With the 2015 Canada Winter Games under our belt and the 2022 B.C. Summer Games yet to come, the city is hoping for more world class athletics in Prince George.
On Monday council gave the OK for staff to let Curling Canada Prince George is interested in bidding for the 2020 Canada Men’s Curling Championship (Tim Hortons Brier) in partnership with Tourism Prince George;
There is a minimum dollar/value-in-kind commitment required at the bid stage for the event budget in the amount of $500,000, which council has approved spending.
According to the city’s general manager of community services, Rob Whitwham, the economic impact for the host community is estimated between $11 million to $15 million. The number of volunteers required is estimated at 500. Any financial legacy remains with the local curling community.
The City of Prince George annually receives $2,600,000 from provincial gaming revenues. Of this, $2,400,000 goes to the Capital Expenditure Reserve and the remaining $200,000 is transferred to the Major Events Reserve. This $200,000 serves as a reliable funding source for the city to access for major cultural and sporting events that require considerable funds for hosting. Given the competitive nature of the bid process for a major event such as this, there is always the potential that the financial commitment made by a community as part of the bid process becomes null and void because another community is selected to host the event.
As part of the process to develop the bid, administration will provide a report to council that outlines how the Major Events Reserve can be managed given the city’s existing major event hosting commitments and other opportunities that arise, such as the 2020 Tim Hortons Brier.
The Tim Hortons Brier is the world’s premier curling event and by far the best supported curling competition in terms of paid attendance and attracting large crowds – in-venue and television audience. Sixteen teams compete for the title (all 10 provinces, three territories, Northern Ontario, and Team Canada and the highest-ranked non-qualified team on the Canadian Team Ranking System Standings).
Prince George has previously hosted Curling Canada events such as the Scott Tournament of Hearts in 2000 and the Road to the Roar in 2009, clearly demonstrating the community capacity to host a major curling championship.