So many Canadian kids dream of playing hockey. They play on outdoor ponds and rinks, their parents shuttle them to weekend tournaments and early morning practices. And for seventeen-year old Jake Bean, now playing for the Calgary Hitmen, that dream reached an exciting new level after he was named to Canada’s 2014 World Under-17 Hockey team.
“There is something about the Hockey Canada program, just something about their expectations, their process, and just the way they want their players to handle themselves. I find it is just really unique to anything else that I have experienced and I think that is where a lot of their success comes from,” said Bean. “To be part of that group and part of the Team Canada program is pretty special.”
The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge was created in 1986 as the Quebec Esso Cup. Since then, more than 1,500 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 12 of the last 15 first-overall selections.
The World Under-17s, with TransCanada as a major sponsor, brings together the top players in the world, and is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Many players who compete at the tournament go on to represent Canada with the National Men’s Under-18 Team, the National Junior Team and National Men’s Team.
“Nothing brings together community quite like hockey and cheering for Canadian athletes,” said Rebecca McElhoes, manager, Community Relations, Western Canada.
“At TransCanada, we believe it’s our responsibility as a good neighbour to support local events like this. We understand the benefit that this event will bring to Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and surrounding communities, including positive economic impact and a chance to profile B.C.’s northern communities to the rest of the world.”
The puck drops Oct. 30 in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John B.C. for the week-long 2015 challenge. This year, three Canadian teams will be joined by teams from the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the U.S.
Host communities relish opportunity to showcase themselves to the world
For the host communities – Dawson Creek and Fort St. John – the tournament is an opportunity to raise their profiles on the international sporting stage, and generate substantial benefits for the communities and regions. It’s estimated that visitors to the week-long event will generate between $2 million and $2.5 million dollars for the two communities.
Dale Bumstead, mayor of Dawson Creek also expressed his gratitude to TransCanada for the partnership.
“For TransCanada to step up as being the first major sponsor for volunteers, is a great testament to the caliber that TransCanada continues to demonstrate to me as an upstream community in the development of the natural gas industry, it’s critical for the province of British Columbia,” said Bumstead.
Thankful for the support
TransCanada’s sponsorship focused on supporting the approximately 300 volunteers who are giving their time to ensure the event is successful.
“Volunteers are really the lifeblood of Hockey Canada events. We are a volunteer-driven organization,” said Ryan Robins, Director, Events & Properties, World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. “For an event of this magnitude, we will easily have 200 – 300 volunteers to help us execute the event. Without them it wouldn’t be possible.”
Without the support of communities, volunteers, and corporate and government sponsors, tournaments such as the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge wouldn’t be possible.
“I think it’s a pretty special outlook from big corporations to be able to sponsor these things,” said Bean. “Definitely thankful to all the volunteers that have helped.”
Supporting B.C.’s emerging LNG industry
At TransCanada, we build relationships. And we work very hard to be good neighbours while we build great energy infrastructure that so many people rely on.
Whether it’s partnering with community groups, supporting local initiatives or encouraging employees to be involved in their neighbourhoods, the goal is to build strong and vibrant communities across North America.
Giving back to the communities where we operate always has been and always will be part of our everyday culture. It’s all part of being an employer of choice, a good neighbour and a trusted community partner.
With more than $12 billion in proposed natural gas pipeline projects to support B.C.’s emerging LNG industry, TransCanada’s sponsorship of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge is just one of the ways the company is supporting its neighbours.
TransCanada’s North Montney Mainline Project, Merrick Mainline Pipeline Project, Towerbirch Expansion Project, Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project are expected to help meet export demands and generate long-term economic stability for the region. Read more about TransCanada’s dedication to responsible stakeholder relations in our 2014 CSR Report.