The Victoria Royals are proud to announce that local businessman John Wilson has been named Chair of the team’s bid committee for the 2020 Memorial Cup. Darren Parker, the Royals’ Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, has been named as the committee’s Vice Chair.
Born and raised in Victoria, Wilson has been a prominent member of the Victoria business community for decades. He is the President and CEO of The Wilson’s Group, which serves as Vancouver Island’s largest charter transportation company, and has been in operation since 1962.
“This is an opportunity to help bring an event of the highest magnitude to Victoria, for the people of Vancouver Island,” Wilson said. “This community has a rich history in both sport and tourism, and we are the perfect landing spot for this tournament. It would truly be an amazing place for hockey fans to gather for 10 days in the heart of spring.”
Beyond serving the transportation needs of Islanders, Wilson has been actively involved in sports in the Greater Victoria area for his entire life. Beginning as a competitor and fan through his childhood years, he has been a leader in stepping up to support teams in multiple sports at various levels. Within the hockey world, his support for local teams is well known and includes being part of the ownership group of the Victoria Grizzlies Junior A Hockey Team and co-owner of the Junior B Peninsula Panthers. He is also a part of the ownership group of the Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club who play in the West Coast League.
“It is important to select the right individual to lead our bid committee in pursuit of the 2020 Memorial Cup,” President and General Manager Cameron Hope said. “John was at the top of our list. His long history of actively engaging with local sports groups of all kinds, and always looking for ways to enhance the lives of Victorians, fits perfectly with our goals. John is a well-respected member of our community and we are excited that he has agreed to carry the ball. His leadership will improve our chance of success.”
The Royals have also announced that Darren Parker, the team’s Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, will serve as Vice Chair of the bid committee. Parker has been with the Royals since the team’s relocation to Victoria seven years ago. The Calgary, Alberta native has become a well-known figure throughout the Victoria business and hockey communities.
“Darren has been a large part of our team for many years,” Hope said. “He will be the point person for our organization on the bid committee, and will work alongside John to help us create a winning proposal in our attempt to secure the 2020 Memorial Cup.”
The remaining bid committee members will be announced at a later date.
Victoria is one of four WHL clubs (Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets and Lethbridge Hurricanes) to have submitted a bid to host the Memorial Cup when it returns to Western Canada in May, 2020. The host city for the annual tournament will be announced in October of this year.