British Columbia readies to welcome the world at 2019 World Juniors
VANCOUVER and VICTORIA, B.C. – As this year’s Canada’s National Junior Team hopefuls begin their journey to world juniors, the province of British Columbia is getting ready to welcome hockey fans from around the world in just 12 short months when the IIHF World Junior Championship returns to Canadian ice in Vancouver and Victoria.
In the year since Hockey Canada announced that B.C. was awarded the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, the local host committee – co-chaired by Ron Toigo, managing director of Shato Holdings and president and majority owner of the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, and Barry Petrachenko, chief executive officer of BC Hockey – has worked closely with Hockey Canada and its local partners on the preparation to host what has become a Canadian holiday tradition for fans from coast to coast to coast.
The work has included the hiring of Riley Wiwchar (Comox, B.C.) as tournament director, and a full event ticket package pre-sale to season ticket-holders of the Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Giants, and Victoria Royals, as well as a list of Hockey Canada Insiders. Beginning Friday, Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. PT, full-event ticket packages will be on sale to the general public at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets.
“The excitement in Vancouver, Victoria, and across the province around this event has been amazing. The results of the pre-sale exceeded our expectations; as we move into the phase of public sales, hockey fans can secure their event packages for Vancouver or Victoria at a variety of price points, with great seats still available,” said Wiwchar, whose Hockey Canada resume includes roles as the general manager of the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto, the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Kamloops, B.C., and the Montreal lead at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. “The launch of ticket sales is a significant milestone not just for us as event organizers, but for the fans from across the country and around the world who begin to plan their travel to beautiful British Columbia.”
Hockey Canada hosted news conferences in Vancouver and Victoria on Thursday to launch ticket-sales as well as introduce the event logo and REPRESENT – a multi-faceted marketing campaign that speaks to the role that players, coaches, and fans play representing their community, province, and country through their involvement with the world juniors.
“This has been an amazing experience so far, and it just becomes more fun as we get closer to next year’s event,” said co-chairs Petrachenko and Toigo. “Hockey fans came out in full force when Vancouver hosted in 2006, and we know they will be out to REPRESENT when Vancouver and Victoria host next year.”
2019 World Juniors a true provincial event
In addition to the official tournament games in Vancouver and Victoria, at least 10 pre-tournament matches will be held in B.C. communities – expanding the impact of the event in the province. The Government of British Columbia has committed its support to the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
“It’s incredibly exciting to welcome the World Juniors back to British Columbia for the upcoming championships,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “For the past century, BC Hockey has provided opportunities for youth to participate in sport. This year, hockey fans and players from across the province will have the opportunity to be a part of hockey history as teams prepare for the tournament in communities across the province.”
Hockey Canada has operated the IIHF World Junior Championship 12 times in the tournament’s 40-year history. 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.
“We are proud to once again host the IIHF World Junior Championships in Vancouver,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “It’s no secret that Vancouverites love their hockey and this promises to be a great event for all the fans out there. I look forward to working with our partners in Victoria to welcome the world back to the West Coast for what promises to be an unforgettable tournament.”
“The City of Victoria is excited to co-host this great international event,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “We look forward to joining fellow citizens in cheering on Team Canada inside the arenas and out in the community next year.”
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.