Delivering a Life-Shaping Games Experience

Monday, 16th September 2019

(Red Deer, Alberta) - From February 15 until March 2, 2019, over 3,600 participants, 4,600 volunteers and 26,000 visitors enjoyed 19 sports and 10 nights of cultural entertainment as part of Canada’s largest multi-sport and cultural event for youth-the 2019 Canada Winter Games. And today, the 2019 Games shared successes and reflections of the 2019 Games with the community through a press conference and transfer of knowledge session at the Black Knight Inn in Red Deer.

"Through our commitment to deliver a life-shaping experience, I am pleased to share that the 2019 Games were an economic, cultural and social success that has left a lasting legacy in Red Deer and central Alberta," said Lyn Radford, Board Chair, 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society. “When we set out to host the nation in 2011, our goals and targets were ambitious, but thanks to the support of our community, Funding Parties, sponsors, volunteers, staff and participants, we were able to deliver the best Canada Games our region could host.”

The 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society invested $14.5 million across five capital projects and other facility and equipment investments for sport and cultural facilities to support the hosting of the 2019 Games. Following the Games, over $500,000 in sport equipment and assets were distributed to over 40 local and provincial sport organizations and not-for-profits. With over 4,600 volunteers involved in the Games, Red Deer and central Alberta is left with a strong, trained volunteer base for future events. This combination of first-class facilities and trained volunteers positions Red Deer as an event hosting destination nationally.

“The 2019 Canada Winter Games continues to have a lasting influence on Red Deer through new and modernized amenities made possible through partnerships with the Host Society and other community builders,” said City of Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer. “The Games reminded us that we can accomplish far more together than we can apart. The Games were a catalyst for community building, and we were honoured to welcome our fellow Canadians to the Red Deer we are and are becoming.”

The 2019 Games also enhanced the Canada Games movement by delivering a life-shaping Games experience for all participants. Satisfaction was high with spectators and athletes, with 96 per cent of spectators and 95 per cent of athletes indicating they were satisfied or very satisfied with their experience and the Games. Of surveyed Red Deerians, 93 per cent felt the Games represented the community and culture.

"Planning a multi-sport event of this stature takes an incredible amount of preparation and cooperation and Red Deer 2019 delivered on their athlete and legacy-centered vision from the very beginning," said Evan Johnston, Chair of the Canada Games Council. "From new infrastructure like the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, to a national torch relay, an improved transfer of knowledge for the Canada Games movement and an exceptional legacy of volunteerism, the Host Society and the community of Red Deer set the bar high for future Games and created a life-shaping experience for athletes and all involved."

Using the Sport Tourism Economic Assessment Model (STEAM), the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) has completed a report detailing the economic impact of the 2019 Games that was prepared using the results of on-site economic impact assessments conducted by the CSTA.  The report shows that the 2019 Games supported $110.3 million in economic activity in Alberta, including $92.4 million of economic activity in Red Deer and $19.6 million in visitor spending at Games time through 26,000 visitors. The 2019 Games were committed to economically supporting the central Alberta community, with the Host Society sourcing 56 per cent of its goods and services through central Alberta businesses, with 391 businesses working with the Games. A further 23 per cent of the Host Society’s purchases were made with Alberta-based businesses. In total, the Host Society sourced goods from over 700 businesses at a value of $34 million.

“It is important going forward that we dissect in an accurate way, the economic impact of national, international and provincial events,” said Rick More, Red Deer Chamber of Commerce CEO. “The data obtained from a very large cross section of attendees, gives us an extremely valuable picture of the economic impact of the Canada Winter Games. The capital projects and visitor spending numbers are enormous and came at an important time during a stagnant economy. This is a gold medal for the organizing committee and for Red Deer.”

The 2019 Games Host Society is finalizing its Games budget and is confident that the 2019 Games will be in a positive financial position at the end of the 2020 fiscal year. 

For more information on the 2019 Canada Winter Games, visit canadagames.ca/2019.