With eyes set on hosting the Memorial Cup in 2020, the Victoria Royals have selected local businessman John Wilson to chair the team’s bid committee.
Darren Parker, the Royal’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, was named as vice chair.
The Royals are one of four Western Hockey League (WHL) clubs that have submitted a bid to host the Memorial Cup when it returns to Western Canada in May 2020.
Wilson has been a prominent member of the Victoria business community for decades. Born and raised in Victoria, he’s the president and CEO of The Wilson’s Group, Vancouver Island’s largest charter transportation company, which has been in operation since 1962.
“This is an opportunity to help bring an event of the highest magnitude to Victoria, for the people of Vancouver Island,” Wilson said. “This community has a rich history in both sport and tourism, and we are the perfect landing spot for this tournament. It would truly be an amazing place for hockey fans to gather for 10 days in the heart of spring.”
In addition to serving the transportation needs of the Island, Wilson has been active in the Greater Victoria sports community for his entire life, with a demonstrated history of leadership in supporting for local teams in all sports and skill levels.
Wilson is part of the ownership group of the Victoria Grizzlies Junior A Hockey Team and co-owner of the Junior B Peninsula Panthers, and is also a part of the ownership group of the Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club.
Victoria Royals president and general manager Cameron Hope stressed the importance of selecting the right person to lead the bid committee.
“John was at the top of our list,” Hope said. “His long history of actively engaging with local sports groups of all kinds, and always looking for ways to enhance the lives of Victorians, fits perfectly with our goals. John is a well-respected member of our community and we are excited that he has agreed to carry the ball. His leadership will improve our chance of success.”
The remaining bid committee members will be announced at a later date.
The three other teams who have submitted a bid to host the Memorial Cup include the Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, and Lethbridge Hurricanes. The host city for the annual tournament will be announced in October this year.