British Columbia

Canadian Olympic Committee signs up to explore feasibility of First Nations-led bid for 2030 Winter Games

Four First Nations, along with the municipalities of Vancouver and Whistler, have signed an agreement with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees to start exploring the feasibility of hosting the 2030 Winter Games in British Columbia.

Olympic, Paralympic committees sign agreement with 4 First Nations, Vancouver and Whistler

The closing ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics, which were hosted by Vancouver and Whistler. Mayors of the two municipalities are working with officials from four First Nations to explore a bid for the 2030 Games. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Four First Nations, along with the municipalities of Vancouver and Whistler, have signed an agreement with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees to start exploring the feasibility of hosting the 2030 Winter Games in British Columbia.

The agreement, announced in a written statement on Tuesday, means officials from the Lil̓wat7úl (Líl̓wat), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations, along with the mayors of Vancouver and Whistler will work with the Olympic and Paralympic committees to assess the possibility of making a bid.

"A First Nation-led bid process is what is needed and it's the foundation for us uniting and working together," said Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow. "Our relations have never been stronger and we're on a path to really, really see reconciliation and action."

The partnership to explore making a bid for the 2030 Games was announced by the nations and municipalities in December.

With much of the infrastructure already in place from the 2010 Winter Games, which was hosted by Vancouver and Whistler, Sparrow says costs for a 2030 Games wouldn't be as high.

"The highway from Vancouver to Whistler has been done and all the facilities have been done, so it's now just about upgrading most of those facilities," he told CBC's The Early Edition.

According to the committee, a group of experts in the region will conduct necessary research and technical assessments before a formal concept review with stakeholders takes place in the spring.

"With significant work already underway, this initial phase of the project is about exploring all opportunities to stage a successful Games that illustrates the power of sport to inspire and unite, and makes significant positive impacts in promoting and creating healthy, active communities." said Marc-André Fabien, president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

Following the feasibility and initial concept phase of the process, a full assessment will be completed by all groups before proceeding with a potential bid.

"It's our due diligence now to go back to our communities and make sure it is feasible to put a bid together," Squamish Nation elected councillor Wilson Williams told CBC News.

With files from The Early Edition

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