Gateway Gazette

The 25th Edition of the Canada Games Leaves its Tracks in Northern BC

 

Prince George, BC – The largest multi-sport and cultural event for youth in the nation – the 2015 Canada Winter Games – wrapped up last Sunday in Prince George, BC.

The final competition, the men’s hockey gold medal game, saw Team Alberta facing off against Team Ontario. Following the gold medal game, the Closing Ceremony, produced by Patrick Roberge Productions, capped off the 2015 Games. Ontario won the gold, beating Alberta 3 to 1.

“The 2015 Canada Winter Games has been an outstanding celebration of sport and culture,” says Stuart Ballantyne, CEO of the 2015 Canada Winter Games. “Thanks to the athletes, volunteers and participants, we have hosted an amazing event in northern BC that has transformed the region and created a unique and magical experience for all Canadians.”

“Congratulations to the athletes and supporters from all the provincial and territorial teams, the many volunteers, the Prince George 2015 Canada Winter Games Host Society and the Canada Games Council on hosting a wonderful Games,” says the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “Your pursuit of excellence and passion for sport has inspired us all and created memories to last a lifetime. During this Year of Sport in Canada, I encourage you to bring that passion home with you, foster it through your continued commitment to sport and active living, and in making your neighbourhood and community a better place. We look forward to meeting again in Winnipeg in 2017, during Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations.”

“As the 2015 Canada Winter Games comes to a close, it is with great pride that I look back on the last few weeks,” says Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “Prince George came alive with such a sense of celebration and goodwill as athletes, families and supporters gathered for this landmark event. It was wonderful to see the thousands of volunteers in their striking green jackets welcoming Canadians from every corner of the nation. Thank you to all those involved in making these Games such a resounding success.”

“The 2015 Games brought thousands of people to our great city who might otherwise never have visited. Our guests saw all that Prince George has to offer: affordable lifestyle, fantastic businesses and restaurants, world class civic facilities and educational institutions, arts and cultural opportunities, and a warm, friendly experience. Now, excited and talented young Canadians are going home filled with amazing stories to share with their friends and their families,” says Mayor Lyn Hall of Prince George. “As we approach our 100th Anniversary on March 6, we should be proud of our history and hopeful and excited about our future. It is up to us to build on the fantastic legacy of the 2015 Games.”

“The 2015 Canada Winter Games will bring great benefits not only to Prince George, but our whole region,” says Regional District of Fraser-Fort George Chairman Art Kaehn. “On behalf of the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, I extend my congratulations to the City of Prince George and the Lheidli T’enneh Official Host First Nation for hosting a very successful 2015 Canada Winter Games.”

“The tremendous performances of the athletes on the field-of-play have to be in part due to the fact that the 2015 Host Society’s main focus when planning these Games was put towards an exceptional athlete experience,” says Tom Quinn, Canada Games Council Chairman. “Planning a multi-sport event of this stature takes years of preparation, and the Host Society did a commendable job factoring in athlete experience in every step of the process.”

During the closing 2015 Game press conference, the following awards were presented:

1. Centennial Cup – awarded to New Brunswick

The awarding of the Centennial Cup exemplifies the pan-Canadian sport development objective of the Canada Games. It is presented to the provincial or territorial team that shows the greatest improvement from one Summer Games to the next or from one Winter Games to the next. The Centennial Cup has been won by 10 different provinces and territories since added to the Games in 1971. The Centennial Cup was designed by Mr. Robert S. Kent of Kingston and is modeled after the Katimavik Pavilion at Expo 67. It was crafted in part from 37 precious metals and wood laminations representing 10 provinces and two territories. It was donated to the Canada Games by the City of Kingston, Ontario in 1970.

2. Jack Pelech – awarded to Yukon

Presented by the Interprovincial Sport and Recreation Council, the Jack Pelech Award goes to the provincial or territorial team whose athletes, coaches, managers, and mission staff best combine competitive performance, good sportsmanship and a spirit of fair play, cooperation, and friendship. The award is named after Jack Pelech, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Canada Games Council from 1971 to 2001.

3. Claude Hardy – awarded to Saskatchewan and British Columbia

Claude Hardy, who passed away on December 5, 1999, was a pioneer of the Canada Games from their very beginning. His first involvement was as an athlete at the inaugural Canada Games in Québec City in 1967. In 1969, he was a coach for Team Québec at the first Canada Summer Games in Halifax-Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. From 1971 to 1999, excluding only the 1975 and 1979 Canada Games, Claude Hardy led Team Québec as Chef de Mission. His last Games were the 1999 Canada Winter Games. An award in his name serves to recognize the talents and dedication of a provincial or territorial Mission Team. The first Claude Hardy Award was presented at the 2001 Canada Summer Games in London, Ontario.

About 2015 Canada Winter Games:

The 2015 Canada Winter Games will be the largest multi-sport and cultural event to ever be held in Prince George and northern British Columbia and is forecasted to generate an economic impact of over $90 million while building champions and inspiring dreams amongst Canadian youth. Athletes from 10 provinces and three territories will compete in 19 sports with the dream of becoming Canada’s next champions. In 2015, choose your path, leave your tracks, and journey with the 2015 Canada Winter Games as we host the nation and share a northern story with all of Canada.

About the Canada Games:

The Canada Games are Canada’s largest multi-sport Games. Held once every two years, alternating between winter and summer Games, the Canada Games represent the highest level of national competition for up and coming Provincial and Territorial 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.

About the Official Host First Nation:

The traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh stretches 4.3 million hectares from the Rocky Mountains to the Interior Plains, and includes the City of Prince George. The word, Lheidli, means, “Where the two rivers flow together,” referring to the Nechako and Fraser Rivers, and T’enneh means, “the people”. Downtown Prince George and the surrounding neighborhoods now sit on the site that was originally the Fort George Indian reserve, established in 1892. The history of the Lheidli T’enneh is a big part of the history of the City of Prince George and the entire region.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply