Regional bid for games begins

Susan Thompson
South Peace News

The Town of Peace River is putting together a regional committee to bid on the Alberta 55 plus Summer Games in 2021.

The last time the Alberta 55 plus Games were held in northern Alberta was when Fairview hosted in 2011. The 2019 summer games were held in Medicine Hat.

“It’s a better match for the region. Part of the logic behind that is our active aging adult is potentially also a snowbird, so we would like to engage them when they are in the community, which is the summer months as opposed to the winter months,” says Tanya Bell at Peace River Community Services, who presented the idea to town council for approval.

Bell says the Town won’t go to the 12 or 13 municipality distance they went to with the previous youth games they hosted, but instead will focus on their immediate neighbours, possibly including Nampa. She says its best if all the municipalities work together to collectively make decisions.

“We sort of work out which facility will be best matched to which sport, and also to ensure the communities are well represented, that they have highlighted sports within their communities so one community doesn’t get all versus [others],” Bell says.

“I’ve given some of the other municipalities a bit of a heads up that this is coming, specifically to the Town of Grimshaw because they would be a heavy partner in this as they also with their multiplex would be hosting significant events at that location,” Bell says.

Grimshaw Mayor Bob Regal says, “The previous bid submissions have been regional in nature as these type of events are usually too much for any of the municipalities in our region to host on their own, and Grimshaw has been part of submissions in the past and will continue to be if asked to.”

Bell adds it’s also expected any municipal partners will contribute some level of dollars to the operational cost of the games.

Bell says the Town of Peace River can be expected to have to contribute $50,000 to $75,000, as compared to $200,000 for past games such as the youth games. The money will be cash flowed over a two-year period.

Alberta 55 Plus estimates past games brought in about $650,000 for host communities, with between 750-900 athletes participating each time.

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