Support to host sport events will benefit B.C. athletes and tourism.
Photo by Jaana Björk
140 sport organizations to receive $1 million in support
Published 11:26 PDT, Mon March 13, 2023
Nearly 140 sport organizations throughout the province are benefiting from $1 million in support from the province to host sport-related events that attract visitors to B.C. and enable athletes to compete at home.
“Sport events of all sizes motivate athletes to grow and inspire others to play,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “The World Wheelchair Curling Championships I attended today are a great example of how sport organizations continue to offer more opportunities for athletes to showcase their skills right here in B.C. These events also help create vibrant, active and connected communities, and they boost our reputation as a prime destination for sports.”
The province supports several events of local, provincial, national and international importance through two separate grant programs: the Major Events Program and Hosting BC.
The province invests $500,000 annually in the Major Events Program for large-scale international and national competitions that bring thousands of visitors to the province. This year, eight major events held throughout the province were funded through this program, including the bobsleigh, skeleton and luge World Cups held in Whistler in January, and the World Wheelchair Curling Championships held in Richmond in March.
These events help promote British Columbia globally as a prime destination for sport tourism, enhance the province’s remarkable reputation as a destination of choice for high-profile events and provide important economic benefits to hosting communities.
“Sport builds community at every level, and provincial initiatives like the Major Events and Hosting BC programs enable Curl BC to bring the camaraderie of both standard and adaptive curling to cities and towns across British Columbia every year,” said Scott Braley, chief executive officer, Curl BC. “When sporting events are inclusive and accessible, everyone wins.”
The Province also invests $500,000 annually through the Hosting BC program, which supports not-for-profit organizations that host competitions and provide sport, economic and community development opportunities. Hosting BC is administered by viaSport and is available to organizations wanting to host smaller-scale events, and it also supports opportunities to compete for under-represented groups and under-served communities.
This year, 131 organizations received funding through this program, including the Provincial Squash Championships in Kelowna, the Track and Field Championship Jamboree in Nanaimo and the Horse Trials Championships in Chilliwack. As a result, there were more options for athletes to compete and celebrate their successes locally.
“At viaSport British Columbia, we work with the provincial sport sector to create more equitable, welcoming and inclusive opportunities for sport participation in B.C.,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport British Columbia. “Hosting BC grants are intended to strengthen sport in local communities. It ensures athletes have an opportunity to compete close to home, develops local volunteer capacity and delivers economic benefit back to the host community. Most importantly at this time, Hosting BC grants help event organizers, still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, to host safe and successful events that rebuild community confidence and connectedness.”
The next Hosting BC intake is expected to open in May 2023. Interested parties are encouraged to visit viaSport’s website to apply.