UBC charity hockey game featuring Vancouver actors and former Canucks will benefit DTES facility

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      Ahead of Friday evening's main event between the UBC Thunderbirds and the Manitoba Bisons, spectators at the third annual Winter Classic hockey game will be treated to a star-studded match-up.

      They'll also have a chance to give back to a worthy cause on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

      In exchange for a chance for spectators to meet local actors and Canucks alumni, the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre (DEWC) will be accepting cash donations and much-needed items including blankets, jackets, towels, socks, footwear, toiletries, and umbrellas.

      The centre provides women and their children living in the DTES with meals, clothing, shower facilities, counseling, and shelter from cold weather, poverty, and violence.

      Relying heavily on donations, DEWC exeuctive director Alice Kendall says this winter has been particuarly difficult, especially in light of the recent cold weather snap and the ongoing overdose crisis in the area.

      "The fentanyl crisis impacts people in a multiple of ways. Being fearful of losing women, friends and family members who have addiction issues—the trauma surrounding that is heightened," said Kendall in a press release.

      "We are tasked with making sure people are equipped in the case of an overdose. The staff at both the drop in and shelter are often administering naloxone."

      Kendall also stated that many who live in poorly-managed single room occupancy hotels use DEWC's services during particularly cold weather, putting an added strain on the facility.

      Those interested in more information about DEWC will be able to speak with representatives from the centre at a kiosk hosted inside the Doug Mitchell Thunderbirds Sports Centre on the evening of the game.

      Celebrities participating in the game include Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica), Michael Coleman (Once Upon a Time), Jason Burkart (Once Upon a Time), Dylan Playfair (LetterKenny), Brendan Fletcher (The Revenant), and Adam DiMarco (Arctic Air), among others.

      As for Vancouver Canucks alumni, spectators will get to see Garry Monahan, Mark Lofthouse, BJ Macdonald, Dave Babych, Gary Nylund, Jamie Huscroft, Jyrki Lumme, and a handful of other former players hit the ice once again.

      It all goes down this Friday (January 13). Doors open at 5 p.m., and the puck drops at 5:25 p.m. Celebrity autographs will take place during the first intermission of the Thunderbirds/Bisons game, which will begin at 7 p.m.

      Find tickets here

      Watch this video from UBC for a closer look at the Winter Classic.
      UBC Thunderbirds