Hockey Canada, the co-organizer of the Hlinka Gretzky Cup hockey tournament, is asking the City of Red Deer for $75,000 in financial support.
The cup is an annual international under-18 championship administered by Canada, the Czech Republic and Slovakia’s ice hockey federations. It’s scheduled to run in Edmonton and Red Deer in August, with the Servus Arena hosting part of the tournament.
This week’s council agenda included the request for financial assistance from the city.
Although the matter was among the “non-essential” business that was deferred for council discussion when viral-related social distancing is no longer required, a report shows city administration is supporting the funding request.
The rationale is that the City of Red Deer has created a strategic plan that emphasizes event attraction and economic diversification.
In the city’s 2020 budget is $425,000 earmarked for sport, event hosting and outgoing sponsorships.
About $325,000 of this amount was put aside for these types of requests and event hosting opportunities. As well, an additional $100,000 has been pegged for sponsorship agreements and to ensure their requirements are met.
Land and economic development officer Bre Fitzpatrick states in her report to council that the collaboration between Hockey Canada, the Red Deer Rebels and the cities of Edmonton and Red Deer helped set the stage for additional opportunities — including getting the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship. That event hits the ice Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2021.
“The Hlinka Gretzky Cup is a premier international hockey tournament, featuring the best under 18 players in the world,” states the report of the tournament that alternates between Alberta and the Czech Republic/Slovakia annually through to 2022.
Council still has to discuss the request.