One of the largest sport tourism events in the South Okanagan is staying put for three more years

Mar 09, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 9, 2020

One of the largest sport tourism events in the South Okanagan is staying put for three more years Penticton, BC: The BDO Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) Championships will remain in Penticton, B.C. for three more years.

The CSSHL announced today that after a bidding process between multiple cities, the CSSHL’s Board of Governors voted to keep the event in Penticton for 2021, 2022 and 2023. The winning bid was a partnership between the Okanagan Hockey Group (OHG) and Spectra Venue Management. “With OHG and Spectra operating the 2021, 2022 and 2023 CSSHL Championships we believe it will push the experience for our 1,500 student athletes to the next level,” said Kevin Goodwin, chief operating officer of the CSSHL. “Our board has been impressed with the professionalism of Spectra and their staff over the last six years and they all know the high standard that OHG operates at. We hope to continue to grow the event, support businesses during the shoulder season and are looking forward to another three years in the city.”

The BDO CSSHL Championships have been held in Penticton annually since 2015 and has had a total economic impact of greater than $12 million for the city of Penticton during the month of March. With over 1,300 student athletes and 250 staff members representing 73 teams, and 3,073 paid spectators (aged 18 & over) in attendance, the 2019 BDO CSSHL Championships alone had a direct economic impact of $2.740 million for the city of Penticton, making it one of the top tourism weeks of the entire year for Penticton.

“Okanagan Hockey Group is very excited to have the CSSHL Championships in Penticton for another three more years,” said Andy Oakes, president of OHG. “We are fortunate to have a partnership with Spectra, a first-class venue management organization to co-host the event. The support from the City of Penticton and Travel Penticton was instrumental in obtaining the bid and we are very grateful for their support over the coming years. “This event allows us to showcase the Okanagan Valley. We are thankful for the support of the District of Summerland and the Township of Oliver. The CSSHL Championships is one of the top tourism weeks for the City of Penticton and the businesses in Penticton. We feel we are going to be able to enhance the overall student athletes experience with some of the added items that we will be bringing to the event. We want all the student athletes and families leaving the event stating, ‘what an amazing community and what an amazing event and we cannot wait to come back next year.’” Since 2015, spectators have been able to watch some of the top male and female student athletes in Canada hit the ice at the South Okanagan Events Centre, Okanagan Hockey Training Centre, Memorial Arena, Summerland Arena and Oliver Arena including seven members of the Canadian National Women’s Under-18 team: Anne Cherkowski, Courtney Kollman, Stephanie Markowski, Sarah Paul, Danielle Serdachny, Rachel Weiss and Sarah Wozniewicz. NHLers Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Jake Bean, Beck Malenstyn and Michael Rasmussen, as well as 310 student athletes selected in the Western Hockey League (WHL) Bantam Draft highlight some of the male student athletes that have participated at the event.

About the CSSHL

The CSSHL was established in 2009 and currently features 26 Hockey Canada Accredited Schools, 81 teams and over 1,500 student athletes across Canada and in Idaho. The league was designed specifically for elite-level student athletes, giving them the opportunity to increase their skills off and on the ice, while also providing them with a high level of competition and exposure. Currently, the CSSHL includes eight different divisions at the Midget, Female Midget and Bantam levels.

About the Okanagan Hockey Group

The Okanagan Hockey Group was founded in 1963 in Penticton, B.C., Canada. Since its establishment, Okanagan Hockey Group has become an icon in the hockey camp industry and has grown to be the longest operating hockey camp in the world. In 2002, Okanagan Hockey Academy was established as the first hockey specific sport school recognized by BC Hockey and Hockey Canada. The success of the academy is evident in the long list of players who have moved on to play at the WHL, Junior A, University and International levels. With our staff having a vast amount of knowledge, experience and an incredible network, our athletes have the inside track to move on to the next level.

About Spectra

Spectra is an industry leader in hosting and entertainment, partnering with clients to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year. Spectra’s unmatched blend of integrated services delivers incremental value for clients through several primary areas of expertise: Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality, Ticketing & Fan Engagement and Corporate Partnerships. Learn more at



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In 2010 I was fortunate enough to play at the Okanagan Hockey Academy on the Midget Prep team. With coaches like Robert Dirk and Greg Holst it was an unbelievable year. I have to this day still never been on such a close-knit team. It was my first year of midget hockey and that meant a lot more travel. Playing in the CSSHL I got the opportunity to play in some pretty awesome spots. The league helped me learn to stay on top of school, which has helped me not only in college but also in junior. I was able to make an easy jump to junior and college academically with the help of Dave Nackoney, a guidance counselor at Penticton Secondary School who works with all the student athletes. To this day if I need anything he is always more than willing to help. It is the great staff that left such an impression on me, and made it possible for me to be where I am today.