The Province is contributing $75,000 to support the sport component of the Vancouver 2011 North American Outgames, announced Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
More than 1,000 athletes from across the continent are expected to participate in a diverse range of sport events in July at various locations throughout the Lower Mainland and Whistler. These events are geared to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual (GLBT) community, but are open to all.
The North American Outgames were created by the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association (GLISA) to develop GLBT sport and build partnerships with mainstream sport organizations. The Games also feature a cultural celebration and a three-day human rights conference.
The Outgames' sport elements - which include everything from tennis and volleyball to dance sport and a multi-sport 'eco-challenge' - will take place between July 25 and 31 in Vancouver, Whistler, Burnaby, Richmond, North Vancouver and Surrey. The 2011 Games will be the second North American Outgames; the first took place in 2007 in Calgary, Alberta.
"British Columbia is pleased to extend the same kind of hospitality to Outgames athletes and visitors as we so amply demonstrated during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games," said Chong. "By supporting this event, we are furthering B.C.'s reputation as a world-class location for major sport events."
"The Organizing Committee for the 2011 Outgames is grateful for the support of the Province of British Columbia," said John Boychuk, chair of the Organizing Committee. "This funding will allow us to leverage additional support from private sponsors and hold a world class event that highlights B.C. scenery, facilities and lifestyles."
- The theme for the Outgames sport competitions will be "marine, mountain and land".
- The Outgames have three components: sport events, a cultural celebration and a human rights conference.
- An important goal of the Vancouver Outgames is to increase participation among youth, seniors, educators and workplace advocates. Funding is available to subsidize up to 100 individuals from such groups and support their participation at the Outgames conference.
Three symposia are also part of the conference:
- Hosted by Sport BC - focusing on homophobia and transphobia in sport.
- Hosted by the Q Hall of Fame Foundation - the UNITE against Hate Crimes symposium.
- Hosted the Salaam Conference for Muslim LGBTQ individuals and others - looking at issues of practising their faith without discrimination or ostracism.
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Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development