The world’s best junior-aged players will be skating for gold on B.C. ice at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), has awarded the 43rd edition of the international tournament to BC Hockey and the province of British Columbia, to be co-hosted in the cities of Vancouver and Victoria.
“While hosted in Vancouver and Victoria, the bid put forward by BC Hockey and the province is truly provincial in nature, with positive impacts extending province-wide to communities beyond the two host-cities,” said Scott Smith, chief operating officer, Hockey Canada. Smith was chair of the site-selection committee, which also comprised Hockey Canada president and CEO Tom Renney, chair Joe Drago, and CHL president David Branch, and was supported by Dean McIntosh, senior director of events and properties for Hockey Canada, as the committee’s resource staff. “The province of British Columbia and the cities of Vancouver and Victoria have a history of hosting successful, world-class events, including the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship. We are confident in this committee’s ability to successfully execute on their vision for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, and we look forward to working with them to ensure we leave a lasting legacy in B.C. and across the country that helps us continue to grow and foster the game from the grassroots to elite levels.”
Hockey Canada has operated the IIHF World Junior Championship 11 times in the tournament’s 39-year history; the 12th IIHF World Junior Championship on Canadian ice officially kicks off this month in Montreal and Toronto. Organizers of the 2019 tournament will take part in the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship as part of their preparation and planning for Vancouver and Victoria.
Leading the committee are co-chairs Barry Petrachenko, chief executive officer of BC Hockey, and Ron Toigo, managing director of Shato Holdings and president and majority owner of the WHL’s Vancouver Giants.
“The host committee is thrilled to bring back the highest level of junior hockey to the province and, specifically, the cities of Vancouver and Victoria. We appreciate the support of Premier Clark and the bid committee who collectively put forth a presentation to Hockey Canada that was successful in bringing this event back to the British Columbia,” said Ron Toigo, co-chair of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship host-committee. “We believe strongly that we will build on the success of 2006, and the energy of the 2010 golden goal that has made it an exciting time for hockey in the province - we look forward to riding that wave into 2019.”
“Bringing the World Junior Championship back to British Columbia is an incredible honour for us and the communities around the province,” said Barry Petrachenko, co-chair of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship host-committee, and CEO of BC Hockey. “The opportunity to host this event in conjunction with BC Hockey’s 100-year anniversary will allow us to celebrate the deep-rooted hockey history and vibrant future of hockey in the province.”
The bid process for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship opened last April with a call by Hockey Canada for communities to submit their intent to bid. A select number of communities then proceeded to the bid phase, culminating with Thursday’s announcement awarding the event to B.C.
“We reviewed a number of very strong bids from across the country,” said Branch. The CHL is an instrumental partner in the hosting of the IIHF World Junior Championship on Canadian ice, sharing in the event legacy for the development of high-performance, junior hockey across the country, and lending its player, coaching, and support staff talent to participating teams. “The interest and excitement to host this special event remains very high as we look to 2021 and beyond. But today is about celebrating the selection of British Columbia to host in 2019, and the teams, volunteers, staff, and fans who will make the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal and Toronto an unforgettable experience beginning this month.”
The Government of British Columbia has committed its support to the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
“The World Juniors are an opportunity to see the next generation of hockey greats, leaving everything on the ice as they compete for their countries,” said Premier Christy Clark, Province of British Columbia. “It’s always one of the most exciting events of the year, and we’re proud to welcome the world back to Vancouver and Victoria in 2019.”
The 2019 World Juniors will be co-hosted at the home of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, and at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria. Regional economic impact studies of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship estimated the financial spinoff for the host-communities to top $80 million.
“Vancouver is home to some of the best venues, amenities, resources and volunteers and the whole city is ready to cheer on Canada at the World Juniors,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson, City of Vancouver. “Thanks to our experience hosting events like the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, we’ll make sure every athlete, coach and fan have an experience second-to-none.”
“We’re thrilled to be selected along with Vancouver to host the world junior hockey tournament here in Victoria,” said Mayor Lisa Helps, City of Victoria. “This is a very exciting opportunity for our community, which is sure to both entertain and inspire fans of all ages. The passion we have for hockey at all levels, from youth leagues to the WHL, runs deep. We look forward to welcoming the world in 2019.”
A legacy plan for the potential profits of the event will provide for grassroots hockey program support across the province and throughout Hockey Canada’s 13 regional members, as well as the CHL. A portion of the profits are used by the IIHF to grow the game internationally.
For more information on Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Junior Team, and the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter, as well as #WorldJuniors.