50 years of the Canada Games celebrated by local sport legend

The 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society and Co-Hosts are celebrating 50 years of the Canada Games, a bi-annual sporting and cultural event that has united Canadians and left a legacy of sport facilities, community pride and exceptional athletes.

 “Competing against the best of the best from across Canada in Quebec City was a tremendous experience as an amateur athlete,” said two-time Olympian Doreen Botterill who in 1967, skating for Manitoba, won four gold medals in the women’s 500m, 1000m, 1500m and 3000m speed skating events at the inaugural Canada Winter Games. “The friendships and memories I made as we pushed each other to new heights and readied ourselves for the rigours of international competition will last a lifetime.”

 “6,000 highly engaged community volunteers will leave a legacy of enhanced capacity to host future sport and special events as well as create a new generation of leaders,” remarked Jeff Hnatiuk, President and CEO, 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society.  “We are equally proud of the new or improved sport facilities that will leave an indelible mark on Winnipeg and the surrounding area long after the athletes, coaches, technical officials and visitors return home.”

 The most significant capital legacy project is the Canada Games Sport for Life Centre.  The 124,000 sq. ft. Qualico Training Centre features three fully convertible court spaces, strength and conditioning areas, aerobic training space, plyometric training and testing, and an indoor training track.  The building will host basketball and indoor volleyball events during the Games.

 The University of Manitoba Stadium is hosting the athletic events for the 2017 Games.  The Games will serve as a catalyst for major upgrades both on and off the field of play, including resurfacing the track, upgrades to the field disciplines competition areas, and a variety of other modernizations to deliver an exceptional athlete experience for years to come.

 “Our government is proud to invest in the Canada Games Sport for Life Centre and the University of Manitoba Stadium infrastructure projects. These will help the community and our outstanding athletes prepare for the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg,” said the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. “For 50 years, the Canada Games have left legacies of sport excellence, community development and social inclusion that continue to be felt for many years after the Games have ended.”

The new Bison Butte Mountain Bike Course at FortWhyte Alive is a major legacy project and will be the first of its kind in a city of Winnipeg’s size.  The course is a series of interlocking trails including berms, a pump track, rock gardens and a table top.

 The Sargent Park Beach Volleyball Centre was built inside the Susan Auch Oval, an outdoor ¼ mile speed skating venue. This facility will become a beach volleyball centre, with 10 permanent courts for Winnipeg and provide greater training opportunities for Manitoba athletes for years to come.

 “We are beyond excited to welcome the summer edition of the Canada Games to Winnipeg for the very first time and back to Manitoba for the second time since 1967,” said Rochelle Squires, Manitoba Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage. “As one of the funding partners, the Government of Manitoba is thrilled to host athletes and spectators from across our country to celebrate the spirit of sport and mark two huge milestones: the 50th anniversary of the games and Canada’s 150th.”

 “Winnipeg is thrilled and honoured to host the Canada Games this summer during Canada’s 150th birthday celebration,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “The 2017 Canada Games will be an important part of Winnipeg’s athletic legacy for many years to come, and we can’t wait to welcome athletes, coaches, and visitors from all over the country, and show them why Winnipeg is increasingly becoming a top tourist destination.”

The Canada Games Council, 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society and Co-Hosts are pleased to announce a new national partner, Dairy Farmers of Canada, who will be a signature sponsor of the 2017 Games and the presenting sponsor of athletics.

"We are very excited to be part of the 2017 Canada Summer Games as we welcome young athletes, coaches, volunteers and visitors to Winnipeg. On behalf of our dairy farmers here in Manitoba, we are looking forward to showing Canadians what our province has to offer," said David Wiens, Chair of the Board of Dairy Farmers of Manitoba and member of DFC's Board of Directors. "Dairy farmers across Manitoba and all of Canada care about the health and well-being of Canadians and this is one of the reasons why they love producing safe, nutritious, Canadian quality milk. We are proud to work with Dairy Farmers of Canada as they partner with the Canada Games to promote the benefits of an active lifestyle for Canadian youth.”

Jeff Hnatiuk, President and CEO of the 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society also announced new official supporters of the 2017 Canada Summer Games, including National Leasing, the presenting sponsor of the Closing Ceremonies pre-reception.

MLT Aikins LLP is the official law firm of the 2017 Games and the presenting sponsor of the Canada Games exhibit at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

The 2017 Games are also pleased to welcome Maxim Truck & Trailer as well as Silver Jeans Co.