The City of Red Deer Named Host of the 2019 Canada Winter Games

CALGARY, Sept. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - At a joint media conference this morning held by the Canada Games Council and the Province of Alberta, the City of Red Deer was named host of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

In just over four years, the City of Red Deer will welcome our nation's next generation of national, international and Olympic champions as the best young developing athletes that Canada has to offer will converge to compete in Canada's largest multi-sport event.  

"The 2019 bid evaluation process was thorough and competitive," said Tom Quinn, Chair of the Canada Games Council. "Both communities put forth an impressive bid to Host the Games and everyone involved from both communities should be proud of what they accomplished. It was tremendously rewarding for the Canada Games to see the Movement alive and active in both communities."

The host community announcement was made at Canada's Sport Hall of Fame in front of a supportive Alberta sports community, Canada Games Council representatives, as well as numerous political figures and athletes. Alberta Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Dr. Richard Starke, took to the podium to react to the news that Red Deer was named host of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

"Congratulations to Red Deer on this prestigious accomplishment. I know they will do a fantastic job of hosting the 2019 Canada Winter Games and showcasing Alberta," said Dr. Richard Starke, Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation.  "I also applaud the tremendous effort and hard work put forward by Lethbridge. I know this was a tough choice with a very competitive bid process. Both of these cities have been shining examples of the great passion Albertans have for sport."

John Short, Chair of the Alberta Sport Connection commends both bidding communities for their efforts and looks forward in anticipation of the 2019 Games.

"It has been a long journey for the two bid committees and I want to thank everyone involved for their hard work and dedication.  To see the passion and support come alive from the two communities in the bid process to host the 2019 Canada Winter Games shows that amateur sport is vibrant in Alberta," said Mr. Short.  "The Alberta Sport Connection will build on this energy and will support the advancement of sport in Alberta as Red Deer and the province get ready to host the 2019 Canada Winter Games." 

In October of 2013, the Canada Games Council embarked on a bid process to select the host of the 2019 Canada Winter Games. After the October 1st launch, which was attended by many communities, the CGC received two Letters of Intent to Bid from Alberta communities.

Then followed the evaluation process, which included Phase I; a review of the potential communities' technical components (Sports Venues, Games Village and other key venues). During Phase II, the CGC Bid Evaluation Committee assessed the Comprehensive Host Community Bid Proposals and conducted site visits in both bidding communities. These site visits were excellent and allowed the bid communities the opportunity to reinforce their information, add value to the written descriptions in the bid proposal and answer questions posed in writing from the Bid Evaluation Committee upon receipt of the bid proposals. 

The evaluation team, chaired by Vice-President of Sponsorship for the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse and current Canada Games Board Member, Paul Flaherty, visited Lethbridge on August 21st and Red Deer on August 22nd. These visits were then followed by CGC bid evaluation meetings.

Following these meetings, the CGC Bid Evaluation Committee provided a final ranking and report to the CGC Board of Directors. The final decision from the Board of Directors was then delivered to the Province of Alberta.

The planning and preparation for the 2019 Canada Winter Games now progresses. Having hosted the 1975 Canada Winter Games in Lethbridge and the 1995 Canada Winter Games in Grande Prairie, the 2019 Canada Winter Games will mark the third time the Games are hosted in the province of Alberta.

The Red Deer bid committee will begin its work to transform itself into a Host Society responsible to plan and stage this major multi-sport event for developing athletes. An immediate focus will be to debrief with the Canada Games Council, begin the incorporation of a Host Society, select key leadership positions, and identify key representatives to attend the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George that will take place from February 13 to March 1st, 2015. These key representatives will be given the opportunity to take advantage of the mentoring program offered by the Canada Games Council and witness first-hand how the 2015 Host Society will host the 2015 Canada Games. 

About the Canada Games
The Canada Games are Canada's largest multisport 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.

The organization of the Canada Games is made possible thanks to the contribution and support of the Government of Canada, provincial/territory governments, the Host Societies, host municipalities and the Canada Games Council.

SOURCE: Canada Games Council

For further information: Joel Allard, Communications Coordinator, Canada Games Council, Tel: (613) 526 2320 Ext :2708, e-mail: jallard@canadagames.ca; Ryan O'Byrne, Public Affairs Officer, Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation, 780-643-1998, ryan.o'byrne@gov.ab.ca

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