The Montreal Outgames have filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors who still haven't been paid for the summer event.

About 10,000 people participated in the Outgames, a sporting event created for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered athletes.

The games face debts of more than $2 million.

TheOutgames organizers filed for protection under the federal Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, which provides shelter from forced bankruptcy, and makes it impossible for suppliers to sue them.

The move will make it harder for hundreds of unpaid suppliers to seek outstanding payments.

Many were incredulous to learn the games were a step away from bankruptcy.

"We have to blame the organizers for not doing due diligence in putting the event on," said Matthew Smith, a supplier who ran a dragon boat event with his partner.

They're still owed almost $6,000, but dozens of calls they've made to organizers have goneunanswered, Smith said.

The event was harder to market than organizers expected, Smith speculated. "One hundredper cent, it has to do with the organization, and some organizers who believed they could sell an event that was probably unsellable. They expected more spectators than they were going to get," he told CBC.

The games had projected a $200,000 surplus at the outset of this event. The operating budget amounted to more than $15 million, which was in large part government funding.