TSN ready to come to Prince Albert

Jodi Schellenberg
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It’s only a few weeks away and the citizens are not the only ones excited about the Kraft Celebration Tour.

Breaking news

TSN anchors Darren Dutchyshen and Kate Beirness will be rolling into Prince Albert to do a live broadcast on Aug. 20 as part of the Kraft Celebration Tour.

“I’m not really sure what we have planned for each stop yet other than the shows we do,” Beirness said. “Other than that, our producer is kind of responsible for getting in touch with the organizing committee and setting up some fun activities that represent the town.”

Since the planning committee is still working on what activities the hosts will take part in, Beirness is looking forward to the surprise although that is not her favourite part of the tour.

“It is just kind of a blast going across and getting to experience each community,” she said. “My favourite part of the whole tour is honestly just getting to know the people in the town -- that is not just the organizing committee.

“We have an opportunity to, after the show, meet with the majority of the town …That is what I’ll be looking forward to in Prince Albert.”

Since one of the staff of TSN is from Porcupine Plain, Beirness said they love coming to his home province.

“We always have a great time. I remember when we were in Porcupine Plain on one stop, people were inviting us in for dinner, we got to go out on some tractors in the field -- it was just awesome,” Beirness said. “I know it is going to be the same type of hospitality in Prince Albert. I’m really excited because I’ve never been there before.”

The tour will be a great family-friendly party for the city, she said.

“I think Kraft does such a great job of that -- there are stations set up in conjunction with our show going live,” she said. “I know there is lots of Kraft Dinner and lots of activities depending on what comes with us in the trucks this year. Sometimes there are slides there and all kinds of stuff for literally the entire family.”

Not only does Kraft get everyone involved, the TSN live broadcast also does its best to incorporate the community.

“We do our best, during the show, to really interact with the crowd and everyone that comes there,” Beirness said. “It is essentially just like a family-friendly rock concert, is what we like to describe it as.”

Since she gets to visit different communities across the country, Beirness said the celebration tour is one of the best things to take part in.

“It is honestly one of my favourite things to do at TSN,” she said. “We love being in studio but getting out of studio and being able to show people what we do and how we do it is really neat.

“This is an opportunity where we get to travel the country and meet towns and people that we normally wouldn’t be able to do,” she added. “It is just such an awesome opportunity to see how far our show does stretch and how many people watch it and getting to know those people personally is one of our favourite things.”

Not only is it fun to be a part of the tour, it also has had a huge impact on communities involved in previous years.

“You could go back through nearly every single community and I’m sure every community would have a story of how it helped,” Beirness said. “Obviously the money portion of it helps whatever community structure or community building they want to fix up or recreation centre. I think that is such a huge part of it is making communities have a better place to play and that everyone can take advantage of it.”

It has helped communities with everything from hockey rinks and swimming pools to tracks and skate parks.

“The actual event itself, with the celebration tour coming to town, hopefully it is something that the town remembers forever because, as we always say on the tour, this is a chance to nationally give each town exposure, which they normally wouldn’t get,” Beirness said. “It is neat because we hope we put them on the map a little bit by showcasing them on TSN and on SportsCentre.”

Since TSN has been involved in the tour for six year, Beirness said they have heard back from communities after the tour and have done follow up features.

“We hear back all the time from these communities, how they are doing and what was the impact,” Beirness said. “I know I personally have made contact with a majority of these small towns, just checking up on how things are going. Each year it is something different and it is so awesome to see the final product.”

Geographic location: Porcupine Plain

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