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WJC Playmakers: Dale Saip

The senior vice-president of the Vancouver Giants talks about working with the Playmakers group, the evolution of the World Juniors and making it a B.C.-wide event

Jessica Gowans
November 8, 2018

Leading in to the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship the host committee has formed the Playmakers group, bringing together business leaders from across B.C. to serve as event ambassadors and strategic advisors, as well as serving as a connection to local partners and businesses in Vancouver and Victoria.

The Playmakers will help share the message from Hockey Canada and the host committee, and support initiatives around community engagement and the benefits of hosting the World Juniors in their backyard.

This time, HockeyCanada.ca sat down with Dale Saip, senior vice-president with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.

Q: After being part of the 2006 tournament, why is it important for you to be involved in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship?

DS: Part of it is the reflection on our organization, the Vancouver Giants. We are certainly proud of the fact that Major Junior hockey is showcased on an annual basis with something like the World Juniors, and it was important to me that we have some representation as well along with some of our key volunteers and sponsors be involved as well. So for me to step forward allowed us to connect those groups with this event, the showcase event for junior hockey in the world.

Q; How have the World Juniors changed since the last time Vancouver played host?

DS: I think if you look back when we played host last time, we kind of invented the big-event platform that I think the World Juniors has become. The template for the event, a lot of it came out of that year. It has been elevated to a world-wide event versus a regional event, and we’re very happy about that.

Q: Why are the World Juniors important to the Vancouver Giants?

DS: What it does is raise the profile of junior hockey in a market that is about events. Vancouver is a great event city. You see it in the World Juniors, the Memorial Cup, the Olympics, the [FIFA] Women’s World Cup; this is an event city. When you have a big event like the World Juniors for hockey, especially one that has the significance that junior hockey has for Canadians right across the country, it raises the profile of the game and also brings more attention to what we try to do here on a regular basis with the Giants.

Q: Why was it important to ensure the World Juniors reach every corner of the province?

DS: This is really a British Columbia event. When you talk about hockey, any time you build that connection between what most people would consider ‘our game’ and the passion for this particular event is important. Yes, the games are in Vancouver and Victoria, and unfortunately, from a geographical perspective, that’s a long way from somewhere like Fort St. John or Prince Rupert or other parts of the province, but it still belongs to our province and we have to take some pride in that. I think that’s why it’s important that we project it as far around this region and into our province as possible.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish with the Playmakers group?

DS: I think I connect some of the dots. I think I bring come connectivity from the Playmakers to the game, and vice versa because I do work in hockey every day, not just on the hockey side but also on the business side with sponsorships and the ticketing and other areas. So I think I provide a bit of a bridge for the group, and certainly in the way of regional representation and to the Western Hockey League.

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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