The 2023 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship will be held in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick after a successful joint bid was put forward by Halifax and Moncton. Saskatoon and Regina also made a joint bid to host the tournament but were not awarded the opportunity.
Mayor of Regina, Sandra Masters, said she is disappointed the international tournament is not going to her city but she’s glad Hockey Canada was given the chance over a lot of other nations.
The 2023 World Juniors were originally supposed to be hosted by Novosibirsk and Omsk in Russia, but the county lost its hosting rights in February due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
“We’re extremely proud of the bid that Saskatchewan put forward. When you can bring together the province of Saskatchewan, the city of Regina, the city of Saskatoon, their respective councils, their administration, the venues in each city, the business community, and then the people of Saskatchewan rallying the support behind it, in ten days, that’s just a testament to the fantastic collaboration and great relationship between us all,” Masters said.
Hockey Canada in partnership with Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) made the decision.
“We appreciate the hard work and efforts put forth by the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and we strongly believe in the plans they have in place to host a successful event in Halifax and Moncton,” Scott Smith, president and COO of Hockey Canada said.
“These are two great cities with top-quality venues and passionate hockey fans who support junior hockey. I commend Hockey Canada for finding two great hosts in such a short amount of time, and am looking forward to the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship.”
The championship will run from Dec. 26, 2022, to Jan. 5, 2023, just four months after the rescheduled 2022 championships taking place in Edmonton.
The 2023 games will be hosted at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax and the Avenir Centre in Moncton. The last time the tournament took place in Canada it was in 2003, hosted by Halifax and Sydney, N.S.
Sarah Berger director of communications at Tourism Saskatoon said that they were hopeful but hadn’t started planning. “We are very happy for our friends out in Halifax and in Moncton and we will look forward to bidding on the event when (thee is another) opportunity in 2026 or 2028,” she said.
“It was a great pleasure working with the team at Tourism Regina, and with the whole community to bring this together on such short notice. This is the hearty Saskatchewan spirit in working together in collaboration and bringing something like this to Saskatchewan as it would benefit the whole province,” she added.
However, other events are coming to Regina this summer. Masters pointed out the Grey Cup, Canadian Western Association will host Agribition which is the largest livestock show in Canada, there’s also the Canada Farm Show and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference.
“We have a lot of really great things happening this year and we continue to bid on these things,” she said.
Masters also mentioned the Queen City exhibition, the Roughriders game and the Craven Country Jamboree coming in July.
“We know that people are hungry to get out. And, yes, it’s fun to travel to other places, but don’t miss the opportunities to enjoy what we have to offer here in Regina, an area we have a lot to like to celebrate, a lot of support. It looks like it’s going to be a fun summer and a great fall,” she said.