Topic: Life in Canada
Vancouver – The City of Prince George has been named the host of the 2015 Canada Winter Games by the Canada Games Council at a news conference today.
In just over four years, the City of Prince George will welcome the country’s best young developing athletes to compete in 20 selected sports representing the best that their province or territory has to offer.
“The 2015 bid evaluation process was a thorough and detailed process,” said Tom Quinn, chair of the Canada Games Council. “The sport infrastructure in British Columbia was very impressive, and the sport-hosting knowledge found in all three communities is to be acknowledged and commended. In the end, only one community can host and Prince George has won that right as the successful bid community.”
The host community selection announcement was made in front of the Olympic flame cauldron on the Vancouver waterfront. The cauldron was lit for only the second time since the extinguishing as part of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games closing ceremonies.
Premier Gordon Campbell and Ida Chong, Minister of Healthy Living and Sport, attended the announcement. Staff from the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport were observers throughout the bid and selection process led by the Canada Games Council.
“I want to congratulate Prince George for winning the privilege of hosting the 2015 Canada Winter Games and thank Kamloops and Kelowna for also stepping forward as potential host cities. As we saw during the Winter Olympics, sport has an incredible power to inspire and bring people together,” said Premier Campbell. “The Canada Games are an important building block in our athletes’ training, and prepares them for future competitions. In fact, Canada Games alumni earned 16 of the 26 medals Canadian athletes won during the Winter Olympics.”
In June of 2009, at an official bid process launch, the Canada Games Council embarked on a 15-month process to select the host of the 2015 Canada Games. The bid process first entered into a Technical Review Phase, where information had to be provided by the communities by Oct. 2, 2009.
This Phase 1 evaluation process included a review of the potential communities’ technical components (sports venues, Games village and other key venues) to provide a report to the CGC Bid Evaluation Committee.
After the technical phase, three bid communities – Kamloops, Kelowna and Prince George – were given until May 28, 2010 to submit their bid proposal to the Canada Games Bid Evaluation Committee. During Phase II, the CGC Bid Evaluation Committee assessed the Bid Proposals from the three bidding communities, conducted site visits and then provided a final ranking and report to the CGC Board of Directors. The final recommendation from the Canada Games Board of Directors was delivered to the Province of British Columbia and then announced publicly by the Province and council at the Sept. 17, 2010 announcement in Vancouver.
At the event, emceed by Canada Games alumna, Olympic and World Champion Catriona LeMay Doan, Vancouver-area school children celebrated the announcement as part of Sports Day in Canada, a national celebration of sport presented by CBC Sports, ParticipACTION and True Sport. For the initiative, the Canada Games Council and PHE Canada engaged students across the country in physical activity using the council’s educational program, Canada Games Days. Over 500 schools across Canada signed up to join the challenge with over 100,000 students, including those represented at the announcement, participating.
The planning and preparations for the 2015 Canada Winter Games will now begin. Having hosted the 1973 Canada Summer Games in New Westminster and Burnaby and the 1993 Canada Summer Games in Kamloops, the 2015 Canada Games will mark the third time the Games are hosted in the province of British Columbia and the first time for British Columbia to host a winter Games.
“The Canada Games Council is confident that the beauty and majesty of British Columbia will make the perfect backdrop for a sensational Canada Games,” said Quinn. “The council is confident in our choice and look forward to further engagement of all three communities in our promotions and in the support of the 2015 Canada Games.”
The Prince George bid community will begin its work to transform into a Host Society responsible to plan and stage this prestigious event. An immediate focus will be to debrief with the Canada Games Council, begin the incorporation of a Host Society, select key leadership positions, and identify key representatives to attend the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax, Feb. 11–27, 2011, to take advantage of the mentoring program offered by the council.
Held once every two years, alternating between winter and summer, the Canada Games represent the highest level of national competition for up and coming Canadian athletes. The Games have been hosted in every province at least once since their inception in Quebec City during Canada’s Centennial in 1967. The Games are proud of their contribution to Canada’s sport development system in addition to their lasting legacy of sport facilities, community pride and national unity.
The organization of the Canada Games is made possible thanks to the contribution and support of the Government of Canada, provincial/territorial governments, host municipalities and the Canada Games Council.