Support the bid for Canada Summer Games in 2021
Ottawa is going all-in to host the Canada Summer Games in 2021 – and they need your help to make it happen.
The push is on to persuade the Canada Games’ Review Committee that there is no better place to hold the Games. If Ottawa does not win the opportunity to host the games in 2021, we won’t have another chance to bid until 2041.
It’s safe to say, the time is now
“It really is a nation-building event, and we figure what better place to hold it than in the nation’s capital?” says volunteer co-chair of the Ottawa 2021 Canada Games Bid Committee Sue Holloway.
“If we can come out and show our support, we don’t get another chance for 20 years. So, we want to make sure we put our very best foot forward and do everything we can to be successful this time.”
But the Bid Committee needs your help to make it happen. Close to 4,000 people have already signed up as official supporters, but organizers are hoping a last-minute push will be enough to reach the 5,000 mark before the Games Review Committee makes a final site visit on March 2.
Showing your support for the bid is simple and goes a long way in demonstrating to the Games’ committee just how sports crazy the nation’s capital is. Click here now to become an official supporter.
One challenge the committee is working to overcome is the geographical size of the city, as the Games have never been hosted in a metropolis of this magnitude. But Holloway is convinced that once judges get to know the city a little bit more, they will see it’s just a big, small town.
“Even though we are geographically a big city, emotionally and spiritually, we are a small town,” she says, adding that Ottawa has one of the largest volunteer bases per capita in the country.
“Everybody knows everybody, everybody comes out and gets involved… We are a very easy city to get around, as well as a spectacularly beautiful city.”
While the Games would be centred around the downtown core, including Carleton University, uOttawa and Lansdowne Park, the entire city would benefit from the two-week competition. Aside from much-needed upgrades to the city’s infrastructure – such as soccer pitches and tracks – the Games are also projected to bring some serious economic spinoff.
According to the Ottawa bid committee, the Games are projected to bring in $150 million in economic activity, $25 million in tax revenues, contribute $100 million to the country’s gross domestic product, and create 1,200 jobs. The Games are expected to attract an additional 20,000 visitors to the city.
This is welcoming news for Metro Music owner Danielle Sabourin, who can usually be seen hanging up Ottawa REDBLACKS, Fury or Ottawa 67s flags and banners in her Glebe shop during the season. Sabourin digs the lively vibe that sports fans bring to the area.
“I love seeing the Glebe filled with people,” she says.
“It is a great opportunity for all of us to say hello and have our visitors to the area feel welcomed. There is a great feeling of joy that can, and should, be shared when the area is full of life.”
Sabourin is aware that while football or track and field fans may not come in to get their guitar repaired on the way to the game, it’s a chance for her to win over a new future customer.
“If people are welcomed to the area and we give them a positive memorable experience, they will remember us and come back.”
Ottawa will know by the end of March whether we won the bid to host the 2021 Games. Holloway has her fingers crossed, as it not only would be a boon for the city’s economic side, but also integral to the development of young athletes in the city.
“There is also just the inspiration that is provided by these young people,” she says, adding that she competed in the Canada Summer Games as a teenager in cross country skiing, while her daughter Alexandra Joy, won two medals in kayaking at the last Summer Games in 2013.
“(Young athletes) are going to see what excellence looks like. These are the next Olympic medalists. We know that 65 of athletes who were on podium in Rio were Canada Games athletes, so this is really a stepping stone.”
The Canada Games Review Committee already scored Ottawa very well during the technical site inspection last summer, which focused on venues that will be used to host the events. Next month’s visit will focus more on the “look, feel, vision and capacity” here in the nation’s capital.
And that all starts with Ottawa residents. Supporters are encouraged to follow the committee on Twitter at @Ottawa2021 to help gain momentum around the event. The committee has launched a Thuderclap social media drive that will automatically send out a support tweet from your Twitter account at 9:30 a.m. – just as the Games Committee is arriving for their site visit on March. 2.
Let’s bring the games where they truly belong.