P.E.I. to host 2023 Canada Winter Games

Prince Edward Island has been named the host of the 2023 Canada Winter Games.

'The games are an important part of our Canadian culture'

'We are thrilled to be welcoming Canadian athletes, their families, coaches and spectators to our Island shores in 2023,' says Robert Mitchell, P.E.I.'s minister responsible for sport. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

P.E.I. will host the 2023 Canada Winter Games, the Canada Games Council announced Friday.  

This is an opportunity to showcase what the Island has to offer, said Robert Mitchell, P.E.I.'s minister responsible for sport.

"The games provide our up-and-coming athletes with a chance to compete at a national level. They also help to strengthen our local economy, increase community spirit and expand volunteerism," he said in a written release.

It will also bring millions of dollars in spinoffs to the Island, he noted at the announcement.

"Based on what we know from the past like they're an 80-plus million dollar generator from previous games. We anticipate it will be similar or more. It's an opportunity to show the Island in its entirety — unlike other areas where it's just one municipality, these games will be experienced right across Prince Edward Island."

Preparations for the games will now transition from a bid committee to a host society, led by Wayne Carew and Brian McFeely. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

Preparations for the games will now transition from a bid committee to a host society, led by Wayne Carew and Brian McFeely, and will be choosing leadership positions.

'Major significant improvements'

Part of the group's work will also be figuring out if new infrastructure needs to be built. 

"We're working on those plans now, we expect that they'll certainly be a lot of major significant improvements to facilities," said Carew.

"We don't have a short-track speed skating facility we don't have a long-track speed skating facility. We obviously don't have a mountain significant enough for alpine skiing. So those are the things we have to work thorough, in order to make sure the athletes have the best experience they can possibly have."

Those improvements can lead to better athletes too.  

"I think there's an opportunity for significant growth in winter sport." said McFeely. 

The host team is currently in discussions with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick about using some of their facilities. 

The last time P.E.I.hosted a Canada Summer Games was in 2009. It also hosted the Winter Games in 1991. 

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With files from Natalia Goodwin