CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada and B.C. Hockey announced Friday that Prince George will host the 2017 TELUS Cup, Canada’s 44th National Midget Championship, from April 24-30, 2017.
The host Cariboo Cougars of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League will be joined by five regional champions (Atlantic, Central, Pacific, Quebec and West) to compete for the gold medal at the host venue, the CN Centre.
“The support and passion of hockey fans in B.C. is undeniable, and we know they will once again get fully behind this tournament in Prince George,” said Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “We’re expecting another warm welcome for our players and fans from the host committee and volunteers in Prince George.”
Prince George, which hosted the event when it was called the Air Canada Cup in 2001, is welcoming the championship for the second time. The B.C. communities of Victoria (1982) and Kamloops (1996) have also hosted Canada’s National Midget Championship in the past.
“There’s no better community to host the 2017 TELUS Cup” said Premier Christy Clark. “It’s a tribute to the passion and dedication of hockey fans here that Hockey Canada has decided to bring the National Midget Championships to Prince George.”
“On behalf of City Council, I would like to thank the organizers of the 2017 TELUS Cup for choosing to hold their event in Prince George. Congratulations to the Cariboo Cougars on being named host team and for their considerable efforts in bringing this fantastic tournament to Prince George,” said Mayor Lyn Hall. “Given the extremely successful 2015 Canada Winter Games, Prince George’s busiest conference season ever, and the Vancouver Canucks’ training camp this month, our city is becoming a top destination for tournaments, conferences, and meetings. It is exciting to note that all the players on the Cougars are from Northern B.C., and that they will have the opportunity to test their mettle against teams from across Canada.”
The 2017 TELUS Cup host committee is co-chaired by locals John Morrison and Shawn Rice.
“We are very excited about being awarded the 2017 TELUS Cup. Prince George has proven many times over that they can put on a first-class event. As a committee, we have started to put together a great group of people. We look forward to the support of the business community and the people of Northern British Columbia,” said Morrison and Rice.
On average, the TELUS Cup has contributed approximately $2 million in economic activity to the host region.
“As the biggest fans of Canada’s biggest game, TELUS has proudly shown our heart for Hockey Canada since 2006. We are thrilled that Prince George will host the 2017 edition of the TELUS Cup,” said Andrea Goertz, TELUS Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice-President. “TELUS and its 375 members in Prince George look forward to cheering on the teams at the TELUS Cup in two years.”
“As we saw with the Canada Winter Games, Prince George has the ability to host first-rate, large-scale events,” Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond said. “The TELUS Cup will provide athletes with the opportunity to compete, while giving residents and visitors the chanced to watch some fantastic hockey. This national hockey tournament will also generate a positive economic impact and support our region’s tourism sector.”
Schedule and ticket information for the 2017 TELUS Cup will be announced in the coming months.
A number of future NHLers have taken part in Canada’s National Midget Championship since its inception in 1974, including 53 first-round draft picks, three No. 1 selections (Gord Kluzak, Wendel Clark and Sidney Crosby) and eight future Hockey Hall of Fame inductees (Glenn Anderson, Ron Francis, Mike Gartner, Al MacInnis, Larry Murphy, Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman).