The City of Quesnel has been invited to bid on the 2024 B.C. Winter Games, and it will put its name in the hat if it can secure key partnerships.
At the Feb. 25 council meeting, Coun. Laurey-Anne Roodenburg shared a report from the most recent Executive Committee meeting. The committee reviewed an invitation letter to bid on the 2024 B.C. Winter Games or the 2026 B.C Summer Games.
Requirements to host include a cash contribution of $55,000 and in-kind contribution of $55,000 by the host community, and the local school district must be an active and willing partner for the community to be considered eligible, explained Roodenburg.
As well, 2,500 to 3,000 volunteers are needed, although Roodenburg says it is felt that with guests and families coming, that number can be reduced.
The provincial Ministry of Tourism supplies cash funding of $625,000 to the host community.
The committee recommended to council that City staff enter into discussions with the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) and School District 28 about a partnership to host the 2024 B.C. Winter Games and approach Lhtako Dené First Nation to determine if they would like to be a partner in these Games.
Coun, Tony Goulet noted that in their committee discussions, they felt the Winter Games would be a better fit because the City already has the infrastructure in place, and also, there were concerns that if they bid on the Summer Games, they could be cancelled if there was a bad wildfire season.
Council voted Feb. 25 that if the partnership criteria is met, the City will respond in the affirmative to the provincial invitation to bid on hosting the 2024 B.C. Winter Games.
“I think we have tremendous assets in our community to host an event like that, and as a hosting community, wow, what a pinnacle event,” said Acting Mayor Mitch Vik.
The B.C. Winter Games are a four-day biennial event for emerging high-performance athletes aged nine to 18.
The most recent B.C. Winter Games were held Feb. 20-23 in Fort St. John and attracted 1,200 athletes, 300 coaches and 200 officials. Up to 1,800 volunteers were involved, and the economic impact to the community was excepted to be approximately $1.6 million.