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
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
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
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.