2018 BC Summer Games Legacy Announced

2018 BC Summer Games Legacy Announced

Author: BC Games Society/Saturday, July 20, 2019/Categories: Front Page, 2019 News, 2018 BC Summer Games

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July 19, 2019 marked the one year anniversary of the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 BC Summer Games.  To celebrate, the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games Board and Legacy Committee announced their community legacy.

Of the $1.2 million cash and in-kind donations raised to host the Games significant amounts offset budgeted items, leaving a substantial cash surplus.  Half of the surplus ‘pays it forward’ to the BC Games Society to support future Games.  The remaining $120,000 was distributed locally at the July 19 event at the Cowichan SportsPlex.

“The Games engaged our community in a way I have never seen before.  People stepped up as volunteers, sponsors, and supporters. I hope everyone who helped make the Games possible will take a moment to feel proud of their personal role in creating such a tangible benefit for our community.  On July 19 as we presented legacy cheques to local organizations we were able to Show Our Colours one more time,” explains Jen Woike, Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games President and Chair of the Legacy Committee.

The cash legacy from the Games was distributed as follows:

Sportsplex Field House – $40,000
Funding toward a multi-sport Field House at Cowichan Sportsplex.  The proposed project will significantly improve the quality of this regional recreational facility by adding fully accessible public washrooms and change rooms, a multi-purpose community meeting and event space, and improved administration area. Facility accessibility, usability, and overall health and safety will be significantly upgraded as a result of the project, enabling the Sportsplex to better serve the community and attract further large-scale sporting events to the region. The Field House will be built to allow for future expansion and constructed to post-disaster standards so that it can serve as an assembly point in the event of an emergency.

KidSport Cowichan – $25,000
The provision of grants of up to $300 per child per year for children 18 years and younger to cover the cost of registration in both team and individual sports.

Cowichan Tribes – $20,000
Funding toward resurfacing the Siem Lelum Gymnasium floor. The Siem Lelum Gym is a highly valued facility in Cowichan that is home to many community-wide clubs, youth sports and sporting events, as well as being an important venue for Cowichan Tribes cultural gatherings and traditional ceremonies.

Cowichan Valley Performing Arts – $20,000
The provision of financial assistance through bursaries and scholarships for youth to pursue performing arts activities and education in music, theatre, dance and voice. Financial assistance will be available to youth 18 years and younger residing in the Cowichan Region to discover and pursue their passions in the performing arts.

Town of Ladysmith – $10,000
The purchase of competition starting blocks and lane ropes for the swimming pool at Frank Jameson Community Centre that will provide additional resources for the enhancement of this facility for the long-term benefit of community members, particularly children and families.

School District 79 – $5000
The commission of a piece of local First Nations art for the proposed entrance to the new Cowichan Secondary School that celebrates the contributions of the Hul’qumi’num peoples and School District #79 in the shared and enduring success of the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games.

"These financial gifts to the community are the final installment of the many legacies that came from hosting the Games," says Mona Kaiser, Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games Vice-President. "Not only did local businesses benefit from the influx of 3,500 participants and their parents and supporters, but in preparation for the Games we are able to use BC Games funding to upgrade many of local facilities."

In addition to cheques handed out on July 19, the Games contributed to the following new and/or improved amenities:

  • Rowing dock at Art Mann Park

  • Hammer cage at Cowichan SportsPlex

  • Competition starting blocks at Cowichan Aquatic Centre

  • New Signage and horse stalls at Cowichan Exhibition Park

  • Competition mat for the local wrestling association

  • Portable bike racks for Triathlon BC competitions around the province

  • Soccer nets for Cowichan Valley Soccer Association

  • Racing gear for Canoe/Kayak competitions

  • Competition timing hardware for Towed Water Sports

“Our goal was to not only host an excellent sporting event for thousands of athletes from around our province, but to do something special for our community as well,"  continues Ms. Kaiser. "We are proud to leave Cowichan in better shape than when we started, as well as providing 2,700 volunteers with the lasting memory of working together as a community, for the benefit of everyone."

"Perhaps the most powerful legacy of the Games is the intangible benefits it stimulated,"  says Ms. Woike.  "The Games were a celebration of sport, but also a celebration of culture and diversity.   The artistic community put on three amazing events - the Torchlighting 100 days before the Games and the opening and closing ceremonies during the Games.  First Nations language was embraced from the beginning and featured prominently in the ceremonies and events.  Everyone did an exceptional job of doing things the Cowichan-way and we showcased to the rest of the province how amazing it is here in Cowichan.”

Further achievements and community legacies of the Games include:
  • One of the largest opening ceremonies for a BC Summer Games with 8,500 people in attendance

  • A massive picnic for 4,000 guests at Laketown Ranch

  • ‘Colours’, an original Games song and music video written and performed by local artist Lindsay Elzinga

  • Highest per capita donations and sponsorships

  • Creation of an award-winning souvenir program

  • Locally designed souvenir apparel that not only sold out, but sold the most ever

  • A Sports Medicine Symposium that provided the latest protocols and training for medical volunteers

  • Free Level 1 First Aid training for 60 community volunteers

As they wrap up the 2018 BC Summer Games the community and all of the volunteers can be proud of the amazing event they staged and the significant legacy they have left.  Well done Cowichan!


Photo credits:  Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games and Chris Mann


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