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QA with Mark-Anthony Ashfield: Bringing the Memorial Cup to Saint John

Author: Mark-Anthony Ashfield (BBA'00)

Posted on Jun 14, 2022

Category: Inspiring Stories , UNB Saint John


Mark-Anthony Ashfield (BBA'00) first moved to Saint John from Boiestown to pursue studies in the faculty of business on UNB's Saint John campus. Describing himself as 'sports obsessed,' he now works as a partner with Deloitte, is an active leader in the community, and has dedicated significant efforts to help bring the Memorial Cup to Saint John. Along with a number of community volunteers and supporters, Ashfield prepares for the Memorial Cup to take over the city from June 20-29. Here he shares what this means to him and the community.

Why was it important to you to bring this event to Saint John?

Our city has never hosted a Memorial Cup, even though it is something that has been dreamed of since the Sea Dogs joined the Canadian Hockey League in 2005.  This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be involved in bringing this event to Saint John, and it will be an event that people won’t forget.

What motivates you to support and be involved with the Saint John community in this way?

Saint John is a great city that has become my home city since moving here for University.  This was a great opportunity to give back to the community.

What does it mean to the Saint John community to host the Memorial Cup?

We didn’t bid to simply host a hockey tournament.  Our bid was designed to showcase how we could leave a lasting legacy on our city if we had the opportunity to host the Memorial Cup.  In addition to the world-class hockey, our Fan Fest, Bash on the Bay concert series and our street festival will combine to stage an event like we haven’t seen before. 

What are you most looking forward to throughout the tournament?

Coming out of two relatively quiet years as a result of the pandemic, I’m most looking forward to our streets and venues being pack again with people.  There will be something for everyone at this event and I’m hopeful that if people haven’t yet had the chance to get tickets to participate in the Memorial Cup, they get them right away as this event will be sold out and we are unlikely to see one like it again.

We know there are other UNB alumni involved in bringing the Memorial Cup to Saint John. How does it feel to be part of an alumni community of dedicated volunteers?

UNB has numerous alumni connections to the Memorial Cup, including a number of Sea Dogs alumni, who are also UNB Alumni.  Our volunteer base in Saint John is second to none and we had an incredible turnout of support to sign up to help bring this event to life.  It’s a great feeling to be part of a connected community of volunteers.