The Canada Games is a multi-sport and cultural event that brings together the best athletes and artists in a specified age group from each Canadian province and territory. The primary objective of the Games and the Games movement is national and provincial sport development of Canadian youth. The Games provide the stimulus for Canadian youth to reach their athletic potential, pursue personal excellence and develop socially and culturally within the context of ethical competition. The Games rotate across the country and facilities built for the Games often serve as a sporting legacy to the host communities.
The Canada Games were created by the Amateur Athletic Union, a private, not-for-profit national sport organization, with significant funding provided by the federal and Quebec governments. Quebec City hosted the first Canada Winter Games in 1967 as part of Canada’s centennial celebrations. Following the formation of Fitness and Amateur Sport Canada in 1968 the Canada Games became a program of the federal government. The first summer version of the Games was staged in Halifax in 1969. Since then each province has hosted the Games at least once.
In 1991, the Canada Games Council, a private, not-for-profit operation was formed. The Canada Games Council is the organization responsible for all aspects of the Games, including the philosophy, objectives and the development of policies and procedures to guide the preparation and staging of the Canada Winter and Summer Games. Their partners include federal, provincial and territorial governments, National Sport Organizations and their affiliated Provincial Sport Organizations. Additionally, host cities, provinces, and territories, Host Societies and corporate sponsors are partners in the staging of each Canada Games event.
Canada Games has taken on a new importance over the past number of years in Canada’s overall sport strategy. Canadian Sport Policy positions Canada Games as to target next generation National Team members and future Olympians.
Canada Games Host Communities
- to provide athletes in Western Canada with an athletic competition that supports provincial/territorial sport organizations developmental plans;
- to provide athletes in Western Canada with an opportunity to prepare for the Canada Games and other national/international competitions;
- to encourage and motivate participation in major sports on an interprovincial, provincial, territorial, regional and community basis;
- to profile the best developing athletes in Western Canada;
- to promote a high standard of coaching and officiating in Western Canada;
- to demonstrate the strong volunteer commitment to amateur sport by Western Canadians;
- to provide opportunities for the upgrading and construction of sport facilities;
- to promote the value of sport and demonstrate its important role in Western Canadian culture;
- to encourage government, the private sector and the volunteer community to cooperate in the organization and funding of the Western Canada Summer Games; and
- to provide a human and physical legacy within the host community.