Fort St. John to begin negotiations with Hockey Canada in near future

Mayors Lori Ackerman and Dale Bumstead at the 2015 U17 World Hockey Challenge. Photo by supplied

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John will begin negotiations regarding the hosting of the 2017 U17 World Hockey Challenge with Hockey Canada in the near future.

The city’s Director of Community Services Wally Ferris anticipates that the city will take begin negotiating within the next few weeks, and he says that the negotiations shouldn’t take that long. Ferris added that the agreement should be fairly straightforward to hash out, and that it will be similar to the agreement that Fort St. John and Dawson Creek made when hosting the tournament one year ago.

After co-hosting the tournament with Dawson Creek with only a few month’s notice, Ferris says that time is on the side of organisers this go around. Looking at lessons that were learned in hosting the tournament last fall, he added that organisers will be focusing on improving the transportation, lodging, and culinary services that are provided to the athletes as they have different meal and transportation requirements than the general public.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, councillor Byron Stewart brought up the question of whether the main volunteer groups that had helped with the tournament a year ago had been contacted. Ferris says that those groups have been in contact with the steering committee and the city, and are planning to help out once again. Ferris explained that the concern was due to the Flyers bid to host the Coy Cup this coming spring, which was ultimately given to Whitehorse by BC Hockey last week. In closing, Ferris says that he hopes that the same level of enthusiasm greets the event next year.