Tale of 1930s women's hockey team plays out in all its Glory
Play about Preston Rivulettes to debut in Kamloops, B.C.
Eighty-seven years ago, four Ontarian women suffering from the winter blues decided to start a hockey team.
They went on to form the Preston Rivulettes and won more than 95 per cent of their games — a record yet to be broken by any men's or women's team — proving that a woman's place is on home ice.
Their story will play out on a stage in B.C. later this month in the new play, Glory.
Kamloops playwright Tracey Power was inspired by an image she saw while flipping through a book of old Canadian photographs.
"I saw this team photo of a women's team from the early 1900s," she said. "I was kind of shocked there was a women's hockey team at that time."
That sparked Power to do further research on the Rivulettes and the history of women's hockey.
"I had to write a play about it and get the word out because it was such an exciting story," Power said during an interview with Daybreak Kamloops.
Former Rivulette lives nearby
In doing her research and working on the play, several relatives of Rivulette alumni contacted her to share their stories and talk about the work she was doing.
"It's such an exciting piece of Canadian history that we don't know about generally," she said.
She found out one of the former Rivulettes, a "fierce defenceman" named Norma, lives nearby in Kelowna.
"The play is very much inspired by their story," Power said.
"At that time, women's hockey, they fought for their voice, and then the war happened and they lost their voice for awhile, so I feel like I'm trying to contribute to bringing that voice back."
The team played — and won 95 per cent of the time — from 1931 to 1940.
Mixing swing dance with hockey
Depicting hockey on stage can be a challenge; actors generally have to wear roller skates or wear some sort of awkward prop.
Power used her skills as a choreographer to create a swing-dance hockey mash-up for the play.
Glory runs February 22 to March 3 at the Sagebrush Theatre in Kamloops, then goes on to Calgary, and "hopefully beyond."
With files from Doug Herbert