Licence plates added to Battle of Alberta between Flames and Oilers

Service Alberta introduced two new specialty licence plates Saturday featuring the logos, slogans and colours of the province’s two NHL teams, the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

Province releases new licence plate designs for supporters of province's 2 NHL clubs

Service Alberta is releasing licence plates with the logos and colours of the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. (Service Alberta)

The Battle of Alberta is being taken to a whole new level — the streets.

Service Alberta introduced two new specialty licence plates Saturday, featuring the logos, slogans and colours of the province's two NHL teams, the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

Starting Nov. 19, the plates can be ordered from Alberta registry agents for $75, plus a registry agent charge, with $20 of that going to the province to cover the cost of making and shipping the plates.

The remaining $55 from each sale will go toward the Calgary Flames Foundation and Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation.

​Standard registration fees will apply if the plates are used on a vehicle.

John Bean, president of Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, says the Flames Foundation has donated $32 million toward community initiatives in Calgary since it was started in 1983. (Audrey Neveu/CBC)

"We can have some healthy rivalry here to see who sells the most number of plates," said John Bean, president of Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation.

"It's a fantastic opportunity, it gives our fans a chance to rally behind our foundations and raise funds for some really great causes both up in Edmonton and here in Calgary."

Since its inception in 1983, Bean said the Flames Foundation has donated $32 million toward community initiatives, including things like funding the Rotary Flames House — a pediatric hospice near Alberta Children's Hospital — and covering youth sport registration fees for families in need, along with funding programs through Hockey Calgary.

The Flames Foundation also provides Grade 6 students in Calgary with a YMCA membership.

Some have criticized the Flames Foundation, with Charity Intelligence Canada urging donors to think twice before donating, criticizing the organization for high fundraising costs and little transparency.

But the foundation disputes the numbers in the charity watchdog's report.

The plates will be mailed out after the order is placed and standard registration fees will apply if they choose to use it on a vehicle.

Service Alberta Minister Brian Malkinson says he's looking forward to seeing which team's fans buys the most plates. (Audrey Neveu/CBC)

"There's definitely a desire to have more licence plate options in this province and I couldn't think of a better charitable organization … we're one of the few provinces in Canada that actually has two seperate [NHL] teams and it's a great rivalry that Albertans enjoy," said Malkinson.

"At the end of the season I think there will be definitely  some bragging between the teams, I'm curious to see which team's fans end up buying more of these plates."

The new designs are an expansion of the existing specialty licence plate program, which features the Support Our Troops design honouring current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Since the program was started four years ago, Malkinson said 43,000 Support Our Troops plates have been sold.

"I would imagine we would expect to see similar or more numbers for these plates," he said.

Natalie Minckler, executive director of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, says the organization will work to ensure the program's success. (Audrey Neveu/CBC)

The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation focuses on "education, health and wellness and youth hockey programming," said executive director Natalie Minckler.

"The Oilers and Flames may be adversaries on the ice but both foundations are on the same page when it comes to makes a difference in the communities we live in," she said.

"We'll do our part to ensure that we get the word out to promote it in our building, through our social media channels, on our website, to make sure this is a successful program."

Other provinces have similar programs.

In Saskatchewan, Canadian Football League supporters can buy Roughrider plates while National Lacrosse League fans can buy a Saskatchewan Rush plate.

And in Manitoba, fans of the CFL's Winnpeg Blue Bombers can buy a plate, along with fans of the NHL's Winnipeg Jets.

With files from Audrey Neveu


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