BREAKING | Canada Summer Games in Niagara postponed until 2022
Another major event in Niagara is being delayed due to the pandemic.
It has been announced that the Canada Summer Games, which were to be held in Niagara in August 2021, will be postponed for a year.
The decision was made today by the Canada Games Council, after consulting with the Niagara Region, the Province of Ontario and the Federal Government.
New sport facilities are currently being built for the games, including the Canada Games Park in Thorold and Henley Rowing Centre in St. Catharines.
The games are held every two years, alternating between winter and summer, marking the highest level of national competition for thousands of up-and-coming Canadian athletes.
More than 5,000 participants and 4,000 volunteers are expected to participate.
No decision has been made yet on the new dates for the Canada Summer Games in Niagara, but the goal is for them to be held in Niagara in 2022.
Both organizations say they will continue to monitor developments relating to the pandemic and provide updates as they become available.
The board issued a statement saying "Given the uncertainty created by the ongoing pandemic, the decision to postpone the Games was made, first and foremost, to ensure the health and safety of all the athletes, coaches, staff, volunteers and spectators expected to attend this event. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic would likely prevent us from delivering a phenomenal Games experience, both in terms of sport competitions and cultural events. By postponing the Niagara Canada Games, we will be able to better protect the health and safety of Games participants, the Niagara community and visitors from across the country, while delivering an extraordinary Games experience."
"All of our athletes, coaches and volunteers are top of mind for us in deciding to postpone the Games. No doubt this decision will be disappointing for those who have been training and preparing for the 2021 Games, but we hope to find their understanding and support," said Evan Johnston, Chair of the Canada Games Council Board. "We made this difficult decision now, after careful consideration, to protect the health of Canadians and give all stakeholders more time to adjust their preparations. We will be reviewing options for new dates for the Canada Summer Games to take place during the summer of 2022 in the Niagara Region."
"Postponing the Games certainly wasn't an easy decision, nor one that we took lightly, but we felt it was the right choice to make," said Doug Hamilton, Chair of the 2021 Canada Games Host Society. "In all likelihood, moving ahead with the Canada Summer Games in 2021 would have prevented us from hosting the Games' sport competitions and cultural events in the way that they were originally envisioned. By delaying the Games to the summer of 2022, we hope to give Games participants a greater opportunity to maximize their experience, while also ensuring that Niagara can realize the full potential of hosting Canada's largest multi-sport event."