The Alberta Summer Games officially get underway Thursday night with the opening ceremonies. They’re being held at the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum starting at 7 p.m. and will feature music, dance, and the entry of the traditional Games Torch.
“If you live within a few miles you might hear some bangs and pops and some loud music,” says Games Chair Lionel Robins. “We have some surprises there for how we’re bringing the torch in; that’s a well-kept secret.”
The actual sports start Friday and run through Sunday at 15 locations in the City and County. The Closing Awards will take place Community Knowledge Campus Field. More than 1,600 medals will be awarded as well as the Ministers’ Cup, Alberta Cup, and Spirit of Sport Award.
Aside from the sporting competitions, games manager Lindsey McNeil says they have something for everyone.
“One of the things that our board was really, really passionate about was making this an all-inclusive games experience so people from every sector of the community could feel included.”
A Tipi Village will be open Friday and Saturday at the Eastlink Centre with traditional games, dancing, drumming and elder story-telling from Treaty 8. A family carnival will also be held Saturday at Revolution Place.
There will be entertainment stages at the Community Knowledge Campus Grandstand and Legion Field as well, and the Grande Prairie Public Library has also put together a “Summer Games” collection of athlete recommendations and collector bookmarks.
“Our big message right now is get out and enjoy something to do with the games because we want everybody to feel like they’re a part of it,” McNeil says.
More than 2,800 participants, their families, and spectators are expected to take part in the games. They typically generate $3 million for host communities in economic impact.