Halifax bids farewell to Canada Winter Games
After 15 days of competition, the 2011 Canada Winter Games ended Sunday with a East Coast-style closing celebration at the Halifax Metro Centre.
It was a Nova Scotia affair, featuring music from Squid, Three Sheet, Radio Radio, Old Man Luedecke, and Mass Pipe and Drums.
In the end, the unofficial overall winner of the games was Halifax — the host city — as praise was heaped on the city and the organizers for running a flawless event.
All 13 teams from Canada's provinces and territories were honoured by the thousands of spectators as they entered the Metro Centre.
An estimated 50,000 attended the free concerts held in Halifax's Parade Square each night in the 15–day span of the Games.
For Team Nova Scotia, two special awards — the team won the Centennial trophy for the most improved performance since the last winter games and the Jack Pelech Award for combining competitive performance, good sportsmanship, spirit of fair play, co-operation and friendship.
On Sunday, Games chair Jean-Paul Deveau joined Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter and Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly for a final summary of how the event went.
Deveau said the games might be over, but his positivity remained.
"We're having way too much fun to be having a sad day at this particular point, maybe tomorrow we'll be sad but today, it's not," said Deveau.
"You know, at the very beginning we set a vision for the games, the first is we wanted to put on a great show for the athletes, we also wanted them to be able to go home and say, 'Wow, I was just in Halifax and Nova Scotia. …I leave it up to you to decide if we met our objectives."
Deveau also talked about his desire to engage the local community throughout the games, as well as leaving a lasting legacy.
Games give N.S. a 'boost': Dexter
The premier agreed that the presence of the Games will be felt after Sunday.
"There will be the facilities that are left, there will be the athletes that competed here that will go on to compete again," said Dexter.
"But I think the single biggest legacy for this province is the tremendous boost in self-confidence that the province and the city get from having this kind of a spectacular success."
In all, just over 2,400 athletes took part in the games and an army of more than 5,200 volunteers helped make the Games work the way organizers had hoped.
The next national games will be in 2013 when the Quebec city of Sherbrooke hosts the Canada Summer Games.