P.E.I. puts final touches on bid for 2023 Canada Winter Games

P.E.I. puts final touches on bid for 2023 Canada Winter Games

P.E.I. wants to seal the almost-done-deal for the 2023 Canada Winter Games.

The Northwest Territories agreed last fall to switch hosting years with P.E.I., taking over the Island's previously-scheduled hosting duties in 2031.

P.E.I. still has to go through an official bid process to secure the 2023 games, but faces no competition.

"There will be a technical evaluation group come in and look at all of the facilities we have here on P.E.I., then there will be an evaluation committee that will take their report and come in and do a review, much the same as what happened in 2009," Wayne Carew from the Canada Games bid evaluation committee told CBC News: Compass host Bruce Rainnie Monday.

P.E.I. last hosted a Canada Summer Games in 2009, and a Winter Games in 1991. 

Standards have risen

Sports hosting standards have risen over the years, Carew pointed out, and "you can't have a pool that's too short, you can't have a rink that's too small." 

"On Prince Edward Island, one of the challenges will be skiing," Carew said, noting that in 1991, the downhill skiing events were held in nearby Wentworth, N.S. 

"The other major one for winter sports would be the skating oval," he said, pointing out that Halifax built one in 2011 for the games with the intent of demolishing it afterward, but continues to use it today.

Carew is confident rinks on P.E.I. will be able to "rise to the occasion," he said.

Catch a rising star

The games allow athletes in their teens and early 20s and sports organizations to build future Olympians and professional athletes, he said — and they'll allow a local audience to see these rising stars. 

"We'll get to see the future Catriona LeMay Doans and Paul Kariyas and Sidney Crosbys of the world, Steve Nash," Carew said, pointing to some now-famous Canada Games alumni.  

The Island sporting community is more than up to the task of hosting 3,600 athletes and coaches for a national-calibre event, Carew said. 

"The Canada Games is all about inspiring dreams and building champions and on Prince Edward Island we have a long history of welcoming people from across the country and around the world," he said. 

"When the athletes go home, the thing they remember the most is the athletes' village... and the experience they had."

Held every two years, alternating between summer and winter, the games are Canada's largest multi-sport event and represent the pinnacle of interprovincial sport competition, according to the website. 

More than $250 million has been invested in the Canada Games, about half of it in capital projects in the various host communities, the website adds.

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