A little birdie told me something big was coming to town.
It was right.
In the spring of 2020, Prince George will play host to the Canadian Masters National Badminton Championship. This event will be held at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre.
The announcement was made Thursday morning by Badminton BC executive director Penny Gardner, who focused on the success Prince George had in hosting the 2015 Canada Winter Games as proof the community can host such an event.
“Can you imagine an event that will celebrate and deliver an ultimate northern B.C. experience, and once again call upon an experienced and enthusiastic volunteer workforce to deliver upon us, and uphold the tradition of your famous green jackets, a jacket that will never ever retire?” she said.
The event, held from April 26 to May 2, 2020, will host more than 200 out-of-town participants. The Masters includes up to 13 different age classes, starting with 30+ years old, right up to 75. Each age category features singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
“Hosting the 2020 Masters Nationals in Prince George is a special opportunity once again to bring the city, and its surrounding communities, together to showcase northern B.C. and all it has to offer,” said Lisa Davison, co-chair of the event. :North Central Badminton Academy is once again energized and highly motivated to create an unforgettable and remarkable experience for players, spectators, and volunteers. We look forward to welcoming Canada to our great city.”
Her co-chair will be Vonda Hoffert who has had plenty of experience organizing curling events and bonspiels.
“We’re throwing a bit of a curve into the position of co-chair,” she said. “I know absolutely nothing about badminton, nothing … So over the next couple of years I’m going to learn. Curling has been fortunate in that we have hosted national events and I’ve been very fortunate to work in those events.”
Mayor Lyn Hall who joked about entering a doubles team with MLA Mike Morris, said the event is just one of many that the city hopes to attract.
“Council is pleased and excited that the national badminton championship is coming to our city and we are looking forward to welcoming all of the players, coaches, and their families,” he said. “We are also pleased that residents are getting to attend live national-level sporting events on an increasingly regular basis. Just in the past year, we have seen announcements including the return to Prince George of the BC Summer Games, and the coming of the World Paranordic Championships – and now this fantastic news. Council wants to extend our thanks to North Central Badminton Academy and Tourism PG for their work in bringing this great event to Prince George.”
Tourism Prince George CEO Erica Hummel said the event is expected to generate $500,000 in economic impact for the city.
“We are so excited to have been selected as the host city for the 2020 Canadian Masters National Championship,” she said. “The badminton community did a great job at the 2015 Canada Winter Games and we know this will be a very memorable event for visitors to Prince George. We’re looking forward to sharing our northern hospitality with badminton players from across the country.”