Canada Summer Games in Niagara rescheduled for August 2022
Multi-sport event postponed from 2021
After being postponed due to public health concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games have been rescheduled to Aug. 6 to 21, 2022.
The Canada Games Council (CGC) and Niagara Host Society moved the event to the following year after consulting with provincial and territorial teams, the national sport organizations, venues, and all levels of government.
The opening ceremony will happen on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022 at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, while the closing ceremony will be on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022 at Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls.
"Following our decision to postpone the games [from 2021], we are excited to share our new dates and redirect our planning efforts towards August 2022," said Doug Hamilton, chair of the Niagara Host Society in a media release.
"We look forward to celebrating Canada's largest multi-sport event in Niagara in August of 2022."
The games were to be the first time where the host has been a region; all previous games have been hosted by single municipalities.
The postponement to 2022 means that Niagara will be able to put on the games that were envisioned, but also "reap the maximum economic benefits," according to Jim Bradley, Niagara's regional chair.
Eligibility rules not finalized
The Canada Games are the country's largest multi-sport event at the highest level of national competition for up-and-coming Canadian athletes. It's held every two years and alternates between summer and winter.
More than 5,000 young athletes and 4,000 volunteers were expected to participate in the 28th edition in Niagara.
Athlete eligibility rules have yet to be established for the 2022 games. They're expected to be announced by early 2021.
Evan Johnston, chair of the CGC board, said getting clarity on eligibility remains a "top priority."
"We expect to have clear answers for all athletes and their families early in the new year," Johnston said.
Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault acknowledged that it is a "tough time for athletes, for coaches and for all sports organizations." He added that the sport community is "a vital part of what brings us all back together."