Hockey Canada confirmed Tuesday morning that Chilliwack will host the 2018 RBC Cup, the national championship tournament for junior A hockey.
The RBC Cup is an annual competition played under the supervision of Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League, and will be held May 12-20, 2018.
The bidding process to host the 2018 RBC Cup opened last fall.
Representatives of Tourism Chilliwack, the City of Chilliwack, Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe Management, the Chilliwack Chiefs and local businesses worked tirelessly to engage the community. Chilliwack residents blitzed social media and business owners and community leaders wrote letters of support that were included in the bid package.
“Our most sincere thank you to the entire RBC Cup bid committee for its creative and thoughtful presentation to the final decision makers of this important event,” said Brian Minter, Board Chair of Tourism Chilliwack. “From a tourism perspective, we very much appreciate being part of this committee and the bidding process. Not only will this event bring a significant degree of prestige to our community, but the economic benefits will also be immense.
In studies of previous RBC Cup events, the estimated economic impact was $2.8 million in Prince Edward Island with $1.9 million occurring in Summerside, the host city in 2013; and $3.1 million in economic activity in Manitoba with $2.2 million having occurred in the City of Dauphin in 2010.
Accommodations are one way this economic activity is generated with Dauphin’s 2010 event resulting in 2,250 overnight stays.
“We look forward to hosting this event with a high level of professionalism and community participation,” Minter said. “It is a proud moment for Chilliwack.”
“This is a momentous occasion for both the Chilliwack community and the First Nations community,” added Squiala Chief David Jimmie, President of the Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe and Stó:lō Nation. “In a spirit of unity and passion, residents, businesses, and community members came together for this bid and will continue to work together to produce an outstanding sports and cultural event.”
Bid committee members credit the significant support from community leaders and local businesses and organizations for the success of the bid.
“We are grateful to Hockey Canada for the opportunity to host this world-class event and share with the rest of Canada the community our Chiefs have called home for over two decades,” Glen Ringdal, president of Chilliwack Chiefs and Prospera Centre. “I am excited by the partnerships we are developing in our community that, like in the success of our bid, will contribute to a successful and memorable Hockey Canada event.”
Once the contracts are signed, the Chilliwack 2018 host committee will start recruiting volunteers to lead and support the coordination of ticket sales, travel and accommodations, team services and experiences, marketing and promotions, and of course the execution of the eight-day tournament.
“I want to thank the leaders of our City’s bid committee for their efforts and congratulate the people of Chilliwack on their part in securing this exciting event for our community,” said Chilliwack mayor Sharon Gaetz. “Hosting the 2018 RBC Cup presents an incredible opportunity for each of us to be involved in creating the economic and social benefits this championship will bring.”