November 12, 2020 (Niagara, ON) – Ground was officially broken in St. Catharines on Thursday afternoon for the Henley Rowing Centre — a brand-new rowing facility that will be located at the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course. While respecting COVID-19 guidelines, Doug Hamilton, Chair of the Niagara Host Society, was joined at the groundbreaking ceremony by a small number of guests including St. Catharines MP, Chris Bittle, St. Catharines MPP, Jennie Stevens, City of St. Catharines Mayor, Walter Sendzik, and Niagara’s Regional Chair, Jim Bradley.
Having hosted regional, provincial, national and international competitions for more than 100 years, the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course is one of Niagara’s premier sporting venues. In an effort to ensure that Niagara remains a premier destination for rowing and to support the continued development of the region’s many rowers, the Niagara Host Society, thanks to the support of its funding partners, will build a new rowing centre in order to address the need for essential off-water training and support facilities at the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course.
“Henley Rowing Centre is a key community legacy project that will be built as a result of Niagara hosting the 2022 Canada Summer Games,” said Doug Hamilton, Chair of the Niagara Host Society. “This development at the Henley Rowing Course in St. Catharines will not only benefit our rowing community, but it will also further enable Niagara to continue to host major national and international championships, such as the 2024 World Rowing Championships.”
“The Government of Canada is proud to invest in the future of sport and physical activity in the Niagara Region. The improved Henley Rowing Centre will give our athletes a training centre suited for their skills and help them make Canada proud,” said the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “The renewal of the rowing centre will not only have a positive impact for the 2022 Canada Summer Games, but will also leave a critical legacy for years to come.”
"Today’s groundbreaking ceremony at the Henley Rowing Centre marks an important step in the progress of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “Our government’s investment in new and upgraded sport and recreation facilities supports our athletes, brings new jobs to the Niagara Region and helps in the recovery of its local economy. I am confident that the Niagara Region is preparing for a successful and inspiring Games, while continuing to put the health and safety of their community first. I am looking forward to helping our high-performing athletes return to the podium, strengthening our local sports and tourism sectors, and showcasing what our province truly has to offer.”
“Canadians have been rowing on the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course in St. Catharines for over 135 years,” added St. Catharines MP, Chris Bittle. “Preparing to host the rowing competitions during the Canada Summer Games in 2022 is an excellent opportunity to upgrade and expand training facilities on Henley Island. This not only provides a world-class experience for rowers during the Games but for years to come.”
“I am proud to join our partners from the federal and provincial government, as well as the Niagara Host Society, to celebrate this landmark groundbreaking at the Henley Island facility,” said Jim Bradley, Niagara’s Regional Chair. “This project is both an example of how we are showcasing the best we have to offer to the nation, as well as an important legacy from the Games that will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for generations to come. I am eager to cut the ribbon on this important project and welcome Canada to our beautiful region in 2022.”
“The Canada Summer Games will be a transformational opportunity for our community, leaving a legacy for generations to come,” said Walter Sendzik, City of St. Catharines Mayor. “The new Henley Rowing Centre will not only be home to the Games in 2022, but will also serve our rowing community well into the future, building on the world-class sports tourism experience St. Catharines offers.”
The Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course and the new Henley Rowing Centre will be the site of the rowing competition for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games, which are set to take place from August 6-21, 2022. The new facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
About the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games
At the peak of Niagara’s boldest summer yet, more than 5,000 young athletes and their coaches will gather to compete for the podium in Canada’s largest multi-sport event. On its road to glory, this shining generation of hopefuls will leave its mark on our community and on the country – transforming, inspiring, and unifying us all through the power of sport.
As ambassadors of Niagara’s unrivaled warmth and compassion, thousands of volunteers will play host to the nation. The Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games will celebrate the wonder of sport alongside arts and culture. The Games will honour our Indigenous communities, and showcase a remarkable heritage of hard work and innovation in one of the world’s most awe-inspiring destinations.
With world-renowned hospitality, the people of Niagara will welcome visitors from across the country. Spirited events, spectacular entertainment, and the theatre of elite competition will spark new energy in the region as our streets, skies, and waterways shimmer with ceremony and celebration that is befitting of Canada’s best young athletes.
From August 6th to 21st, 2022, Niagara will surge stronger than ever on the national stage. The Games will give rise to a new legacy of ambition, confidence, and compassion that will inspire generations to come. For further information, visit us at niagara2022games.ca or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@2022canadagames).
Christopher Séguin, Media & Communications Coordinator