The Municipal District of Bonnyville and the Town of Bonnyville are working jointly to prepare a bid for the 2018 World Junior A Challenge Hockey Tournament.
Bonnyville successfully hosted the World Junior A Challenge in 2016. Robb Hunter, Co-Chair of the 2016 Challenge, says Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) approached him to request Bonnyville put in a bid for the 2018 tournament. “Bonnyville did such a tremendous job in 2016 with all the support from corporations, community organizations and of course the volunteers. Bonnyville made quite the impression. There is no guarantee we will win the bid, but it is a huge opportunity for the area.”
The Challenge is a huge economic boost to the area, bringing in an estimated $2 million to the community. Hunter says in 2018 Hockey Canada will be doing an economic impact study in the host community to prove the monetary benefit of the tournament.
Reeve Greg Sawchuk says “following the success of the 2016 Challenge, the M.D. is proud to support the bid and to bring the excitement of high level hockey back to our region.”
Mayor Gene Sobolewski says he’s excited to be working with the M.D. to submit an incredibly strong bid package for the Junior A Challenge.
The World Junior A Challenge is comprised of six teams in two divisions – Canada East in one division and Canada West in the other. Both Canadian teams will be joined by four international teams. If the bid is successful, the Challenge will be held from December 9 to 16, 2018 at the Bonnyville and District Centennial Centre.
Hunter says if Bonnyville is successful with the bid, a new organizing committee will be struck and it will be welcoming volunteers to sign up to help with the event.