The Victoria Grizzlies Hockey Club is excited to announce that Jim Hartshorne, a well-known WestShore businessman and sports enthusiast, has a deal in place to acquire majority ownership of the BC Hockey League (BCHL) club. The purchase is expected to close June 1, 2024, pending final approval from the BCHL League Office and Board.

Hartshorne is no stranger to the Victoria sports scene. Currently the owner and alternate governor of the Western Lacrosse Association’s Victoria Shamrocks, he previously owned the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Cougars.

While Hartshorne has secured a majority stake in the club, current Grizzlies owner Ron Walchuk isn’t going anywhere. Walchuk will remain on board with the Grizzlies as a minority owner and will continue to serve as the club’s governor on the BCHL’s board of governors for the balance of the season.

” Under Ron’s leadership, this club achieved remarkable milestones, and I am grateful for the solid foundation he has laid, not only with the team, but with the management at the Q Centre, enabling significant upgrades to the facility,” said Hartshorne. “The journey ahead is exciting, and I look forward to working alongside Ron and the dedicated staff, players and fans as we embark on this exciting new chapter together.”

The move will unite two of the premier sports organizations in the Westshore who both call The Q Centre home. “We’re excited to build on the strong on ice product the Grizzlies have delivered over the years with an emphasis on getting fans back into the Q Centre to enjoy this exciting brand of hockey. It will be great to see Grizzlies games full of excited and enthusiastic fans, the same way our Shamrocks games have been for years.” said Hartshorne.

“I’m confident that the future of the Victoria Grizzlies will be bright under the new ownership, and I know Jim’s passion, dedication to excellence and commitment to the community will make him an ideal steward for the legacy and enduring spirit of this incredible team,” said Walchuk. “I’m excited to continue to be a part of the team and witness it’s continued success and growth.“

The Grizzlies are gearing up for the first round of the BCHL playoffs where they will take on the Nanaimo Clippers, while season tickets for the Shamrocks 75th season are on sale now.