James Milliken was 23 when he was stabbed during a fight in a parking lot between two groups of young people in May 1997.
He died in hospital.
Police say they received new information that led to the arrest of Darren Jason Young in Medicine Hat, Alta., on Thursday.
Young, who is 37, is charged with second-degree murder and possession of a prohibited weapon.
Milliken's family members say they hope they will get some answers to questions that have haunted them for years.
"Jimmy is dead but perhaps some closure can now begin," the family said in a police release Friday.
"He will remain loved and always remembered, not for the way he died, but for the way he lived ... with laughter and love for his children, his family and his friends.”
Also on HuffPost