WELLAND, ON, June 15, 2012 /CNW/ - TO2015, the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan
American Games Organizing Committee, the Government of Canada, the
Government of Ontario and the City of Welland joined together today to
make their official venue announcement and reveal the vision for the
Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC).
National team canoe/kayak members, Alanna Bray-Lougheed and Paul Bryant, also participated in the landmark announcement.
"Welland International Flatwater Centre is world-renowned for its
competitive water sport facilities and significant recreational
programs," said Ian Troop, TO2015 Chief Executive Officer. "This venue
embodies our philosophy of making Toronto 2015 the 'People's Games'
bringing sport and community together. The investments we're making
today will create a rich public legacy for generations to come."
As the premier calm water surface in the heart of the Niagara peninsula,
the WIFC will be hosting many international calibre competitions
leading up to Toronto 2015, including the ICF Junior and U23 Canoe
Sprint World Championships in 2013.
"The Harper Government is pleased to announce that the Welland
International Flatwater Centre will be the official canoe and kayak
venue for the 2015 Pan American Games," said the Honourable Bal Gosal,
Minister of State (Sport). "Our Government's significant investment of
up to $500 million in the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games for sport
infrastructure, legacy, and essential federal services will not only
result in economic prosperity for the Greater Toronto Area, but will
also leave a lasting sport legacy here in Canada for years to come. As
part of our commitment to the Games, we are pleased to provide funding
of up to $6.7 million to cover 56 per cent of capital costs for
upgrades and improvements to the Welland International Flatwater
In preparation for the Toronto 2015 Games, the WIFC will receive capital
investment from the Government of Canada and the City of Welland for
upgrades and improvements. These will include:
Canal expansion - The canal will be widened to accommodate additional
lane space to meet international competition standards
Two new buildings
A new timing tower which will keep time and score and provide technical
delegates, officials and judges and anti-doping officials with
Athletes centre with change and washrooms, athlete medical area and
storage for equipment
Upgrades to the existing site and field of play
The improvements and upgrades will be overseen by TO2015 with
Rounthwaite, Dick and Hadley Architects, awarded the contract in
October 2011 through a fair, open, transparent and competitive public
tendering process led by the City of Welland. Construction will start
in fall 2012.
Ontario's contribution will support short-term facility improvements,
equipment and the overall operations for the 2015 Games, including the
kayak and canoe events held at the WIFC.
"The Welland International Flatwater Centre is not only a great
competition venue — it's also a hub for sport, recreation and healthy
living that truly embodies the McGuinty Government's vision for the
Pan/Parapan Am Games," said Charles Sousa, Ontario's Minister
responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games. "The upgrades, triggered
by the 2015 Games, will enhance the Centre's international reputation
and bring long-lasting economic and community benefits to the Niagara
Region and all of Ontario."
"The major investment we are making in Welland, in the Recreational
Waterway and the WIFC, is an investment in our future, in the local and
national future of multiple flatwater sports and our future Pan
American athletes and future Olympians, from across Canada and perhaps
right here from our own backyard," said Barry Sharpe, Mayor of Welland.
"The investment takes the WIFC to a new level as an international venue
and national asset."
"Participating in a home Games is a tremendous motivator for our Ontario
athletes, and will help us raise awareness of the sport of Sprint Canoe
Kayak racing in Ontario," said Joanne Bryant, President, Sprint, Canoe
Kayak Ontario. "The investment being made here at the Welland
International Flatwater Centre will not only create an incredible stage
on which our athletes can shine, but also cement our ability to inspire
athletes and host international competitions for decades to come."
About the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
The Pan American Games are one of the world's largest international
multi-sport events, held every four years for athletes of the 41 member
nations of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO). The Games
comprise all Olympic Summer Games sports, as well as traditional Pan
American sports. The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will draw
10,000 athletes and officials and feature 48 sports in municipalities
across the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. The Toronto 2015 Pan American
Games will take place July 10-26 and the Parapan American Games August
7-14. For more information about the Games, please visit toronto2015.org
SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information:
Vice-President, Communications and Public Relations