The 2021 Canada Summer Games are coming to the Niagara region. With the support of Brock University, Niagara College, the municipalities within the region and other organizations, Niagara was awarded the games by the Canada Games Council.
The announcement came on March 30 in Toronto, as Niagara was named the winning bid over three other finalists that made the shortlist: Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa and Sudbury.
It will be the first time the games are held in Ontario since 2001, which also happens to be a time when Niagara made a bid as well but the council would award the games to London instead.
The Niagara Regional Council had voted 27-to-1 in favour of moving forward with the bid back in 2016. This vote committed $85,000 for the Niagara Sport Commission to develop a formal bid proposal. The preliminary bid, which included a financial plan, was submitted in June 2016. Once Niagara had made the shortlist they created a comprehensive bid, which was submitted earlier this year.
Niagara will be given $30 million from the provincial, federal and regional levels of government to spend towards the games, alongside another $40 million budget to spend on facilities and in other areas. Canada Games itself will provide $3 million to the region.
The bid evaluation committee visited Niagara back on February 28, which included stops at Brock, Henley Regatta, Niagara Falls and the Meridian Centre – which will be the host of the opening ceremonies.
The games will bring approximately 5,600 athletes and coaches from across Canada and an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 visitors will be expected over the course of 18 days.
Over those 18 days, there’ll be 17 events including: male and female beach volleyball, basketball, CanoeKayak, rowing, road cycling, wrestling and soccer.
Niagara will also have the choice to select between Rugby 7’s male or Rugby 7’s female as a final event.
Brock would be the official athlete’s village for the games, as they would open the doors to their residences, dining halls and other services on campus.
To also support the games, the Niagara region is proposing the creation of a multi-purpose athletic, health and well-being facility on Brock’s campus. The facility would be built in Thorold across from Merrittville Highway on Brock’s property. The proposed facility would include three stories including an accessible gym, a second floor wrestling and martial arts facility and several health and wellness facilities.
This year, Winnipeg Manitoba will be hosting the Summer Games and Red Deer, Alberta will be the host of the 2019 Winter Games.
With the announcement, Niagara has four years to prepare and get themselves ready for the Canada Summer games.
This past Feb., the city of St. Catharines hosted the Scotties Tournament of Hearts – a very popular yearly curling event – which got great feedback from the many athletes and visitors.