VANCOUVER – Hockey Canada announced Thursday that Stuart Ballantyne was named as General Manager for the 2006 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship that will take place in Vancouver, Kamloops, and Kelowna, British Columbia from late December 2005 through early January 2006.
Ballantyne, the former General Manager of the Molson Indy Vancouver from 1997-2003, has an excellent track record with organizing and marketing major sporting events and international events in both the city of Vancouver and in Canada.
" Hockey Canada is pleased to be able to have someone with Stuart's background and experience to lead this event, " said Scott Smith, Hockey Canada's Vice president, Business Operations. "Stuart has had proven success with overseeing events such as the Molson Indy Vancouver, and we are confident that he is the ideal candidate to ensure that the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Vancouver will be a huge success on many levels."
Ballantyne's responsibilities as General Manager will be to oversee all of the Championship's logistics, team services, marketing and event sponsorship, as well as the overall preparation and event execution for the 2006 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in British Columbia.
After completing his schooling in the Lower Mainland at BCIT and SFU, Ballantyne went on to become the Manager of Corporate Communications for Bridgestone/Firestone Canada. Stuart is well known in Vancouver and in Canada as the General Manager of the Molson Indy Vancouver from 1997-2003 where he grew the event and secured its return to Vancouver year after year. Stuart's event management experience also includes his role as the General Manager for the Molson Canadian Snow Jam Tour, which started as a local event in British Columbia and has grown into a 10 stop North American Tour over the past 6 years.
" The IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship is a must watch event for all Canadians each year, and the focus on the event is heightened any time it is hosted on Canadian soil, "said Ballantyne. "Every time the World Juniors is hosted in Canada, the event has grown and has continually broken numerous records. British Columbia will be a fantastic place to host such a prominent event, I am thrilled to be a part of it, and look forward to getting started on our journey in hosting the most successful tournament in World Junior Championship history."
The hosting of the World Junior Championship in British Columbia, which is also the host of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, will mark the seventh time that this international event has been staged in Canada and the first time it will be held in British Columbia.
Other years in which Canada hosted the World Junior Hockey Championship were in 2003 (Halifax, NS), in 1999 (Winnipeg, MB), in 1995 (Red Deer, AB), in 1991 (Saskatoon, SK), in 1986 (Hamilton, ON), and in 1978 (Montreal, QC). Grand Forks, North Dakota will host the event in 2005. Canada has won a medal in the past six World Junior Championships, including a silver medal on in Finland after losing to the USA, 4-3.