Province supporting athletes to reach their full potential while boosting local tourism
ORILLIA — Ontario is providing $1 million in funding to the 2020 Ontario Winter Games in Orillia to give the province’s best young athletes the chance to compete here at home while boosting local tourism.Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, was at Centennial Park to open the 22nd Ontario Winter Games, alongside Honourable Jill Dunlop, MPP Simcoe North, and Steve Clarke, Mayor of Orillia.
“Ontario congratulates all the athletes competing in the Orillia 2020 Ontario Winter Games, as you have made your communities and province proud,” said Minister MacLeod. “With our $1 million investment, we are demonstrating that Ontario is open for jobs and open for athletes. The Games are a wonderful example of how athletes and spectators have the power to enrich our communities, economies and civic pride.”
The City of Orillia and surrounding communities are expected to benefit from $5 million in economic activity through spectators coming to the city to cheer on their sports.
The Orillia 2020 Ontario Winter Games run from February 27 to March 1 and include more than 3,000 athletes from across Ontario. Admission is free for all sport events at the Games, which feature 27 different sports and parasports, including:
- Alpine and para alpine skiing
- Artistic swimming
- Cross country and para Nordic skiing
- Curling and wheelchair curling
- Hockey and sledge hockey
- Wheelchair basketball
The Ontario Winter Games provide young and upcoming athletes with an opportunity to compete on a larger stage. For many of these athletes, the Games represent an important step on the path towards the Canada Games, Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, as well as the Olympics and Paralympics.
Ontario’s investment in sport is part of the province’s commitment to delivering a double bottom line: providing athletes, residents and visitors with the opportunity to experience the best of the world in one province, as well as supporting economic growth by attracting visitors and creating local jobs.
- Ontario holds five multi-sport events—the Ontario Winter Games, the Ontario Summer Games, the Ontario Parasport Games, and the Ontario 55+ Summer and Winter Games.
- Sport is an important contributor to Ontario’s economy, providing an estimated $2.8 billion in 2017, an increase of 25 per cent compared to 2010.
- The City of Niagara will host the 2021 Canada Summer Games. The Games will welcome 5,000 participants and are expected to be the largest Canada Games ever with more than 200,000 spectators from across the country.
“Our government is proud to support more than 3,000 young athletes who will be competing in the 2020 Ontario Winter Games. Through these games, we are also excited to be able to support hundreds of local businesses in Simcoe County.”
— Honourable Doug Downey, MPP Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte
“The Ontario Winter Games is a great opportunity to highlight the young talents Ontario has in sport. It is also a wonderful opportunity to showcase all the City of Orillia has to offer; from the beautiful waterfront, extensive trails, and the variety of arts, culture and history that make Orillia such a wonderful place to live, play and work. The Games are a boost to our community and to our economy. I look forward to watching and cheering on all the athletes throughout the Games.”
— Honourable Jill Dunlop, MPP Simcoe North
“Sport has the power to unify. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to push a person to new heights that they never knew they could achieve. I am proud to welcome Ontario’s young athletes to Simcoe County, and I look forward to watching them as they challenge themselves and achieve their personal goals as they further their development as well-rounded individuals.”
— Andrea Khanjin, MPP Barrie–Innisfil
“Events like the 2020 Ontario Winter Games bring people together in the spirit of friendly competition and encourage our young people to live active lives. I am pleased to welcome the competitors and their friends and families to our area. I hope they will have some time to explore our communities while they are here.”
— Norm Miller, MPP Parry Sound–Muskoka
“The City of Orillia is truly honoured to host the Games. On behalf of Orillia Council, I would like to thank the volunteers, the Games Organizing Committee, the generous sponsors and our staff, who have all dedicated their time and resources to planning what will be a very memorable and positive experience for the Games participants and their families. With over 850 volunteers, our community has proven once again the dedication and passion that exists in Orillia and we are proud to showcase this for the entire province.”
— Steve Clarke, Mayor of the City of Orillia