Lacrosse returns to Canada Games in 2021

Thursday, 11th April 2019

St. Catharines, Ontario – The Canada Games Council (CGC) welcomed news that the Government of Canada will provide up to $1.7 million in funding to include the sport of Men’s and Women’s Box Lacrosse on a pilot project basis at the 2021 Canada Summer Games in the Niagara Region, marking the sport’s first appearance since 1985. The Honorable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, made the announcement today at a press conference held at the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in St. Catharines Ontario.

“The addition of box lacrosse at the 2021 Canada Games in Niagara is a major milestone in the promotion of Indigenous sport development. Young people will get the opportunity to showcase their athletic abilities and celebrate the heritage of this historical sport, while taking part in a wonderful sporting event that brings together athletes from all over the country.” — The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

The CGC fully supports the Government of Canada’s decision. Located in the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Ojibway/Chippewa and Haudenosaunee peoples, the inclusion of Lacrosse in the 2021 Canada Summer Games in the Niagara region has been highlighted as a meaningful step in the national project of Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, according to CGC Chair Evan Johnston: “Adding a culturally vital sport like Lacrosse to the Canada Games sport programme is just one way we can contribute to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action related to sport,” he said. “We are grateful for the Government’s continued support and look forward to working with our partners across the country to implement this exciting pilot project.”

Today’s announcement is the result of a process that began with a request from the Assembly of First Nations through Grand Chief Perry Bellegarde and supported by the 2021 Canada Games Host Society

“We are elated that Canada’s national summer sport has been included in the 2021 Canada Games. Niagara has long been a centre for Lacrosse and we look forward to celebrating this with our Indigenous community,” said Doug Hamilton, 2021 Canada Games Chair. “The Lacrosse facilities planned at our proposed Canada Games Park will help ensure that we provide a critical and lasting legacy for Lacrosse.”

The Canada Games Council consulted with several stakeholders, working closely with colleagues at the Aboriginal Sport Circle of Canada, Canadian Lacrosse Association, Six Nations of the Grand River and the 2021 Host Society.

“The inclusion of Lacrosse as a pilot project in the 2021 Canada Summer Games is an important step forward in Canada's reconciliation efforts. It acknowledges the important role that lacrosse has played in Canada's history, and brings attention to the central place of Indigenous people in that story;” said Janice Forsyth, President, Aboriginal Sport Circle. “It also signals to us a system that is more willing to engage in meaningful discussions about how to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action in the sport sector.”

Inclusion of Men’s and Women’s Box Lacrosse will be a national endeavour and will not be a success without the cooperation and commitment of our Provincial and Territorial Government partners to the training and competition support provided to Canada Games athletes, coaching staff, and support of their provincial and territorial sport organizations who administer lacrosse.

“The Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) is excited that Lacrosse, Canada’s national summer sport, will be included in the 2021 Canada Summer Games. Our sport’s return, since 1985, to this collaborative multi-sport event is an honour. We are ready for this challenge and look forward to creating legacies,” said Jane Clapham, Executive Director, Canadian Lacrosse Association.

The 2021 Canada Summer Games will take place from August 6 to 22, 2021 in the Niagara Region.

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For more Information Contact:

Erin Mathany

Vice-President, Marketing and Partnerships

Canada Games Council

E-mail: emathany@canadagames.ca

Telephone: 416-209-2142

About the Canada Games

Held once every two years, alternating between winter and summer, the Canada Games represent the highest level of national competition for up and coming Canadian athletes. The Games have been hosted in every province at least once since their inception in Quebec City during Canada’s Centennial in 1967. The Games are proud of their contribution to Canada’s sport development system in addition to their lasting legacy of sport facilities, community pride and national unity.   

The 2021 Canada Summer Games will be held in the Niagara Region from August 6th to 22nd, 2021.  The organization of the Canada Games is made possible thanks to the contribution and support of the Government of Canada, provincial/territorial governments, host municipalities and the Canada Games Council.