5,000 volunteers needed for 2023 Canada Winter Games on P.E.I.

The co-chair of the 2023 Canada Winter Games says about 5,000 volunteers will be needed to pull off the Island-wide celebration of sport.

Co-chair says search and selection of key volunteers, event locations well underway

2023 Canada Winter Games co-chairs Wayne Carew, left, and Brian McFeely are pictured in November. Carew says preparations for the Games are well underway. Eventually 5,000 volunteers will be needed. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

The co-chair of the 2023 Canada Winter Games says about 5,000 volunteers will be needed to pull off the Island-wide celebration of sport.

Wayne Carew, co-chair of the Games, recently announced the board of directors and will, within the next few weeks, announce the board of management — the nine senior leadership volunteers from across the province who will work to bring cultural events and the 24 sport competitions to life.

"It's like holding 24 national competitions under one roof," said Carew, who is working with co-chair Brian McFeely.

Those nine leadership volunteers will recruit their own teams for a total of about 200 pre-Games volunteers. Then roughly 5,000 people will be needed for the $54-million Games slated for February and March three years from now. 

That's about one volunteer for every 31 Islanders, but Carew feels it's of no concern. 

"That's the least I have to worry about," he said brightly.

The search for those volunteers comes later. More immediate concerns include selecting all the locations for sporting and cultural events, as well as making weather-related contingency plans. 

"We'll need lots of chips, of course, but we'll need to make provisions as to how we will do those events that are getting cancelled, so that everyone will have completed the Games before they go home," he said.

$110M economic impact

Carew said the entire Island will be involved one way or the other from tip to tip.

"Our mandate from the province … was that the Games be Island-wide and that's what we are endeavouring to do."

He said the economic impact of the Games is predicted to be about $110 million and noted that it will serve as a kickoff to celebrations for the 150th anniversary of P.E.I. joining Confederation.

"It's a great way to fill up every hotel room on Prince Edward Island for three weeks," he said. "It will be a good economic impact as well as an awful lot of fun."

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