VICTORIA - Provincial MLAs and 2015 Canada Winter Games organizers gathered on the steps of the Legislative Buildings to celebrate the one year countdown to the games in Prince George.
Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Coralee Oakes announced the official Canada Games Roly McLenahan flame and torch relay will begin in Victoria in front of the Parliament Buildings on Oct. 17, 2014.
The torch will visit several B.C. communities on the way to Prince George and northern British Columbia. This will be the first time the Canada Winter Games flame will have been in British Columbia.
The Canada Winter Games will be held in Prince George from Feb. 13 - March 1, 2015. The Games are expected to generate between $70 and $90 million in economic benefits, and will leave lasting legacies of new or improved sport infrastructure, thousands of trained volunteers and immeasurable community pride.
The B.C. government has invested more than $11 million in the event, matched by the federal government. With additional contributions of the Host Society and the City of Prince George, the total budget for the Games is approximately $46 million.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development -
"We are one year out from the biggest sporting event northern B.C. has ever hosted: the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George. These Games are for all British Columbians and the torch relay will bring the spirit of the Games to communities throughout the province."
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and MLA for Prince George-Valemount -
"Well, the countdown is on. In just over a year Prince George and region will welcome Canada to British Columbia. This is a historic event, the first time that the Canada Winter Games have been held in British Columbia. There is still a lot of work to do and as we celebrate the one year mark we want to encourage people to sign up to volunteer, be a sponsor, get involved. The Games will bring a significant economic benefit to our region as well, with an anticipated return of between 70 and 90 million dollars."
MLA Mike Morris, Prince George-MacKenzie -
"The Canada Winter Games are a major step in the development of B.C.'s high performance athletes, many of whom will go on to international competitions including the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They'll also inspire more British Columbians to live active, healthy lifestyles and enjoy all the benefits of sport, another positive legacy from the Games."
Anthony Everett, board chair, 2015 Canada Winter Games Host Society -
"The Canada Games will showcase Canada's next champions and inspire dreams across the country and within our province. Today we are celebrating an important milestone in our journey to the Games. We are proud of our partnership with the Province of British Columbia and can't wait to start our torch relay in Victoria later this year!"
- The 2015 Canada Winter Games will feature 19 official sports, including Paralympics and Special Olympics competitions.
- Over 3,400 athletes, coaches, staff and officials will participate in the Games from over 800 Canadian communities. Up to 4,500 volunteers will be involved.
- Over 10,000 visitors will experience Prince George and northern British Columbia.
- B.C. has previously hosted the 1993 Canada Summer Games (Kamloops) and the 1973 Canada Summer Games (New Westminster). B.C. has never hosted a Canada Winter Games.
- British Columbia will field a team of approximately 350 athletes, coaches and mission staff. Team BC's goal is to finish in the top 3 medal count at the Games.
- Team BC finished third behind Quebec and Ontario at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax, winning its most medals ever at a Canada Winter Games.
- The Canada Games were established in 1967, Canada's Centennial year.
- 2015 will mark the 25th edition of the Canada Games, the University of Northern British Columbia's 25th anniversary and the 100th birthday of the City of Prince George.
2015 Prince George Canada Winter Games: http://www.canadagames2015.ca/
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
Director, Marketing and Communications
2015 Canada Winter Games