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Salmon Arm’s bid for 55+ BC Games remains unanswered

Committee had expected to hear before now on three upcoming years
Runners reach the finish line during a track and field event at the 55+ BC Games in Nanaimo. (File photo)

Although word was expected by now, Salmon Arm hasn’t heard yet whether it will be hosting the 55+ BC Games in the near future.

Back in June, city council authorized the submission of a bid package and letter of support for the 2024, 2025 and 2026 55+ Games.

Council agreed that if the bid was successful for one of those years, to provide a cash contribution of $60,000 as well as in-kind support via services and facilities with a value of $55,000. The $60,000 was put aside in a reserve in November 2021.

Coun. Debbie Cannon, who is part of the group involved with the application process, said the announcement would typically have been made at the 2022 Games. She said the province’s Tourism Minister changed recently so that has slowed the process.

Abbotsford will be hosting the 2023 Games, but no decisions beyond next year.

In a report to council in June, Erin Jackson, the city’s chief administrative officer, said Darby Boyd, general manager of the Shuswap Recreation Society, has been leading the application process in collaboration with Cannon, Mayor Alan Harrison as well as Lana Fitt and Caitlin Thompson from the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society.

“The group has received an outpouring of support from the community and presented to the school district on June 21 to request the use of venues and bussing during the event,” reads Jackson’s memo to council.

The games are expected to bring up to 4,000 registered participants from across B.C. to compete in 20 to 31 different sports competitions over four days. It will require more than 1,200 community volunteers, she said.

“We have identified a combined volunteer pool that exceeds this requirement. Core event activities include sports events, athlete registration, opening ceremonies, participant celebration, passing of the flag ceremony and volunteer appreciation event.”

Jackson’s memo said the economic benefit to the community and surrounding area during the shoulder season would be substantial – in the plus or minus $3 million range – along with a variety of non-monetary benefits.

The tentative dates would be, if in 2024, Sept. 11 through 14; if 2025, Sept. 10-13 and, if 2026, Sept. 16-19, 2026.

Read more: Medals from BC and Canada 55+ Games make their way to the Shuswap

Read more: Salmon Arm making a bid to host the 2024 55+BC Games
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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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