Calgary’s mayor and city councillors donned mostly borrowed Edmonton Oilers gear to hold up their end of a bet following the Battle of Alberta.
The bet was made by mayors Jyoti Gondek and Amarjeet Sohi before the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers faced off in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
It was a series that saw the Oilers eliminate the Flames in five games.
As part of the wager every council member in the losing city had wear the winning team’s jerseys at the first meeting after the series finishes.
The losing mayor would also paint their face in the winning team’s colours.
A financial donation to the winning city’s children’s cancer charity was also agreed to as part of the bet.
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The bet was honoured at Tuesday’s meeting of council, with Sohi and Edmonton city council appearing virtually in Calgary council chambers.
“Welcome to the losers’ club,” Ward 3 Coun. Jasmine Mian said, in reference to the Oilers getting swept by the Colorado Avalanche in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday night.
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Sporting an orange and blue Edmonton Oilers logo on her face, Gondek appeared at the podium to kickstart the meeting.
“I’m so happy to be here. Thank you for the opportunity to embarrass myself in this way,” Gondek said. “I appreciate you taking a bet where I got very cocky and did not win.”
Sohi said hockey is a sport that unites people and that despite the decades-old rivalry between the two cities, it’s time for the cities to come together for a worthy cause.
“Our friendly wager garnered attention across the province and now we’re calling on Alberta to support the Kids with Cancer Society,” Sohi said.
Sohi announced that a landing page has been set up so people can donate directly to the Kids with Cancer Society “in denominations of your favourite Oilers players’ numbers.”
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“For example, you can donate $9.70 or $97 for Connor McDavid, or $29 for (Leon) Draisaitl,” Sohi said.
Gondek has donated $500, and city council each donated $100 out of their own pockets to the charity; donations that Sohi said will be matched by him and members of Edmonton’s council.
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The bet was inspired by Ben Stelter, a six-year-old Oilers super-fan battling cancer living in Edmonton who the team had rallied around during its playoff run this year.
“I don’t think there is a person in Alberta who is braver than this little boy,” Gondek said.
Sohi said while Edmonton may have won the Battle of Alberta, the next challenge is which city can donate more to the Kids with Cancer Society.
“That we have to wait and see,” Sohi said.
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