The host family tale of Helen and her boys

July 3, 2024

For immediate release

VICTORIA B.C. — It’s all about the cookies — and the boys.

Helen Edwards is known for many things, her trademark red HC hat perhaps foremost among them at Victoria HarbourCats games.

But for “her boys,” she’s known for her cookies — as a symbol of her hospitality.

Helen is the epitome of opening a home for HarbourCats baseball players, providing a host stay for a combined 14 players since the end of the pandemic. And each one of them has fallen in love with her baking — chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin, the cookie jar may just be the busiest place in her Fairfield character home.

“We also had some with mini M&M’s, they love their cookies,” said Helen, a season ticket holder with the HarbourCats since 2014, and one of the foremost experts on Victoria sports. After all, she’s literally written the book on the history of professional hockey in the city, and has a book in publishing mode chronicling the first 10 years of her beloved HarbourCats.

“They’ll eat anything I make, they like my cooking — chili, chicken wings, lasagna, and you should’ve seen the mac and cheese that disappeared last night. That would have been enough for my family for a few days, and it was gone! It’s great that they love it, and it’s nice to have someone to cook for, and see it being eaten.”

Helen has written other books, on her father-in-law’s diary during WW1, and on heritage buildings in Victoria. She’s also part of the ownership group of the HarbourCats, joining the group in 2020 and being the significant contributor to the Edwards Family Training Centre on Cook Street, the indoor facility that serves the HarbourCats, the collegiate Golden Tide, and at least a dozen local baseball and softball groups, providing a sheltered place for training.

This season, Helen has pitchers Devin Holmes, Spencer Hatch, and Cade Rusch, son of former MLB pitcher Glendon Rusch. In 2023, she had a somewhat revolving door with stalwart Jesse Brown leading a Helen-homed group that included Ben Smedshammer, Kevin Shea, Rei Kimura and Zak Johnson. In the 2022 year coming out of covid, she took in Addison Sells, Jace Walker, Walker Bordovsky, Tyler Attal, Nick Taylor and Aidan McCann.

Edwards, a former shareholder of the Vancouver Canucks who also now provides charitable help to many causes as a philanthropist, truly enjoys her interactions with the players, spoiling them with dinners at team sponsor Moxie’s — and she’s a proud advocate of the HarbourCats program, standing up for the organization at all times, in all situations.

“I’m the age of their grandparents, but it doesn’t seem to matter — because we all love baseball and we talk baseball,” said Edwards.

“They are getting me into doing fantasy baseball even, that’s what we talked about. It’s all so cool. Being able to watch them is like watching my own kids play sports, there is a connection, and the people around me always ask which guys are my players. It’s fun to know that I’m helping them, too, and one of them may make it to the Majors one day, and even if they don’t — I’m proud of them.

“The other benefit is meeting the parents, with some there’s an instant connection, and it’s like you’ve known each other forever.”

Every organization needs ambassadors, and people who will go above and beyond — Helen is such an example for not just the HarbourCats, but the West Coast League.