Kamloops, B.C.: home to breweries, ghost trains, a whole lot of salmon, and, in April 2016, the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship.
Called “Canada’s Tournament Capital” (by its own tourism board, to be fair), Kamloops has previously hosted such prestigious tournaments as the the Western Canada Summer Games, the Memorial Cup, and the Canada Summer Games. After losing the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship bid in 2013, Kamloops pulled out all the stops for the 2016 bid to beat out the competition.
Kamloops’ mayor, Peter Milobar, expressed his excitement to see Kamloops shine as Canada’s tournament capital; he certainly should be, given that, according to Hockey Canada, the tournament is projected to have “an economic impact of $20 million, with a projected profit in excess of $300,000 to be invested in minor hockey programs across the country.”
Though it’s unclear whether those minor hockey programs will be aimed specifically at developing female talent, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada stressed the importance of tournaments like this in growing the women’s game.
“As a B.C. native, I could not be more excited to have the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship come to the province for the first time,” he said. “I know the passion the city has for hockey, and I am sure it will be a first-class event on and off the ice that will grow the sport and provide young aspiring female hockey players with a chance to watch the best in the world.”
All 22 games of the Championship will be played at the Interior Savings Center and McArthur Island Sports and Event Centre. This will be the second international women’s hockey tournament to find a home in Kamloops, which will also host the 2014 4 Nations Cup in November.