Two weeks, 19 sports, 150+ events and a major arts and cultural festival, plus 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches and more than 20,000 visitors. What a Games it was!
But the road to the Red Deer Canada Games 2019 reaches back far longer, and was travelled by the entire community. The message from CEO Scott Robinson: “We couldn’t have done it without you!”
The Volunteers: At the volunteer wrap-up Sunday, an amazing 85 per cent of volunteers came out: 3,800 people all celebrating together in one place! “It was a great testament to the experience and the impact of coming together for such an amazing event,” Robinson says. “It really how engaged they were, how they met new friends and enjoyed the events.”
The Sponsors: Sporting one of the largest sponsorship contingents of any Games, the 2019 Games raised close to $12 million in sponsorship funds – more than any other Games in history. Sponsors’ participation in the events themselves was also significant, from creating special Games commercials to participating in the Festival site. As is custom, pin trading was also a hot Games activity and those who created pins to commemorate the event “were blown away by the engagement,” Robinson says.
The Community Partners: Partners throughout the Red Deer and Central Alberta community were essential to the Games’ success – everyone from the RCMP to the local school boards. But as the host of the Athletes Village, various training facilities and the Games Operations Hub, it truly couldn’t have happened without Legacy Partner Red Deer College, also home to the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. “To host everyone in the middle of winter, in the middle of semester – we couldn’t have done it without them,” Robinson says. “They showed great leadership and we were so fortunate to have them as our Legacy Partner.”
The Board and Staff: Led by Chair Lyn Radford vice-chair Hugh McPherson, “our Board showed great community leadership and were engaged right through the process to ensure we delivered the Games that the community wanted,” Robinson says., noting that leadership extended right through the entire Games team. “We also had one of the lowest staff attrition rates of any Games in history.”
The Spectators: Even with the best venues, staffed by the most amazing volunteers, you need spectators to make your Games success, so Central Albertans and all the Games guests made sure that happened, too. “It was awesome. We had cold weather, but it didn’t phase anyone,” Robinson says. From the first-ever national Torch Relay to cheering the athletes in their efforts and successes, to experiencing the spectacular Opening and Closing Ceremonies, their enthusiasm rang out loud and clear.
Today, as the Canada Games 2019 team wraps up, the community as a whole should be proud of what they accomplished, and look forward to the legacy the Games will leave for future events and generations. Thank you, Red Deer!