Council declines to go it alone on Seniors Games

Without partner, Campbell River lacks facilities to host full lineup of annual 55+ summer games

Campbell River won’t host the 55+ BC Games (formally the BC Seniors Games) any time soon as a potential partner has bowed out.

The city was invited in February to submit a bid proposal to play host in either 2017, 2018 or 2019.

Lynn Wark, the city’s recreation and culture manager, reported back to council at last night’s council meeting that Campbell River does not have the required facilities to play host on its own and would need a partner.

The problem is, the Comox Valley – which Campbell River teamed up with in 2010 to host the seniors’ games – isn’t interested.

“Staff contacted the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) general manager of community services to discuss the potential for submitting a bid to host the 2017, 2018 or 2019 games,” Wark said in her report to council. “He informed staff that at a meeting last year, made up of recreation practitioners from the CVRD, Campbell River, Courtenay and Cumberland, the consensus was that after hosting the games in 2010, bidding on anything within the next few years would be very challenging.”

Wark said that with the Comox Valley already playing host to several upcoming events, it just wasn’t practical.

“It was felt it may be difficult to recruit for volunteers and also there are events that are happening in the Comox Valley this year and next year that would make it difficult to find the time and resources to put in a successful bid,” Wark said.

“Consequently, recreation and culture department staff is recommending that we delay applying to host another 55+ Games until a later date.”

The Games is a multi-sport event which has the potential to generate more than $2.1 million in economic spinoff for host communities.

The last time Campbell River co-hosted the games, approximately 3,300 athletes – plus coaches and officials – participated in 28 competitive games and sports including badminton, cycling, darts, bowling, slo-pitch, tennis, disc golf, bocce ball, bridge, pickleball, one-act plays, and track and field.

Campbell River hosted 12 events while the Comox Valley hosted the remainder.

Communities that are chosen to host the Seniors Games are provided with $85,000 from the B.C. Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development to help with the cost of hosting.