British Columbia

Concept details of B.C.'s 2030 Olympics bid to be announced Tuesday

A joint press conference between the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Four Host First Nations, and the cities of Vancouver and Whistler is scheduled to take place Tuesday morning in Whistler, where the "hosting concept" for a 2030 bid will be unveiled. 

Indigenous-led effort will need to be approved by local First Nations and the City of Vancouver as a next step

Indigenous dancers perform at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics opening ceremony. While Indigenous groups were significantly involved in those Games, four prominent First Nations are now leading a bid to bring the Olympics and Paralympics to B.C. in 2030. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The details of the bid for British Columbia to host the 2030 Winter Olympics will become clearer Tuesday. 

A joint press conference between the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Four Host First Nations, and the cities of Vancouver and Whistler is scheduled to take place Tuesday morning in Whistler, where the "hosting concept" for a 2030 bid will be unveiled. 

It's expected the announcement will lay out where events would be held, along with how the Indigenous-led concept would work operationally. 

It comes more than four months after the four First Nations involved in the bid — the Lil̓wat7úl (Líl̓wat), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) — announced they were working with the COC and the Canadian Paralympic Committee on a feasibility study

"The difference between 2010 [and 2030] is that we were an invitee and today we are a big part of the exploratory group," said Líl̓wat Chief Dean Nelson when the study was launched. 

While most of the facilities used for the 2010 Olympics are being considered for the 2030 bid, Vancouver's curling facility (Hillcrest Community Centre) has since been changed into a multi-purpose building. In addition, Sun Peaks Mayor Al Raine said his resort municipality has had conversations with the COC as a possible replacement to Cypress for some outdoor events. 

Options for the site of the Olympic Village have been rumoured to include the Heather and Jericho lands in Vancouver, both of which are now jointly owned by three of the four First Nations involved in the 2030 bid. 

What comes next?

Following the unveiling of the hosting concept, each First Nation and municipality is expected to consult on a decision whether to move forward with a bid over the next few months. Provincial and federal financial support has also yet to be committed. 

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has said it will be up to council to approve a bid and a vote is expected for next month, although it's unclear whether Vancouver would have a plebiscite on the issue. 

If approved, a formal bid would likely happen later this year, with a decision by the International Olympic Committee on who will host the games expected in 2023. Unlike the 2010 bidding process, there is no final vote by IOC delegates after a costly campaign by cities campaigning for the games. 

The other two cities that are advanced in their bids have also previously hosted the Winter Olympics: Salt Lake City (2002) and Sapporo, Japan (1972). 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Justin McElroy

@j_mcelroy

Justin is the Municipal Affairs Reporter for CBC Vancouver, covering local political stories throughout British Columbia.

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