Ottawa, ON mayor Bob Chiarelli and Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators and SBP Arena, joined members of the local business and hockey communities to formally launch Hockey Country’s bid for the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Ottawa’s bid committee sported a strong lineup to ensure success. In addition to Melnyk, serving as bid committee chair, and Mayor Chiarelli, the group also included: Ottawa District Hockey Association president Jules Lavictoire, Jeff Hunt, owner and governor of the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s, Doug Springer, president and governor of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, Charlie Henry, governor of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Gatineau Olympiques and vice-chair Cyril Leeder, chief operating office of the Senators and SBP Arena .
The bid included a commitment of $12.5 million, with a projection to establish a financial return that would exceed $13.6 million. Hockey Canada is set to receive 50 per cent of net profits, the Canadian Hockey League will receive 35 per cent and the remaining 15 per cent of net profit will be shared between the Ottawa District Hockey Association (ODHA) and the other 12 branches of Hockey Canada. Net profits will benefit hockey development programs, Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, including Canada’s men and women’s programs, and all of Hockey Canada’s 13 branches. They will also fund national hockey development initiatives for years to come.
After Hockey Canada and Canadian Hockey League granted Ottawa the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in May 2006, the bid committee immediately began to evolve into a host organizing committee structure.
At the top of the structure is the International Ice Hockey Federation, followed by Hockey Canada as the host country.
The steering committee comes next as the main leadership group with the following members:
Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, chair of the steering committee
Dave Branch, president of the Canadian Hockey League
Richard Waldroff, president of the Ottawa District Hockey Association
Eugene Melnyk, Senators and SBP Arena owner, chair of the host organizing committee
Cyril Leeder, Senators and SBP Arena COO, vice-chair of the host organizing committee
The steering committee outlined the eight divisions of the host committee and their responsibilities, and sought out candidates to serve as co-directors in each. It also recruited Bob O’Doherty to serve as the event’s full-time general manager. O’Doherty, in turn, hired two full-time managers to work directly for the championship. Jean Vaillancourt is the manager of operations and Valerie Kowal is manager of events and services.
As O’Doherty set out over the winter of 2007 to fill the co-directors positions, the steering committee also had support from and advisory committee and Scott Smith, the COO at Hockey Canada.
The host organizing committee has eight divisions: administration and finance, communications, hospitality and protocol, logistics, marketing and sales, special events, venue operations and volunteers.
The co-directors and main responsibilities for each division are as follows:
Administration and Finance
Co-directors: Geoff Publow and Derek Winch
Services: accounting, government relations, legal, insurance, office operations, staffing plans
Co-directors: Phil Legault, Barb MacDonald
Services: translation, media, photography, publications, statistics/results, website
Hospitality and Protocol
Co-directors: Don Brown, Frank Libera
Services: awards and ceremonies; Team Canada family program, team hosts program, VIP program
Co-directors: Greg Graham, Peter Hudson
Assistant director: Joe Rathwell
Services: accommodations, accreditation and security; food services, information technology, transportation, warehousing and storage
Marketing and Sales
Co-directors: Mark Bonneau, Jeff Kyle
Assistant directors: Gina Hillcoat and Patrick Whalen
Services: advertising and promotion branding/official trademarks, fundraising program, merchandising program, public relations plan, sponsorship program, ticketing program
Co-directors: Guy Laflamme, Heather Moore
Services: community events, FanFest, Hockey Canada House, Team Canada events
Co-directors: Tom Conroy, Mark Hennigar
Assistant director: Barry O'Connor
Services: game operations, in venue services, team services, game presentation, game statistics, venue liaison, medical services, on-ice/minor officials, practice facilities
Co-directors: Jim Kyte, Barb Tiffin
Services: recruitment, registration/screening, training, scheduling, uniforms/clothing, operations, recognition
The host organizing committee has held monthly meetings since March 2007, with each division also having its own meetings for their volunteer managers.
When the gold, silver and bronze medals are handed out on , at the conclusion of the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, there will have been 978 days that would have passed since Hockey Canada award the event to the city of Ottawa in 2006.
Each one of those days would have seen someone tackle a responsibility to make this IIHF World Junior Championship the best one ever, including those key volunteers making sure that everyone gets home safely on that 979th day.