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 month, HockeyCanada.ca sat down with Robin Dhir, a strategic advisor
with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin.
Q: Why is it important for you to be involved in the 2019 IIHF World
RD: I’m not a ‘hockey dad,’ if you will, but I do find that the sport – any
sport – is great for building up kids’ abilities, and their morals and
teamwork, and all that kind of stuff. I do find that these kinds of
activities are a great community-building exercises, as well. For me I
think it’s important that kids get that opportunity to interact and mingle
with players that they normally wouldn’t play with perhaps, of a different
calibre, [from] different backgrounds. I just think that makes them
citizens as they grow up.
Q: Why are Vancouver and Victoria the right cities to host the World
RD: If you look at how ticket sales have been going so far, Victoria is
outselling Vancouver, so there’s obviously an appetite for the sport,
there’s an appetite for this particular event. I think when we talk about
doing a B.C. event, it is important to get outside of just Metro Vancouver.
The fact that we do have government support and other community support,
it’s important to show that this isn’t just a Metro Vancouver event, but
it’s a B.C. event.
Q: How will the World Juniors encourage youth to get involved in
activities surrounding the WJC?
RD: Like any event that happens, whether it’s an Expo, or an Olympics, or
any type of big event, I think it is incumbent upon the organizers to
create some form of legacy that comes from it as well, so there’s not just
the immediate impact, but the ongoing impact. I think there’s an
opportunity here in British Columbia, where we do have a lot of new
Canadians, of introducing the sport. And it may not be ice hockey, per se,
but it will be hockey in general. There may be some from countries where
ice hockey is not prevalent, or they haven’t learned to skate, but they can
still learn to play and have a love for Canada’s sport. I think it will be
exciting and important to embrace all cultures, all age groups, families
and communities into this particular event.
One of the focuses I’d like to have is encouraging more people within the
South Asian community. They’re already getting quite active, we’ve had a
few NHL players, we have a number of people who are going through the
system. I think there’s that opportunity as well or making that sport even
more top of mind, and more part of people’s families.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with the Playmakers group?
RD: Obviously, making this a success from an economic standpoint – that is
important. But beyond that, every event and every tournament should leave a
legacy that people remember it by. We just need to figure out what it is
that this event will actually do in terms of the lasting legacy. I think
there is a huge opportunity, and I’m encouraged by the calibre of people
that are involved, and the expertise that’s behind it. I’m just hoping to
be part of that plan, and part of that group. Like I said, one of the key
things that I’d like to do as my role is really outreach into the South
Asian community to help make this event their own as well.
Q: What is your connection with hockey?
RD: My connection is general to community and events; I sit on quite a list
of boards. Really, it’s what my parents taught us growing up – and
obviously being first-generation Canadians – is that this country has been
really good to us, and it’s got great things to offer, and we also need to
give back and make sure that everyone gets a chance to enjoy in that