Salmon Arm could be the host of the 2021 National Junior A Hockey Championships, that is if the community brings enough attention to itself.
On May 1, the Shuswap Sports Society announced their bid submission to host the championships. Only the top community bids will be given the opportunity to present their proposal to Hockey Canada in mid-May at the 2019 National Championship in Brooks, Alta.
Formerly known as the RBC Cup, the NJAC brings with it plenty of attention with a national media following, live television coverage and a large number of spectators.
At the beginning of each Junior A hockey season, there are 135 teams across Canada that compete for the chance to represent their community. At the end of the season, the top four, along with the host team, meet at the Championship finals.
Ian Gray, co-chair for the Shuswap Sports Society, thinks Salmon Arm has the right qualities to host the championship.
“Our community is a hockey hub and we have outstanding facilities, from the Shaw Centre Arena and SASCU Recreation Centre, to our area accommodations, unique downtown and diverse recreation opportunities. If successful in securing the bid, the Shuswap will be on every visitor’s radar as a potential place to live, work and play,” Gray said.
Grew up in Salmon Arm and cheered on the Silverbacks from day 1. A true hockey city filled with incredible people. I know there is no better location for the 2021 National Junior A Championship. @HockeyCanada @SASilverbacks #SalmonArm2021 #smallcitybiggoals
— Curtis Lazar (@CurtisLazar95) May 1, 2019
Fellow Shuswap Sports Society co-chair Daron Mayes is excited by the amount of endorsement the proposal has received in just a few days.
“Salmon Arm’s bid to host the 2021 National Junior A Championships is a community bid, much bigger than any single organization. It is our community’s goal to bring the cup home to Salmon Arm,” said Mayes. “So many residents and businesses have come together to support our bid package, it’s been phenomenal.”
Absolutely loved my 4 years in Salmon Arm with the Silverbacks organization. Beautiful city and a great hockey community. Perfect location for the 2021 National Jr A Championsip! @HockeyCanada @SASilverbacks #smallcitybiggoals
— Angus Redmond (@Angus_Redmond) May 1, 2019
To make the dream of hosting the championships a reality, the community of Salmon Arm must come together even more. Brooks Christensen, society director and Silverbacks operations manager is asking for the community’s help to spread the word.
“We are asking Shuswap residents to help create awareness of the bid submission by drawing Hockey Canada’s attention our way. As a small city, we will need everyone behind this big idea.”
To support the bid you can go to Salmon Arm’s new Small City Big Events Facebook Page and show your support while tagging Hockey Canada and including the bid hashtags #smallcitybiggoals and #salmonarm2021.