Mini golf meets hockey in a family-friendly putt-putt event on ice this weekend.
Artificial ice is going up in the parking lot at CF Polo Park to host a travelling event called Frozen Fairways. The mall is setting up a game played like mini gold, but on ice with hockey sticks.
"You get out on the course and it is really creative. (There are) some really cool things, Canadiana-type things, like a maple sugar shack and a curling rink. Essentially it is like mini put with a hockey stick and a puck," CF Polo Park General Manager Peter Havens says.
Find out how this family-friendly event will work
This is their second attempt at the event, as last year's pandemic situation cancelled the event one day before it was supposed to open.
The ice opens on Saturday and will stay up until December 1. No ice skates are required, but like many Canadians are familiar with, ice time needs to be reserved. Havens says their staff will be among the 400 people expected to attend Frozen Fairways.
"I want to really try out the hockey puck and hockey stick on the artificial ice. That sounds so cool," Havens says. "I am super bad at mini put, I do not know why I am just one of those guys who needs like seven shots to get it in the hole but I am really excited to try that and see it bank off the edge."
As of Tuesday morning, more than half of all their four-person slots were booked. The five-dollar booking fee being collected by CF Polo Park will be donated to Resource Assistance for Youth (RAY) in Winnipeg. They have been CF Polo Park's charity of choice for the past two years.
"We really feel that RAY and the work that they do with youth that are transitioning out of care and they are advocacy for homelessness in Winnipeg is a wonderful partnership with Cadilac Fairview and we are proud to be a supporter of them."
RAY works with youth living on Winnipeg streets, showing them someone cares for them.
"We love Cadilac Fairview; they are just amazing," gushes Kate Armstrong, RAY's communications and public relations coordinator. "This year they have got this epic Frozen Fairviews thing going on and they think of us. They think of the folks we are supporting, they think of the young people and they are always there."
She says they have been consistent in helping them throughout the pandemic, including last winter when CF Polo Park collected coats and winter gear for them.
"We adore them. We are very excited to partner with them."
RAY's drop-in centre sees roughly 2,000 people a year, not including the roughly one thousand young people they connect with on the street, including children sleeping under bridges or in camps, every month.
"It can be heavy sometimes. These young people have been just kicked when they are down a lot of the time. Homelessness doesn't occur in a vacuum, it is something that social policy creates."
Armstrong says they work with youth to build trust, something that has clearly worked. RAY's methodology of being non-judgemental and offering safer alternatives for dangerous activities has built years-long relationships, allowing them to see people grow up.
"It is very rewarding. Our young people - they are so resilient, they are so intelligent, they are so much more than what, I think, society gives them credit for."