Earlier this week, SaultOnline broke the news that 2019 World Martial Arts Canadian
Championships that were scheduled to take place at the GFL Memorial Gardens in July, have been cancelled.
SaultOnline reached out to the organizers for comment, but haven’t heard back.
A source, however, sent us a copy of an email that was sent out to various Martial Arts organizations involved. The email reads as follows:
“I have some disappointing news related to the 2019 World Martial Arts Canadian
Championships that were scheduled over a 4-day period July 25-28, 2019.
Effective May 14, 2019, the Cornacchio’s Martial Arts Centre has withdrawn their
application to host the 2019 World Martial Arts Canadian Championships in Sault Ste.
It is unfortunate as the loss of this event translates into a significant financial loss for
our tourism industry in Ontario and our local economy. Registration for the event
surpassed our anticipated goals with 1000- 1200 athletes from 21 different countries
planning to attend. Given the length of stay, the economic impact of this event would
have exceeded $1,000,000.
We have worked for almost 2 years trying to find a solution to the 2017 Order in
Council. We commend Alana Kenopic and the Tourism Sault Ste. Marie office for their
support and hard work and perseverance with the bid and trying to find a solution to the
2017 Order in Council (at the Provincial level) that now prohibits this activity.
We investigated every possible option to address this matter and unfortunately, we were
unable to find a solution in time. I would suggest to everyone that we write a few letters
to our MPP and the Minister on this matter. We will continue to work with the Province to make changes to this Order to ensure we can host future events.
Alana Kenopic and Tourism Sault Ste. Marie is also reaching out to all participants to encourage them to still come and visit Sault Ste. Marie during this time period.
Peter and Tracey Cornacchio”
In July of 2017, Cornacchio’s Martial Arts Centre SooDan HapKiDo presented a bid submission (with the assistance of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie) to be considered as a host location for the 4th World Open Canadian Martial Arts Championships. This bid was successful over the other 3 international cities that submitted and presented.
In August of the same year, Tourism SSM was notified that as of June 1, 2017, legislation was passed prohibiting martial arts tournaments in Ontario that are not regulated by a provincial sport organization. Hap Ki Do falls under this order as it is not an Ontario regulated sport and thereby the tournament is not approved. Following this awareness, they proceeded with thorough consultation directly with the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport, local police services and crown attorney’s office and sought legal counsel for direction on the best approach to proceed.
In an attempt to satisfy the PSO requirements an application was made to Ontario Karate Federation (after unsuccessful attempts with Kickboxing Ontario) to provide a sanction. Unfortunately to successfully obtain a sanction through OKF the integrity of the event needed to be compromised in such a way that we would not be able to attract the international participants desired to make this a world class event.
New changes to the legislation is being introduced in the proposed Combative Sports Act 2019, resulting in the cancellation of this event, as Unfortunately, the timelines to introduce the new legislation fall after it was to take place.