The Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament

Today is the final day of the 63rd edition of the Québec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. This prestigious event has been part of the Québec City calendar since 1960, when 28 teams, mostly from Canada, competed in the old arena in Victoria Park. The tournament has expanded a bit over the years. This year, 120 teams from all over the world – including a team from Ukraine – have come to participate. This cherished Québec City tradition brings welcomed warmth and energy to the long winter.

While they are here, these young hockey players do not just play hockey. They see the sites of the Québec City and partake in the local culture. They eat and dance at the sugar shack. They explore the Winter Carnaval. They visit the Ice Hotel and slip, slide, and swim at the Village Vacances Valcartier. Québec City residents see the team buses all over town as the players hustle to make the most of their ten days chez nous.

I had the pleasure of touring a bit with the Junior Bruins, a team from Boston that participates annually in the tournament. I met them on a snowy but clement day in the Lower Town. If you happened to have been there at the same time, you couldn’t have missed us: We were a phalanx of Bruin black and gold marching over the snow-covered cobbles of la Place royale, followed by a coterie of coaches fretting about the next game and proud parents seeing their kids experiencing something they would remember for the rest of their lives. My junior hockey players seemed to enjoy the tour. In return, I admired them for their curiosity and patience.

Hope to see you all here next year for 64th edition of the Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament!

20 thoughts on “The Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament”

  1. Wonderful article as usual, Neil! Wish I could be there to root for those young hockey players. Can’t wait to come back to Québec some day!
    -Beth, TN

  2. Thats amazing 120 teams well done to the organisers , great that Ukraine entered as well.
    Must have been thrilling to watch and take part in.

    1. Glad to see, that these young hockey player enjoyed our beautiful city. I’ m certain they had a wonderful view of it with you.

  3. Neil, Your occasional posts bring back fond memories for my wife and me. Of all our travels, our trip to Quebec and the day we spent with you was special. Its the little things that count too. During our tour you offhandedly mentioned and recommended a book by the writer Louise Penny. That small comment has resulted in many hours of reading pleasure for me. I suspect your attention to detail would have made you a great Gamache. Regards, jim hardeman

  4. Thanks Neil, great story, we are in Port Charlotte Florida with friends and their nephew is playing in the Tourney!
    Take Care Neil, we met you on the Quebec City tour in October 2022
    All The Best
    Elaine & Bob Deroo
    Port Dover, Ontario, Canada

  5. What a great experience for those young people! They were able to visit a beautiful city, and, experience it through the eyes of wonderful tour guide.

  6. From your photo, I’m guessing that these young hockey players are in high school (ages 14-18). Both the photo and your text stir my imagination as to what it would have been like coming to Quebec City to participate in this tournament while in high school in Illinois. What an experience, especially when having you as tour guide!

  7. Bonne photo Neil! L’édition 2023 du tournoi Pee-Wee est particulièrement touchante avec la présence de l’équipe ukrainienne et celle d’une division entièrement féminine pour la première fois en 63 ans

  8. I’m sure those hockey players learned a LOT in their short time with you (as did we on your excellent tour 8 ! years ago). What a great opportunity for them combined with their hockey experiences.

  9. Bravo Neil pour ton engagement.

    L’édition 2023 du tournoi international de Hockey Pee-Wee de Québec a atteint un niveau jusque-là inégalé à plusieurs titres et grâce à tes excellents services professionnels et à la qualité de ta personne, ces jeunes et leurs accompagnateurs ont certainement vécu une expérience exceptionnelle qui les marquera pour leur vie durant.

    Et, comme retombées matérielles et immatérielles, la ville de Québec verra s’ajouter un autre fleuron à sa notoriété.

  10. Hi Neil.
    During the last decades, as I’ve lived almost all my life in Quebec City, I saw a bunch of very talentuous young hockey players participating to this more and more prestigious hockey tournament, including of course Wayne Gretzky and my idol later, Guy Lafleur. But I never felt an emotionnal moment like the one I had this year when I attended, with eighteen thousands other Pee-Wee fans in the Videotron Arena, the game opposing the Ukranian players against the young Boston Bruins. The moment was so emotionnal and simply magic, as they wan their first game 3-1.
    Thanks again Neil for your always so inspiring thoughts.

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