CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Canada Games are coming back to Prince Edward Island.
The Canada Games Council officially awarded the 2023 Winter Games to the province at an event on Friday.
“The Games provide our up-and-coming athletes with a chance to compete at a national level,” said Robert Mitchell, P.E.I.’s minister responsible for sport. “They also help to strengthening our local economy, increase community spirit and expand volunteerism. I am confident that our Island volunteers, sponsors, supporters, leaders and athletes, will do an outstanding job in staging the 2023 Games and showcasing all our province has to offer.”
It will be the third time the Island has hosted the Canada Games. The 1991 Winter Games and the 2009 Summer Games occurred here.
Looking back, ahead
A look at the recent and upcoming host communities for the Canada Games, which began in Quebec City in 1967. The Games are held every two years, alternating between winter and summer.
- 2001: London, Ont.
- 2003: Bathurst-Campbellton, N.B.
- 2005: Regina
- 2007: Whitehorse
- 2009: Prince Edward Island
- 2011: Halifax
- 2013: Sherbrooke, Que.
- 2015: Prince George, B.C.
- 2017: Winnipeg
- 2019: Red Deer, Alta.
- 2023: Prince Edward Island
Did you know? The provincial government says the 2009 Canada Summer Games left Prince Edward Island with a legacy of new and improved facilities, enhanced volunteer resources, financial returns from more than 15,000 visitors, and $81.5 million in economic activity.
Prince Edward Island’s bid committee hosted the national evaluation committee in September. They toured facilities, heard presentations and got a taste of Island culture.
“Outstanding. It was really outstanding,” Evan Johnston, chairman of the bid evaluation committee, told The Guardian at the time when asked what impressions he's been left with. “(P.E.I. has) certainly made us feel great.”
The Island was originally slated to host the Games in 2031 but P.E.I. and the Northwest Territories agreed to switch spots in the hosting rotation two years ago. The Island still had to ensure the national council, through its bid process, it was ready to host the Games which are expected to attract thousands of visitors to the province.
The work of planning and preparing for the Games will now transition from a bid committee to a host society. The immediate focus will be to debrief with the Canada Games Council, begin the incorporation of the host society and select the key leadership positions.
“We would like to thank the Province of P.E.I. for the time and effort they put forth to produce such an outstanding bid,” said Tom Quinn, chairman of the Canada Games Council. “We very much look forward to working with the 2023 Canada Games Host Society on making this an unforgettable experience for the athletes, coaches and spectators who will come to P.E.I. in a little more than four years."
Wayne Carew and Brian McFeely will be co-chairs of the host society.