On Monday, City Council approved the Community Services Department’s application to seek future hosting opportunities with Hockey Canada, BC Hockey and the Encana Events Centre.
Council agreed that Community Services could apply for upcoming Hockey Canada and International events based on the success of both the U-18 National Women’s Hockey Championship – hosted here in November – as well as the Pre-Olympic National Women’s Hockey Boot Camp, held in 2009.
Barry Reynard, director of Community Services and Hockey Canada liaison for the U-18 organizing committee, said the ball is already rolling for two bids to be made next month.
“We’ve been in touch with BC Hockey to let them know that we’re prepared to work in partnership with them, and we’ll be updating [Hockey Canada] to let them know we have permission from Council to pursue these bids, and that we will have something coming forward to Hockey Canada in January,” explained Reynard on Monday following the City Council meeting.
“We’ve already indicated to them [BC Hockey and Hockey Canada] that we would be putting bid packages together,” he added.
Community Services will be putting forth bids for the 2013 World Sledge Hockey Championship next fall, and the 2014 Four Nations Cup. Sledge hockey is a variation of ice hockey for the physically disabled. Four Nations is an international women’s hockey event played by the world’s top-four national teams, Canada, United States, Sweden and Finland.
“I’m very happy with Council’s decision and I’m very happy to say that it is due to the success of the U-18’s and our hosting of the National Women’s Hockey Team,” stated Reynard.
Dawson Creek’s hosting of the U-18’s has been regarded by Hockey Canada officials as one of the best in tournament history, exceeding ticket sale projections as well as online and television broadcast numbers.
“We feel now that we’ve opened that door to continue being worthy of putting those bids forward,” added Reynard.
“We feel that we are in fairly good position that if Hockey Canada wants to see that we’re serious we have to get our bids in quick,” he noted.
Reynard said that from his understanding there are no real bids in place for the sledge competition at this time, and Hockey Canada would be approaching a decision within the next three to four months.
A sledge world championship would be a pre-Olympic warm-up for national teams that have qualified for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, March 7 to March 16; Canada recently loss 1-0 to the United States at the 2012 World Championships in Calgary, AB.
The Four Nations Cup would bring likely contenders for gold at the 2014 Olympics to Dawson Creek.