BCHL 60th Anniversary - Postponed to 2023
The BC Hockey League has announced the postponement of the league’s 60th Anniversary event to January 2023 due to increased provincial restrictions around events and a spike in COVID-19 cases in the province.
The event, featuring an outdoor 3-on-3 All-Star Series, skills competition and alumni game, as well as a Top Prospects Game, was set to take place Jan. 14 to 16 in Penticton, B.C.
The outdoor game was also set to be a Save Pond Hockey event, in partnership with the Climate and Sport Initiative.
“We are extremely disappointed to announce today’s news that, in the interest of public safety, we have decided to postpone our 60th Anniversary event to next year,” said BCHL Commissioner Chris Hebb. “We are disappointed for our loyal fans that were planning on attending the event, but we feel the worst for the 50 players who were set to participate in the weekend’s festivities.”
“We are grateful to all our event and league partners who supported us and are eager to work with them again next year to make the event even bigger and better.”
Next year’s event will also be held in Penticton at the newly built outdoor arena.
“We are disappointed that the BCHL 60th Anniversary celebration and Save Pond Hockey event is unable to go ahead in January, but understand that with current pandemic restrictions and conditions it is the right thing to do,” said John Vassilaki, Mayor of Penticton. “We look forward to supporting the event in January 2023 at our new outdoor rink.”
60th Anniversary event
The 2021-22 season is the 60th anniversary for the BCHL and the league has announced plans to celebrate the milestone and honour the rich history of the league going back to its inception in 1961.
The league’s 60th Anniversary plans include an outdoor event, retro jerseys for each team, a retro theme night in each building and plenty of digital content taking a look back at the past 60 years.
“We are thrilled to announce our plans to honour the league’s history for our 60th Anniversary season starting in the fall,” said BCHL Commissioner Chris Hebb. “The BC Hockey League has been a huge part of British Columbia’s culture since all the way back to 1961, producing top-end hockey players, great people and fantastic stories as well. Over the past 60 years, the BCHL has also grown into the largest Canadian feeder league for college hockey with the majority of players receiving scholarships to play at the NCAA Division I level. We are excited to take a look back at how we got to this point and we think the fans will enjoy it just as much as us.”
The 60th Anniversary event will be an outdoor all-star weekend featuring a 3-on-3 all-star game, a skills competition an alumni game and much more. The event will take place from Jan. 14 to 16, 2022 and will be held at a newly built outdoor arena in downtown Penticton.
The BC Hockey League (BCHL) has added another element to its 60th Anniversary All-Star Weekend in January with the announcement of the BCHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 14.
40 BCHL athletes will be chosen to participate in the game on the Friday night of the event. Players listed by NHL Central Scouting as draft prospects will receive automatic entry, while the remainder of the rosters will be filled out by current and future draft prospects, including elite 16-year-olds.
Players will be selected through a vote by B.C.-based amateur scouts.
“This addition to our 60th Anniversary event gives our athletes the chance to showcase their skills in front of NHL scouts, as well as NCAA coaches, while competing against the top players in our league,” said BCHL Deputy Commissioner Steven Cocker. “This weekend is a celebration of our league’s past as well as its present, but the Top Prospects game is a chance for us to also celebrate its future.”
While the All-Star Game will take place at a newly built outdoor rink in Downtown Penticton, the Top Prospects Game will be played on regulation-sized ice at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
“The BCHL’s 60th Anniversary season is setting up to be a unique celebration of the BCHL and everything it means to our communities,” said Graham Fraser, Chairman of the BCHL Board of Governors. “While we take a look back at the past 60 years, this all-star event will also give us the chance to recognize the present and all of the talented young athletes playing in our league. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the city of Penticton for supporting this event. We look forward to hosting everyone in Penticton in January.”