February 04, 2019
The 2018 Canada 55+ Games held in Saint John have been named a finalist for Sport Event of the Year at the upcoming Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) PRESTIGE Awards. Volunteer event chair, Barb Curry, has also been named a finalist for CSTA Sport Event Volunteer of the Year Award.
CSTA’S PRESTIGE Awards celebrate the people, places and events that make the Canadian sport tourism industry so dynamic. These awards are presented annually in seven categories to honour individuals, companies and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the success of the sport tourism industry.
In August 2018, the city of Saint John hosted the largest Canada 55+ Games ever held thanks to two and a half years of planning by a dedicated local volunteer committee lead by Barb Curry and Emil Olsen. The event itself does not have a legacy structure so each city must reinvent the administration model and secure financing.
When the city was awarded the event, the committee was told to expect 1500 participants – they were over 2300. They secured accommodations, additional venues (23 in total for 22 sports) and engineered a transportation system to ensure everyone had a place to stay, play and a means to get where they needed to be. This tremendous feat left a model for a future multi-sport event of this size to be hosted in the city.
“Nowhere in Canada in 2018 would you find another event of this magnitude celebrating the athletic and mental accomplishments of seniors,” says Victoria Clarke, Executive Director of Discover Saint John. “And the Saint John committee made great strides in making the Canada 55+ Games more representative of the whole country proven by the addition of the Quebec team and the exponential growth of the New Brunswick contingent. An event that typically hosted 1500 participants grew by 53%!”
Scott McCain was the honourary chair for the event and McCain was a presenting sponsor. “Our experience with the Canada 55+ Games was much more than your typical sporting event. It was joining a community of like-minded individuals enjoying every moment of their time in Saint John - both while competing and as they were exploring the city. Events like Canada 55+ create a huge economic impact in their host cities and that only happens when volunteer leaders like Barb Curry and her team step up and take the helm,” says McCain.
The event generated an estimated economic impact of $3.2M for the greater Saint John region.
The awards ceremony will be hosted by Olympian and CBC Broadcaster Alexandre Despatie and will be held in conjunction with the CSTA’s annual Sport Events Congress on March 20, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario.
About the 2019 CSTA’S PRESTIGE Awards.
Director of Marketing & Communications, Discover Saint John