The first BC Seniors Games was held in Vernon in 1988 and featured 15 sports with 650 participants. The annual Games have grown immensely over the past 30+ years with the most recent Kelowna 2019 55+ BC Games featuring 30 sports with 4,086 participants.
On July 10, 1987, the BC Seniors Games Society incorporated and received a core grant from the Recreation and Sport Branch of the provincial government. Seniors Lottery and New Horizons (Health and Welfare Canada) also provided organizational grants while corporate sponsors provided additional funding.
On May 17, 1994, the BC Seniors Games Society signed an affiliation agreement with the BC Games Society to provide event management support in order to ensure prosperity, quality and evolution of the Games.
In 2015, the BC Seniors Games were rebranded to the 55+ BC Games, while the BC Seniors Games Society continued to manage and govern the Games with event management support from the BC Games Society. The provincial government continued to be a funding partner for the Games in addition to provincial corporate sponsors.
In the fall of 2017, the affiliation agreement with BC Games Society ended and management of the 55+ BC Games rested solely with the BC Seniors Games Society. Event Managers employed by the Society continue to provided guidance and assist host society volunteers with the detailed planning and staging of the annual Games.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought the planning of the 2020 55+ BC Games to a grinding halt in March 2020 and ultimately resulted in the cancellation of the Games that year and the postponement of the 2021 Games. This was the first time in history the Games were not held annually.
Funding for the Games comes from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport through the BC Seniors Games Society, a legacy grant, participant registration and sport fees as well as local Friends of the Games contributors each year.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.