Last week, Thom Killingsworth, Chair of the Tourism Kelowna Board of Directors, accompanied the 2020 Kelowna Memorial Cup Host Committee to the 2019 Memorial Cup in Halifax to host a welcome event and to meet with event officials in preparation for Kelowna hosting next year's event. 

2019 Memorial Cup Reception

As part of the transition between Memorial Cups, Kelowna's Host Committee hosted governors, sponsors, and delegates in a Kelowna-inspired reception. In front of more than 80 people, Killingsworth and 2020 Kelowna Memorial Cup Chair, Tom Dyas, spoke glowingly about the Okanagan and the excitement that was building for 2020. Delegates were presented with sustainable gifts bags, from The Market Bags, which contained samples from Karat Chocolate and Okanagan Spirits, along with Tourism Kelowna collateral. Guests were served Mission Hill Family Estate wine and Okanagan Spirits cocktails. 

Market Bags

"Our role in supporting the committee on this trip, in particular, was to show our enthusiasm to the sponsors, team management and owners, the CHL, and their members, reinforcing that Kelowna and the Okanagan are ready and excited to welcome them next May, and share with them all that this great region has to offer," said Killingsworth. 

"The event allowed us to engage in conversations with key sponsors for the 2020 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia, and also allowed us to hear from them how excited they are to be coming to our city in May of 2020," said Dyas. 

Promoting our region to the event's national sponsors ensures that ancillary corporate meetings are encouraged while the event is taking place, bringing in hundreds of more delegates and increasing the economic impact of the event. Another key part of the trip to Halifax was for the committee to experience the event and to learn about the nuances related to the organization of the event, what worked well, and what Kelowna could do to add to the event, if at all possible.

When reflecting on the trip, Killingsworth said: "We will have big shoes to fill as the energy and enthusiasm by the people of Halifax was incredible; from the airport to the downtown core, the over 500 volunteers and venues, with outside street festivals, fan zones, and activation throughout the downtown core."

For more information on the Memorial Cup and Tourism Kelowna’s Major Events Strategy, please contact Harvey Hubball, Business Development, Sports & Events, at or (250) 861-1515 ext. 209.

About the Memorial Cup:

The 2019 season marks the 101st anniversary of the Memorial Cup. The Memorial Cup, one of the most prestigious and coveted trophies in North American sport, has a rich tradition that has shaped the way junior hockey is played in North America. The trophy was originally known as the OHA Memorial Cup and was donated by the Ontario Hockey Association in March 1919, in remembrance of the many soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice for Canada in The First World War.  In 2010, the Memorial Cup was rededicated to the memory of all fallen Canadian Military Personnel.

Click here to learn more about the 2020 Memorial Cup. For more information on the history of the Memorial Cup, click here