Victoria Hosts the First Successful Post-Pandemic Games
From September 13 to 17, Greater Victoria welcomed more than 2,600 competitors and 850 volunteers for the 55+ BC Games, the first provincial senior games since before the pandemic.
Venues across the CRD hosted 22 activities and sports and including soccer, snooker, dragon boats, lawn and carpet bowling, archery, softball, cycling and track and field. Cultural events were also held—the opening ceremonies, Night on the Town in downtown Victoria, and a party for participants and volunteers—each designed to bring participants, volunteers and the community together in celebration of active living at all ages.
“Everyone’s hard work was reflected in the smiles, accomplishments and memories of volunteers and participants,” says Clint Flood, general manager of the Games. “Thousands of hours of detailed planning go into the five days of these Game. What makes it worthwhile is seeing athletes reach and surpass their goals; watching people laugh and connect with old and new friends; and hearing from spectators that they want to take part too.”
One of the markers of the Games’ success is the participants’ joy and pride at having taken part. During competition, and around town during the Games, people from 12 zones around the province, including locations as far away as Atlin, B.C., three hours from the Alaskan border, showcased healthy, active lifestyles in older adults, as well as camaraderie and community building.
Hotels, restaurants, and retailers also benefitted from the Games, welcoming participants to the capital region just as the rush of summer tourism began to slow. In 2017, an economic impact study found that the 55+ BC Games provide an impact of over $3.3 million to the host community.
Sports tourism inspired the bid for the Games, which was awarded to Greater Victoria in 2018, thanks to the efforts of Destination Greater Victoria.
“Congratulations to the athletes, coaches, volunteers, and organizers,” said Paul Nursey, CEO of Destination Greater Victoria. “I would like to especially thank our municipal partners, who were essential in delivering a successful games. We hope everyone enjoyed their stay in Greater Victoria and we look forward to your return.”
At the close of the Games, Greater Victoria passed the flag to the City of Abbotsford, who will host the 55+ BC Games in August 2023.