* Flaherty says announcement soon
* Market sources hearing announcement is Thursday afternoon
* Carney to host farewell party in Toronto Thursday evening
* Deputy Governor Tiff Macklem seen the most likely choice
OTTAWA, May 2 The Canadian government will announce the name of the new Bank of Canada governor on Thursday afternoon, market sources said, and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the announcement would be "soon".
"We are hearing that the new Bank of Canada governor will be announced at about 4 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) today," Scotiabank wrote in a report.
A source from another major Canadian bank, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter, told Reuters that traders had received word that the announcement would be made on Thursday afternoon, although the source of the information was unclear.
A third market source said outgoing Governor Mark Carney had invited some economists to an event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (2200 to 0000 GMT) Thursday, ostensibly to say goodbye to Carney but also presumed to be designed to introduce the new governor, suggesting the appointment could be announced before then.
The farewell party is believed to be taking place in Toronto.
Carney, who is expected to attend any news conference announcing his successor along with Flaherty, was in Ottawa on Thursday. He flew back overnight from Edmonton where he gave a lecture late Wednesday. He is scheduled to be back in Toronto on Friday to participate in a panel discussion.
The appointment requires approval of Flaherty and the federal cabinet.
Jeremy Harrison, a spokesman for the Bank of Canada, declined to comment.
Carney is stepping down on June 1 to head the Bank of England, a job he will start in July.
Tiff Macklem, currently the second-in-command at the Bank of Canada, is widely seen as most likely to get the job, although nobody is ruling out an outside candidate.
In a Reuters poll of analysts on April 10, all 16 respondents put Macklem at the top of their list when asked to choose the three candidates most likely to get the job.
Overall, there were seven other candidates on the roster of second- and third-place candidates, only two of them currently working at the bank.
Stephen Poloz, the head of Canada's export credit agency, was mentioned more than any other candidate as the second most likely to get the job.
Darrell Duffie, a Stanford University economist and expert in financial regulation, was mentioned by one person in that poll but his name has since circulated as a strong dark horse candidate.