HISTORY OF THE CANADA GAMES
WINTER & SUMMER
WINTER & SUMMER
The Canada Games is a high-level multi-sport event with a National Artists Program held every two years in Canada, alternating between the Canada Winter Games and the Canada Summer Games. Athletes are strictly amateur only, and represent their province or territory. Since their inception, the Canada Games have played a prominent role in developing some of Canada's premier athletes, including Lennox Lewis, Catriona LeMay Doan, Hayley Wickenheiser, Sidney Crosby, Steve Nash, Suzanne Gaudet and David Ling.
The thought of staging the Canada Games first arose in 1924, at a meeting in Winnipeg of the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada. For more than 40 years it remained a frequent subject of discussion. Finally, in 1966 in Quebec City, the governments of Canada and Quebec gave their joint approval to a proposal to hold the first Games the following year.
A small voluntary committee of businessmen and educators was established. Planning and organization were hurriedly begun. The event was designed to coincide with Canada's 1967 Centennial celebrations.
The first Winter Games were an outstanding success. Despite monumental problems of planning, financing, logistics, and eventually abnormal snow and cold -- minus 37 C. for the opening ceremonies -- a makeshift torch was set alight.
These words, spoken by Marilyn Malenfant, a young competitor in the Games, from the steps of Quebec's National Assembly, exemplify the Games spirit:
"I seek fear, to master it;
Weariness, to test my mettle;
Hardship, to conquer it;
Glory, to share it with my brothers;
And I shall compete loyally."
Since then, at two year intervals, eighteen more ceremonial torches have been ignited to signal the start of successive Canada Games. With Prince Edward Island having hosted the 1991 Winter Games, each province has now hosted the Games at least once, with several having hosted twice already.
An estimated 45,000 young Canadians have participated in the Games. Another 180,000 have engaged in try-outs and qualifying events. Many millions of Canadians have watched the Games either first-hand or on television, and over 67,000 have volunteered.
Over 40 different sports have shared the spotlight in Summer or Winter Games. Each one has grown in popularity by having been on the sports calendar. Unfortunately, lack of time, space, funding and other considerations has prevented many more sports from participating in the Games as often as they might wish.
From a modest initial investment of approximately $800,000 in public funds in 1967, the Games have grown in size, scope, complexity and cost. The 2001 Games in London project gross revenues of over $15 million from three levels of government, corporate sponsorships, ticket and merchandise sales and other marketing initiatives. This is in addition to the contributions of the participating provinces and territories in training and outfitting their athletes, which will account for an estimated $5 million.
Cumulatively, over $230 million has been invested in the Canada Games since their inception, about half of it in capital projects. From track and field complexes to ski hills, soccer pitches to swimming pools, a legacy of sports facilities has been built up in 19 medium-sized communities across Canada. These facilities have provided a springboard for growth in sports excellence and fitness, as well as for the training of coaches, technical officials, and sport administrators.
Perhaps just as important, has been the human legacy bequeathed to these scattered Canadian cities and towns. Communities such as Thunder Bay, Chicoutimi-Jonquière, Saint John and Saskatoon have recruited thousands of willing volunteers to share the host role. With experience gained from the Games, they have gone on to assume other important commitments in their communities. They have left a record of giving and sharing which no amount of bricks and mortar or money can match.
The character of the Games has changed little over the years, although the 1990s have seen an increased importance on sport development. National and provincial sport organizations will increase their emphasis on building a comprehensive Canadian sport system, and host communities will be challenged with creating facilities and programs that will serve sport needs long after the Games have left.
2007CANADA WINTER GAMES WHITEHORSE
Alpine Skiing (Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G)
Cross Country Skiing
Shooting (Air Pistol and Air Rifle)
Synchronized Swimming (Female)
Wheelchair Basketball (Mixed)
Demonstration sport: Snowboarding
2009 CANADA SUMMER GAMES PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Canoeing (Flat water racing, Canoe and Kayak)
Cycling (Road and Mountain Bike)
Volleyball (Indoor and Beach)