2021 bill tops $10M

While Ottawa gets ready for a year packed with big sporting events, the city’s Canada Summer Games Bid Committee is making plans for 2021.

A recent report to the city’s finance and economic development committee revealed that if Ottawa hosts the 2021 Canada Summer Games, it would need to put $10.5 million towards the event’s budget.

The rest of the $43-million budget would be split between the provincial and federal governments.

The Canada Games feature the country’s top amateur athletes representing their respective province or territory. 

The summer games are held every four years, and next year’s event is being hosted by Winnipeg.

Ottawa is currently in the second phase of the selection process, with Sudbury, Niagara, and a partnership between the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph and Cambridge still in the running to host the 2021 event.

Cyril Leeder, Ottawa Senators president and chair of the bid team, said at the committee meeting there’s no better place than the nation’s capital to host the quadrennial nation-building exercise.

“This is low risk, high reward for the City of Ottawa,” Leeder said. 

The committee approved a $500,000 deposit for the bid to be included in the city’s 2017 budget. 

Lindsay Hugenholtz, general manager of Ottawa’s bid committee, said hosting the games will have significant financial benefits for the community.

Hugenholtz was deputy CEO for the 2011 Winter Games in Halifax, and said the two-week event generated about $130 million in economic activity for the city, and more than 1,000 jobs. 

She added that the impact the games have on the host city goes beyond money.

“There was a huge amount of community pride and an amazing number of volunteers who came out,” Hugenholtz said.

The report, filed by planning manager John Smit, said the Halifax bid is comparable to Ottawa’s because of the size of the budget and investment in facilities. 

“We feel like we are in a good position moving forward,” Smit said about the chances of winning.

The report says about $8 million of the city’s contribution to the games would go towards upgrading recreational facilities such as the Nepean Sportsplex  and the Terry Fox Athletic Facility at Mooney’s Bay.