Greater Victoria and the City of Abbotsford Postpone 55+ BC Games

Sydney – The BC Seniors Games Society (BCSGS) in consultation with the 2021 Greater Victoria Host Society have made the difficult decision to postpone the 2021 55+ BC Games. The Games were to run September 14-18, 2021. Because of the ongoing public health concerns due to the pandemic, the Games will be postponed until the fall of 2022. The city of Abbotsford has also officially requested that the 2022 Games they were awarded in October of 2018 be moved to 2023.

The 55+ BC Games are presented on an annual basis in different host cities by the BC Seniors Games Society (BCSGS). The Games are an important part of the BC sport system and are the largest annual multi-sport gathering event in the province. They offer the opportunity to celebrate sport and active living with other participants from across the province and experience the hospitality of the Host City.

Each year the Games attract approximately 3,600 participants and require approximately 1,500 volunteers to stage and deliver the Games in the Host Community.

Moving the 55+ BC Games a full year ahead provides for the opportunity to deliver not only safe events that meet the required health and safety protocols as established by viaSport as well as the Provincial Health Authority, but more importantly means that participants, families and volunteers who come to Greater Victoria and Abbotsford can expect to not only have great competition but experience all the host communities can offer in terms of music, food, arts and culture without restrictions.

No concrete decisions have been made on the dates of the 2022 Games but both the Greater Victoria Host Society and the BCSGS agree that the Games will be hosted in the fall of 2022, tentatively September 13-17. Dates for the Abbotsford Games will be announced as well.

All three organizations will continue to monitor developments relating to the pandemic and to safeguard the health of all participants. BCSGS will continue to update all stakeholders on the 55+ BC Games postponements as they become available.

QUOTES

Paul Kingan, Acting President BC Seniors Games Society
“This is not the decision we wanted to make but the health and safety of our participants and volunteers comes first. Our staff consulted with government and health departments and we all came to the conclusion that this was the best decision we can make with the information we have at the time.”

Michael O’Connor, President of the Greater Victoria Host Society
“While this delay is yet another blow caused by COVID 19, we seek to see the positive in allowing Greater Victoria now having the time to deliver an event in a world we all want to get back to – not just normal – but truly great. And now our committee will set the goal on how we can accomplish that against a revised timeline.”

Henry Braun Mayor of Abbotsford
“Coming together through sport is something that is foundational to building a complete community. This year has been unlike any other, and the safety and well-being of our residents are a top priority. On behalf of the City of Abbotsford, we are looking forward to hosting a fantastic 55+ Games in 2023.”

About the Greater Victoria Sport Tourism Commission
The Greater Victoria Sport Tourism Commission is the successor to SportHost Victoria. Following local sport stakeholder consultations, a new model incorporating sport hosting and tourism marketing was recommended in 2017 to better align organizational resources in Greater Victoria into one sport-focused entity. The Greater Victoria Sport Tourism Commission was announced on February 13, 2018 to succeed SportHost Victoria. It will be housed as a highly autonomous entity within the legal structure of Tourism Victoria.

About Abbotsford
Abbotsford is a vibrant and growing City, known as the hub of the Fraser Valley. The City has hosted numerous high profile sporting events including the BC Summer Games in 2016, BC Summer Games in 2004, the 2002 BC Disability Games and the 2006 BC Seniors Games – now called the 55+ BC Games.

About the 55+ Games
The 55+ BC Games is an annual, multi-sport competition celebrating active and healthy seniors. The Games are funded primarily by the BC Seniors Games Society and the Provincial Government. They are an important part of the Sport 4 Life Long Term Athlete Development, with many of the Provincial Sport Organizations providing support. The BC Seniors Games Society is the parent organization that is responsible for the overall governance of the Games, the sport specific rules, and the liaison with the senior participants.

In 2017, an Economic Impact study found that the 55+ BC Games provide an impact of over $3.3 million to the host community. In addition, Host communities benefit from the development of capacity to host large multisport events by training volunteers and improved infrastructure through the Games Legacy program.

Please visit www.55plusbcgames.org for more information.

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MEDIA CONTACTS

For more information contact:

Judy Joseph-Black
Event Manager
BC Seniors Games Society
250-812-7189
judy@55plusbcgames.org

Matthew Holme
Manager of Corporate Communications and Destination Management,
Destination Greater Victoria
Cell: 250 818-7846, Office: 250 414-6976
matthew.holme@tourismvictoria.com

Alex Mitchell
Public Affairs Officer, City of Abbotsford
T: 604-751-3092
amitchell@abbotsford.ca

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.

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