Saskatchewan

Country Thunder Music Festival to host Humboldt Broncos tribute concert in Saskatoon

A tribute concert honouring those impacted by the Humboldt Broncos' team bus crash is set for April 27 at Saskatoon's SaskTel Centre.

Concert set for April 27 at SaskTel Centre

A cross made out of hockey sticks has been placed at the crash scene for the Humboldt Broncos. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

A tribute concert honouring those impacted by the Humboldt Broncos' team bus crash is set for April 27 at Saskatoon's SaskTel Centre.

Country Thunder Music Festivals vice-president of operations Ted Gross announced the concert Thursday afternoon at a news conference hosted by the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). Gross said many people felt the tragedy of the crash, which has claimed 16 lives.

"We thought one of the best ways to heal is through music," Gross said.

He said the music festival has always had connections to the hockey world. 

The benefit concert has already confirmed acts, but announcements about specific performers would not be made until early next week, Gross said.

League finals continue

The SJHL held the news conference after the board voted unanimously Wednesday to resume the league's playoffs Saturday, eight days after the Humboldt Broncos crash that left 16 dead.

The SJHL announced the decision Wednesday on social media, saying the championship series between the Estevan Bruins and the Nipawin Hawks will start Saturday in Nipawin.

Bill Chow, president of the league, explained during the press conference that the decision came about through a gradual process and discussions with everyone involved.

He noted the league and the team have felt immense support in the wake of the tragedy, with people eager to help and show support.

"They want to do something positive, and that's what they're doing," he said.

Bill Chow, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League president, says that the Humboldt Broncos' tragedy has resonated with people, leading to an outpouring of support for the team and the league. (CBC News)

The league will also be providing more psycho-social supports in the wake of the tragedy.

Cindy Fuchs of the Canadian Red Cross said that her organization will provide a program offering "care for self, and care for others," to the SJHL with support for families, players and staff that are in the league.

The Broncos were heading north to play Game 5 of a playoff series against the Hawks last Friday when the team bus was involved in a crash with a semi-trailer, killing 16 people and injuring another 13. The cause of the collision is still under investigation. 

Nipawin Hawks president Darren Opps said the game is not being played Friday out of respect for Humboldt. 

Bruins honour former players

The Estevan Bruins held a press conference on Thursday afternoon, stating they anticipated sellout crowds for the final series, which would feature tributes and fundraising efforts for the Broncos. 

The Bruins noted the team had close ties with the Broncos, particularly the team's coaching staff Mark Cross and Darcy Haugan, both of whom had lost their lives in the crash. Mark Cross had played and served as an assistant captain for the Bruins in the past, while Haugan had also played with the Bruins and coached the team.

The Bruins' fundraising efforts will be directed toward the Cross and Haugan families, the team said.  

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