The Canadian stage event 2016 takes final shape

06 June 2014 09:00
Cross-Country stadium in Canmore
Cross-Country stadium in Canmore -

Last year at the Spring Calendar conference in Dubrovnik, the Sub-committee for World and Continental Cups Cross-Country supported the proposal from Cross Country Ski de fond Canada (“CCC”) to organize a stage event in Canada in 2016. One year later at the 49th FIS Congress in Barcelona (SPA) it has now taken its final shape with Gatineau, Montréal, Québec, Canmore and Lake Louise confirmed as host venues for the culminating events of the 2015-16 FIS Cross-Country World Cup season.

Provisional agreement
“It’s a provisional agreement. Indeed, CCC and its Local Organizing Committee partners have until September 15 to finalize the tour’s technical and financial details,” explains Patrice Drouin, president of Gestev, executive producer for the Québec and Montréal portions of the tour, as well as the marketing and communication agency for the entire event. “A FIS homologation expert will visit in August to approve the various race courses proposed by the organizers,” says Dave Dyer, event director at Cross Country Canada. More information on the FIS Cross-Country World Cup, Canada 2016 details is expected to be provided this fall.

A total of 8 competitions
The 2016 Canadian stage event will feature five iconic Canadian ski destinations as host venues. The first week of racing will feature 4 stages in Gatineau, Montreal and Quebec City while the second week will take place in Alberta (Canmore and Lake Louise).

Ottawa’s historic Parliament Hill will serve as a spectacular backdrop for the opening. Gatineau’s downtown sprint event will be staged in Jacques Cartier Park beside the beautiful Canadian Museum of History.

The second stage is slated for Montréal, with Mont Royal to provide a challenging playground for the world’s top Nordic athletes. The famous site in the heart of Quebec’s largest city was host to Canada’s first National Cross-Country Ski Championships in 1921.

Next, the circuit will move to Québec City, which will leverage the successful Sprint Quebec 2012 World Cup in a spectacular city setting adjacent to the Plaines of Abraham and the fortifications of the famous World Heritage site.

The final stages will be set against the backdrop of the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountains. The Canmore Nordic Centre will once again serve as the hub for an exciting mix of traditional and innovative competition formats. The penultimate leg of the tour will feature a classic distance race starting and finishing on iconic Lake Louise in Banff National Park.

Event Overview
Gatineau – March 1
Montréal – March 2
Québec – March 4 and 5
Canmore – March 8, 9
Lake Louise – March 11
Canmore – March 12

It is worth noting that with no major championship event (Olympics or FIS World Ski Championships) on the calendar in 2015-16, the Canadian stage event will be the pinnacle event of the season, and will also determine the winners of the prestigious FIS crystal globes. In order to maximize the number of participants the World Cup Sub-committee agreed to move the tour to the last World Cup period in March, a time typically filled by traditional marquee Scandinavian events and the season-ending World Cup Finals.

With the host venues now finalized, a detailed work plan in regards to the competition program and race formats will be concluded at the FIS Autumn Meeting in Zurich in October.