Canada Games offers business, artists opportunities

Prince George hosts event, invites torch celebrations

District of 100 Mile House planner

District of 100 Mile House planner

About a dozen business owners, managers and other individuals turned out to the Horton Ventures conference room on July 23 to hear how they might get a piece of the action from the 2015 Canada Games in Prince George.

Held by the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce and the District of 100 Mile House, the public luncheon seminar provided information for businesses in the South Cariboo to get involved with the games, either directly, or at a local level.

Prince George Canada Games 2015 CEO Stuart Ballantyne and marketing and communications director Mike Davis gave Powerpoint presentations, Ballantyne on venues and a background on the games, while Davis detailed some ways communities can get involved.

Davis said this will be the largest community or sports event ever hosted in Prince George, with about 15,000 visitors expected over the two weeks of the games and athletes coming from approximately 800 communities across Canada.

He added a total of 4,500 volunteers are needed to host the games, so are also being welcomed from outside of the city – as are suppliers.

“We are doing business with local companies and local suppliers, if we can reduce the amount of gas and emissions. Because, we are a sustainable games by not having to travel goods so far, and we also want to sustain local business.

“But, local doesn’t mean just Prince George, it means Northern B.C. [and then] the rest of the province.”

Davis said regional community engagement is being sought, including an opportunity for each of the four key regional communities, including the Cariboo Chilcotin, to host a Tiny House (log cabin kiosk) along a BC Street games’ site.

Torch celebrations will be happening in select British Columbia communities when the 2015 Canada Games torch is carried to Prince George next spring, which includes passing through 100 Mile House, he noted.

A total of 150 torch bearers are needed, so nominations of worthy community individuals (in one of four categories) are being accepted and will be considered carefully before choosing the winners, he said.

“We are asking communities to consider hosting a torch celebration … and we do have a budget to support that.”

Davis urged the District of 100 Mile House to apply as a host.

District planner Joanne Doddridge was among the attendees, and asked Davis for details on how local businesses and artists could apply.

He explained opportunities are listed online at www.canadagames2015.ca (see Procurement or Artists links).

“There are a number of things we still have to purchase,” Davis said, adding about $10 million in items will be needed. At this later stage, he advises anyone who intends to bid online to contact Hélène Rohn at 250-614-6544 or e-mail to hrohn@canadagames2015.ca.

Meanwhile, the torch will be lit in Victoria on Oct. 15, followed by a torch event on Nov. 14, Davis noted.

He said talent will also be needed for the cultural festival that will run in the main plaza site, so a Canada-wide call is going out for those, with a focus on B.C.’s local and regional talent.

“If there are artists, entertainers and performers in your community that you are aware of, you really want to start to reach out … we can’t track everybody down, so please spread the word. The information is on our website as to how people can register.”

The website at www.canadagames2015.ca also offers more information on hosting events and nominating individuals as torch bearers.

Aboriginal engagement with the games is also being fostered, including introducing the first-ever First Nations-named mascot for Canada games will be introduced, a fox named Nanguz, Davis explained.

The 2015 Canada Games will take place Feb. 13-March 1, 2015 at various Prince George venues, most of which have been updated or totally rebuilt to accommodate this large, national sporting event.