The host community announcement was made at Hart House in the centre of the University of Toronto in front of a supportive Ontario sports community, Canada Games Council representatives, as well as numerous political figures and athletes. Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Eleanor McMahon, took to the podium to react to the news that Niagara Region was named host of the 2021 Canada Summer Games.
“We are thrilled to welcome Canadian athletes, their families and coaches to Ontario and show them all the warmth and hospitality our province has to offer. The Games not only provide our athletes with an important chance to compete at a national level, they also help strengthen the local economy, increase local pride and increase volunteerism. We look forward to supporting Niagara Region to make this the best Games ever!”
In just over four years, Niagara Region will welcome our nation’s next generation of national, international and Olympic champions as the best young developing athletes from across Canada will converge to compete in Canada's largest multi-sport event.
“The 2021 bid evaluation process was extremely competitive with four remarkable communities putting forth outstanding bids to host the 2021 Canada Summer Games,” said Tom Quinn, Canada Games Council Chairman. “Everyone involved in the bids should be very proud of what they accomplished. It was rewarding for our entire committee to see such passion for the Canada Games in each community.”
The honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, shared her thoughts on what hosting the 2021 Canada Summer Games will mean for the Niagara Region.
“Congratulations to Niagara Region on their successful 2021 Canada Games bid, and to all of the other communities who demonstrated a keen interest in hosting our country’s largest national multisport games. The depth and strength of the bids demonstrates our country’s passion for sport,” said Minister Qualtrough. “Our government is proud to support the Canada Games, as it brings together people from across our country through sporting excellence and cultural exchange, and leaves lasting legacies for many years to come. I wish the Niagara Region and the Canada Games Council the very best as they begin planning for a very successful Games in a few years’ time.”
Adam Van Koeverden, who medalled for Team Ontario at the 1997 Canada Summer Games, was also on-site and explained what the Canada Games meant to him and his athletic development.
"Canada Games was my first multi-sport games experience, and actually my first-time racing for a team other than the Burloak Canoe Club,” said Koeverden. “It was my first team trip, my first track suit, my first opening ceremonies and my first media interview. I look back on Brandon 1997 with gratitude for a whole host of first-time experiences, and I look forward to future Canada Games as our next generation of athletes start their careers in sport competing for their Provinces and Territories."
In February of 2016, the Canada Games Council embarked on a bid process to select the host of the 2021 Canada Summer Games. After the February launch, which was attended by many communities, the CGC received four Letters of Intent to Bid from Ontario communities.
Then followed the evaluation process, which included Phase I; a review of the potential communities’ technical components (Sports Venues, Games Village and other key venues). During Phase II, the CGC Bid Evaluation Committee assessed the Comprehensive Host Community Bid Proposals and conducted site visits in all four communities. These site visits allowed the bid communities the opportunity to reinforce their information, add value to the written descriptions in the bid proposals and answer questions posed in writing from the Bid Evaluation Committee.
The evaluation team, chaired by Vice-president of Revenue Generation for the 2009 Canada Summer Games in PEI and current Canada Games Council Board Member; Wayne Carew, visited Greater Sudbury on February 27th, Waterloo Region on February 28th, Niagara Region on March 1st and Ottawa on March 2nd. These visits were then followed by CGC Bid Evaluation Committee meetings.
Following these meetings, the CGC Bid Evaluation Committee provided a final ranking and report to the CGC Board of Directors. The final decision from the Board of Directors was then delivered to the Province of Ontario.
The planning and preparation for the 2021 Canada Summer Games now progresses. Having hosted the 1981 Canada Summer Games in Thunder Bay and the 2001 Canada Summer Games in London, the 2021 Canada Games will mark the third time the Canada Summer Games are hosted in the province of Ontario
The Niagara Region bid committee will begin its work to transform itself into a Host Society responsible to plan and stage this major multi-sport event for developing athletes. An immediate focus will be to debrief with the Canada Games Council, begin the incorporation of a Host Society, select key leadership positions, and identify key representatives to attend the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg that will take place from July 28th to August 13th, 2017. These key representatives will be given the opportunity to take advantage of the mentoring program offered by the Canada Games Council and witness first-hand how the 2017 Host Society will host the 2017 Canada Games.