If you or your kids play hockey in Canmore, you've likely heard of Stickworx. Longtime local, Peter Philp, started Stickworx back in 2015. The hockey hotspot has now rebranded and expanded to become what you now know as Sports Garage. Whether you've been part of the Stickworx journey since the beginning or just hearing about it now for the first time, we wanted to fill you in on the history of Canmore's long-standing ice hockey pro shop while giving you a little glimpse into the exciting future ahead.
How Stickworx Came to Be
Peter and his wife Lisa were no strangers to hockey dressing rooms, rural Alberta away games, and purchasing every form of hockey gear and equipment repair you can imagine. As the proud parents of three sons who had two homes: their actual house and the hockey arena, they knew the life of hockey parents better than anyone.
Pete played hockey himself and spent 12 years coaching, as well. "By the time my kids stepped on the ice, I coached them all the way through Bantam three times over. I was always coaching one or the other," he said.
After a seemingly endless series of broken hockey sticks, Pete began looking for a more affordable solution than buying new sticks all the time. "When the boys started playing AA and AAA midget hockey, sticks were breaking nonstop," said Pete. "I reached out to a guy in Calgary and learned a bit about what he was up to. Soon enough, I figured out a way to get supplies and realized I needed to open up a small pro shop to get the supplies from out of State." That, in its essence, was the humble beginnings of Stickworx. Pete started with fixing sticks, and, as fate would have it, the Philp family (obviously) already had an in-house skate sharpener.
If you're a longtime Albertan, you might remember when Premiere Ralph Klein gave residents $400 each. That meant that each of the boys had a cheque in their pocket. They put their heads together and decided to purchase a skate sharpener. Four sets of skates needed sharpening on the regular between the three boys and Pete, so it was a no-brainer.
Pete already owned Canmore Printcraft then, so his little hockey pro shop took up business right in front. "It just started to evolve from there. The next thing you know, people wanted gear and accessories, and suddenly, I had a catalogue," Pete reflected. "In a nutshell, that's how it started."
Flash forward to the present day, and Pete has had the amazing opportunity to bring Stickworx to the next level as part of Sports Garage.
Where We're At Now
After years of proudly serving this tight-knit community, Pete saw an opportunity to expand into additional areas such as rentals and consignment and additional sports like skiing and biking. "My son, Simon, came in. He thought it was a great idea. Then we picked up Lou, and the rest is history," said Pete. The Stickworx offerings have been absorbed into Sports Garage, a sports and lifestyle shop in Canmore that offers retail, rentals, consignment, and service for a wide range of sports and activities. Sports Garage focuses on hockey, skiing, biking, and general mountain adventure. The suite of hockey offerings is what Pete describes as "Stickworx plus more."
Along with our variety of other services, our hockey services include but are not limited to the following:
- Consignment hockey gear
- Consignment skates
- New skates & select gear
- Skate sharpening
- Skate & stick repair
- Boot punching
- Skate fitting
- Rivet repair
- Skate rentals
- & more
Beyond that, we can order you any gear or accessories you need. All you need to do is ask. We'll save you a trip to the city or shipping costs from ordering independently.
In the Bow Valley, kids grow up with an endless selection of sports, activities and passions. As parents, you know the gear can get pretty pricey. Sports Garage caters to all types of athletes, from the dabblers to the pre-professionals. If you want to try something new, you have your choice between new and high-quality used gear. If (when) that gear gets outgrown, or that sport gets shelved for another passion, we'll welcome it right back into our consignment stock. We're all about breaking the barrier of entry so you can get geared up in the way that's the most suitable and accessible for you.
What Lies Ahead
So, what's next? You can expect Sports Garage to continue to offer quality gear, exceptional service, and personalized care. Whether you're lacing up rental skates to skate on frozen lakes in the Rockies this winter or getting fully suited up for the hockey season, you can trust that you'll find what you need at Sports Garage.