Council approves bid to host B.C. seniors games

The City of Campbell River and the City of Courtenay are submitting a bid to co-host the 55+ BC Games

The City of Campbell River and the City of Courtenay are submitting a bid to co-host the 55+ BC Games.

At its meeting on April 20, Campbell River council directed city staff to prepare an application to bring what was formerly known as the BC Senior Games, to Campbell River.

Mayor Andy Adams said the economic spin-off from hosting the games is just too good to ignore.

“I think this is too good an opportunity to pass up,” Adams said. “And the City of Courtenay is very excited about partnering with us again.”

Campbell River last co-hosted the games in 2010, with the help of the Comox Valley.

The city was approached by the 55+ BC Games Society a few months ago about the possibility of Campbell River submitting a bid to host the games again in either 2017, 2018 or 2019.

But the proposal nearly died after the Comox Valley Regional District indicated it wasn’t interested.

Comox Valley recreation staff said in light of several events happening in the Valley within the next two years that it may be hard to recruit volunteers.

Adams then went directly to Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula to get his view on the matter. Adams said within 45 minutes Jangula had his entire council on board with submitting a bid to host the 55+ BC Games.

Adams added that Cumberland and Comox may also join in.

“I will say, Mayor (Paul) Ives and Mayor (Leslie) Baird of the Town of Comox and the Village of Cumberland are very interested but due to time constraints, if we can just get the application in, and then if we are successful, then we will extend an invitation to those communities as well,”

Coun. Charlie Cornfield, who had pushed for the councils to discuss hosting the games, said he was in full support of Campbell River playing host.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for our community and I think we have a whole new group of people who are keen to get involved,” Cornfield said.

According to the 55+ BC Games Society, the multi-sport event has the potential to generate more than $2.1 million in economic spin-off for host communities. Communities chosen to have the games are provided with $85,000 from the province to help with the cost of hosting the event.

The city has until June 26 to submit its bid for the games. The application will be developed by city staff, and then presented to council for review in either late May or early June.