improvement projects.
The 2013 Kraft Celebration Tour
The Kraft Celebration Tour editions of SportsCentre and Sports 30 Le Magazine air live from August 16 to 25. TSN's Darren Dutchyshen and Jennifer Hedger host SportsCentre from all Western Canada stops, while Rod Smith and Kate Beirness bring Canada's #1 sports news program to all Eastern Canada communities.
In addition, RDS anchors Marc Labrecque, Luc Bellemare and Valérie Sardin are joined by reporter Geneviève Langlois for the Kraft Celebration Tour festivities in Quebec. Bellemare and Sardin host a live broadcast of SPORTS 30 LE MAGAZINE alongside Langlois from Saint-Étienne-de-Beauharnois, Que. or L'Assomption, Que., while Labrecque provides special reports from Montreal as he covers the Alouettes.
During the tour, fans can keep up with the Kraft Celebration Tour on social media by visiting and liking the Kraft Celebration Tour Fan Page on Facebook and by following and interacting with the tour's personalities on Twitter. The official Twitter account for the Kraft Celebration Tour is @KCTAndy and the official hashtags include #KCT and #tourneedecelebrationkraft.
Running for a fifth consecutive year, the 2013 Kraft Celebration Tour attracted a record 570 nominations. The 20 finalists were selected based on short essays and photos explaining why their community deserves to be a part of the Kraft Celebration Tour and how the $25,000 award will help to improve an existing community project or create a brand new one.