Image: Hockey Canada

It’s official! Hockey Canada announced on Thursday that Victoria and Vancouver have been awarded the 2019 World Junior Championships.

The 2019 World Juniors will mark the 13th time that Canada hosts the event and the second for the province.

The tournament will be co-hosted by Vancouver and Victoria starting on Dec. 26, 2018, with the championship final game taking place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Jan. 5, 2019.

The bid process to host the tournament opened last April with a call by Hockey Canada for communities to submit their intent to bid.

The tournament will take place at the home of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, and at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria.

Regional economic impact studies of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship estimated the financial spinoff for the host communities to top $80 million.

We’re thrilled to be selected along with Vancouver to host the world junior hockey tournament here in Victoria,” said Mayor Lisa Helps, City of Victoria. “This is a very exciting opportunity for our community, which is sure to both entertain and inspire fans of all ages. The passion we have for hockey at all levels, from youth leagues to the WHL, runs deep. We look forward to welcoming the world in 2019.

This year’s tournament will be split between Toronto and Montreal. The 2017 tournament will take place in Buffalo.

Victoria has never hosted the tournament, but Vancouver did in 2006 when Team Canada defeated Team Russia in the gold-medal game.