Hosting a Hockey Canada national championship is an exciting venture. But not unlike the players that put their blood, sweat and tears into succeeding on the ice, it takes a lot of time, effort and commitment off the ice to ensure a major hockey event succeeds – and exceeds – your community’s expectations.
But the blood, sweat and tears are often worth it in the end. In fact, many Canadian cities have proven themselves to be reliable and rewarding hosts for Hockey Canada, and as a result of their success have had multiple opportunities to welcome the country’s top players to their communities.
For instance, the City of Charlottetown played host to the 2012 Esso Cup, Canada’s National Female Midget Championship, from April 22-28, and it was just the latest in a string of major hockey events held in the Prince Edward Island capital. Internationally, the city welcomed two World Sledge Hockey Challenges, in 2008 and 2009, and nationally, the hockey hub held the 2006 TELUS Cup, Canada’s National Midget Championship, as well as the 2003 Royal Bank Cup, Canada’s National Junior A Championship.
“We’ve established a pretty good relationship with Hockey Canada through hosting these types of tournaments,” Rob Newson, executive director of Hockey P.E.I., told The Charlottetown Guardian. “These kinds of events fit into our plan. It’s quite obvious people in our region love hockey. There’s always a great volunteer base and passion for the game.”
“We are well-positioned, with all of the right elements to host sport events, from venues to hotels to volunteers,” City of Charlottetown events development officer Wayne Long agreed. “When Charlottetown hosts events, the event becomes the city.”
It’s those sorts of qualities that Hockey Canada looks for in its host communities. Those that will succeed require a recipe of positive values. Other important ingredients include active community engagement, a strong network of dedicated volunteers, corporate sponsorship to back the costs of holding such an event, and exposure of your host team and its players – just to name a few. Mix that with every day values such has hard work, dedication and determination, and you’ll be sure to cook up a rewarding experience for everyone involved.
Those rewards range from character building, to economy building.
“Anytime we host a Hockey Canada event, the economic spinoff will be there,” Newson said.
Hosting a tournament showcasing the country’s top teams, or even impressive international entries, is huge for communities such as Charlottetown, a small city on a small Maritime island. Hockey Canada events naturally bring along an influx of visitors seeking hotel stays, restaurant meals and a dose of ever-friendly Canadian hospitality.
“(These) are all values that a Hockey Canada national championship brings to a community,” Dean McIntosh, director of marketing services and events for Hockey Canada, told The Charlottetown Guardian.
Events such as the Esso Cup are typically the cause of bustling hotels, restaurants and shops, but that’s not their only benefit to the host community. They also generate a groundswell of local pride and excitement. And it’s that pride, and that excitement, that keep events coming back to Charlottetown.
“A retrospective look at recent host communities shows that once a community hosts an event, there is a desire by that community to host future events,” McIntosh said. “Summerside, Charlottetown, St. John’s, London and Camrose are all cities that have hosted more than one event in the last five years.”