Canadian figure skating championships coming to Oshawa?

If Oshawa is chosen to host the 2017 Canadian figure skating championships, it may lead to a significant economic windfall for the city, according to Bob Malcolmson, CEO and General Manager of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce.

“There is a tourism multiplier that is affected by this sort of thing, these athletes will want to be staying somewhere, and local businesses will be seeing a positive influence from the tourism as well,” says Malcolmson.

Oshawa City Council has approved a $120,000 bid to go towards hosting the event, though they won’t find out if the city will be hosting the event until next year. The funding is planned to go towards rental fees for the GM Centre, as well as paying Global Spectrum, the company hired by the city to operate and maintain the arena.

Councillor Bob Chapman believes that the championships will greatly benefit the city’s economy, in addition to it “bringing other such events to the city in the future.” He added that the ongoing construction of a Holiday Inn in downtown Oshawa might serve to aid the city’s chances of being selected as host. The GM Centre is also said to be a strong candidate for the championships, as it possesses a training rink next-door to it, which competing athletes would likely be able to use, says Chapman.

Malcolmson expressed similar feelings towards the event, calling it “really great for future events. Hopefully it would give people the impression of a return destination, the kind of place you’d want to come back to in the future.”

The event was first hosted by Skate Canada in Ottawa in 1905.  Earlier this year, the event was held in Kingston, Ontario where it attracted 500 participants and resulted in a $3.3 million economic impact to the city, according to Skate Canada. The 2016 competition is in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which is expected to end up with $5 million as a result.

The decision on which city will host the competition will be announced in July of 2016, according to Skate Canada.

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Cameron Popwell is a journalism student at Durham College. When it comes to writing and reporting, he enjoys covering electronics news and political functions. He likes to spend his spare time writing, reading and archery. Cameron hopes to write internationally or cover technology/entertainment following graduation.