ROBIN BOOKER/BRANDON SUN
Members of the 2017 Canada Summer Games Bid Committee meet at Brandon City Hall Sunday to prepare for an inspection by the Canada Games Bid Evaluation Committee today.
It’s Manitoba’s turn for the Canada Games, and Brandon isn’t competing with any other community to be the host — but that doesn’t guarantee the Wheat City will land the 2017 Summer Games, said Jeffrey Cristall, Chairman of the 2017 Brandon Canada Games Bid Committee.
"The way the Canada Games work is each province gets a turn, but they have to get above the bar," said Cristall. "The purpose of (Monday) is to show we can put on the games in the style in which they have became accustom — that we are above the bar in all aspects that are crucial to the games."
On Sunday morning the bid committee, including Mayor Shari Decter Hirst, huddled around the chamber tables at city hall and practiced their game face for the Canada Games Bid Evaluation Committee who are inspecting Brandon’s facilities today.
The actual bid has been in for weeks, but the next stage in the award process is inspections and supplementary questions by the evaluation committee.
After the city takes the committee on a tour of Brandon’s venues, there will be a meet and greet with many of the stake holders: the school division, the university, community colleges, as well as mayors and reeves from surrounding communities.
"The spirit of south western Manitoba is a hosting spirit and this is about as big as it gets. It will be the 50th anniversary of the Canada Games and it will be Canada’s 150 birthday in 2017," said Cristal. "What an honor it will be for us to be the host city of what will be the largest gathering of young Canadians on the 150th birthday of our country."
The 2011 Canada Winter Games had an economic impact of $130 million and was one of the top trending twitter topics in the world.
Brandon has already hosted the Canada Winter Games in 1979, the summer games in 1997 and if the city hosts the 2017 summer games it will be the first city to host the Canada Games three times.
The six to eight members of the bid evaluation committee will be ferried around the city in a chartered city bus — so if you see a group of people with stern suspicion in their eyes, don’t be afraid to try and cheer them up with a friendly Manitoba welcome wave.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 10, 2012