Canadian quidditch has made it.
Quidditch Canada named its major events hosts today, with Tims Hortons Field as the headliner. At the time of writing, the 24,000-seat stadium will be the largest venue to ever host a quidditch championship.
Despite the lack of buzz about it from quidditch events this summer (and our own predictions here at the Quidditch Post), Hamilton beat out popular predictions in Winnipeg and Montreal. As per Quidditch Canada’s bid finalists announcement in May, the national championship will be held on the weekend of March 31 to April 1, 2018.
Earlier in the year, Oshawa will make its debut on the Quidditch Canada stage when it hosts the eastern regional championships (Nov. 11-12, 2017), and Abbotsford will play host once again to the western regional championships, just two years after it last welcomed the best of the west (also on Nov. 18-19, 2017).
National Championship: Tim Hortons in Hamilton, Ontario – March 31- April 1, 2018
Hamilton, home to the oldest team in the Canadian Football League, is a city roughly an hour’s drive from both Toronto and Buffalo, New York. The more than half a million strong “Hammerton”, has certainly not thrown away its shot. The city boasts one Quidditch Canada team, the McMaster University Marauders, though they have not participated in league competition since October 2016.
As mentioned, Tim Hortons Field is a professional-level, turf field that is home to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL. The field is approximately 20 minutes away from the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, which is a landing destination for Canada’s newest budget airline, New Leaf, allowing cheaper flying alternatives for those flying from western Canada (approximately $271 round-trip from Edmonton, Alberta, and $390 round-trip from Abbotsford, British Columbia at the time of writing).
For a game that is still growing, and does not have the hype in other countries like the United States or the United Kingdom, having the largest quidditch tournament in Canada in one of the nicest football stadiums in the country could be a huge draw for casual fans to come out and take in some quidditch.
Western Regional Championship: Mouat Fields (MRC Sports Complex) in Abbotsford, British Columbia – Nov. 18-19, 2017
While Abbotsford has already played host to Quidditch Canada before, with the now defunct Alberta Clippers winning the 2015-16 western regional championship there, it will be at the brand new MRC Sports Complex, which should provide an upgrade over the fields at the Abbotsford Senior Secondary School. Western teams, familiar with the long trek out to the Fraser Valley, will be glad to know that the aforementioned New Leaf airlines will also fly to Abbotsford to alleviate travel time and costs. As for the MRC Sports Complex, it opened in 2016 and boasts both indoor and outdoor fields, and a mixture of turf and natural grass fields, the latter of which are up to FIFA standards; Mouat Field itself is a turf field.
Western regionals will be quite a different setup this time. It has been a period of change in the Canadian west, with only two teams from the 2015-16 Western Regional Championship likely to compete in this year’s event: SFU Quidditch and the University of Victoria Valkyries. This is the result of the massive overhaul the western region has seen in the past few years with the creation of the Calgary Mavericks and Edmonton Aurors from the Alberta Clippers and Calgary Mudbloods, and the addition of the two University of British Columbia teams (who previously played with USQ).
Eastern Regional Championship: Civic Recreation Complex in Oshawa, Ontario – Nov. 11-12, 2017
The old stomping grounds of hockey greats such as Bobby Orr and Eric Lindros, both who played their junior hockey careers with the Oshawa Generals, will now welcome a new sport to its city. Although the city itself lacks an official Quidditch Canada league team (or at least for the 2016-17 season), it is close to quidditch hotspots, being approximately an hour away from Toronto, 3.5 hours from Ottawa, and 4.5 hours from Montreal.
Oshawa’s Civic Recreation Complex does not have indoor fields, which may be a concern heading into an Ontario winter. It is also about an hour drive from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, and closer to two hours by train. Nonetheless, the Complex boasts both natural grass and turf fields, so there will be plenty of room to host the large number of teams in eastern Canada.
Editor’s Note: Our discussion of last year’s West Regionals has been edited. We regret the error.