Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games postponed
The Canada Games Council and the 2021 Canada Games Host Society have made the decision to postpone the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games.
The Games were originally scheduled to take place in August 2021 but, due to continued public health concerns relating to the coronavirus pandemic, they will be rescheduled, likely to the summer of 2022.
“We’ve been monitoring the situation for several months now. It’s become clear to us and our partners that we wouldn’t be able to host the Games we were looking to host next summer and additionally, we want to make sure we want to make sure we protect the health off all the participants and spectators,” said Doug Hamilton, Chairman of the Board of the 2021 Canada Games Host Society. “We’ve got a lot partners, including all the provinces and territories that are putting together teams, so their runway to the Games has started so we have to make sure they don’t waste time and energy and money on that runway.”
Hamilton said construction on Canada Games Park at Brock University will continue.
“It’s good news from that perspective,” he said. “Our infrastructure plan, while it saw Canada Games Park being Games ready, the facility wasn’t going to be ready for the community. All of our facilities will be ready and occupied and being used by the time we get to 2022.”
Hamilton said not hosting the Games will speed up the completion of Canada Games Park to September of 2021.
No decision has been made yet on the new dates for the Canada Summer Games in Niagara, but both the CGC and the Niagara Host Society are aiming for the rescheduled Games to take place during the summer of 2022. Both organizations will continue to monitor developments relating to the pandemic and to safeguard the health of all participants, staff and volunteers.
Hamilton said the Host Society will continue to move forward in some areas, while taking a step back in others.
“We’re going to look at that now,” he said. “Some parts of our planning have not been slowed down by COVID so in many ways, we’re ready one year out from the Games. In other way we’re not one year out and COVID has slowed us. For example in our marketing and community engagement and in our sponsorship activities, we have been slowed down.
“So we’re going to take a pause in some areas but we’re going to have to continue full speed in other areas. We’re trying to figure out how that all works but there will be a pause in some areas.”
Hamilton feels the Games are in good shape as far as volunteers.
“We’ve done a really good job of recruiting our planning volunteers and we’ve got them in place. We have their resources available for us two years before the Games.”
Held every two years, alternating between winter and summer, the Canada Games are the country’s marquee event for amateur sport representing the highest level of national competition for thousands of up-and-coming Canadian athletes. More than 5,000 participants and 4,000 volunteers are expected to take part in Canada’s largest multi-sport event in the Niagara Region.