The City of Grande Prairie will be pushing forward with plans for a 2024 Alberta Winter Games bid. Mayor Jackie Clayton says work continues behind the scenes to potentially bring the Winter Games back to the swan city for the first time since 1980.
“Administration is currently working on that bid, collecting letters of support from other organizations and neighbouring communities. We will have our bid submitted on time and it represents a great opportunity for us to showcase our community to the rest of the province,” she says.
Clayton says in the four decades since the games were last in the municipality, the community has grown a lot, including the addition of several new sports and recreation facilities.
“Bringing people back to the city to show off our amenities and community would be a great opportunity for us. Events like this really bring people together and strengthen our social fibre. It’s also a great way to meet new people for everyone as well,” she says.
Clayton says having the Alberta Winter Games in Grande Prairie would be a huge benefit for everyone involved.
“Besides just hosting the event, it would help so many people and businesses in the region. Anything from gas stations to restaurants to hotels would get a nice boost. Bringing thousands of visitors, whether it’s athletes, coaches, or parents, just adds that many more people potentially coming to our community,” she says.
Clayton feels that not only would hosting the games be great for the city, but she hopes it will encourage residents to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
“I encourage people to go out and watch sports they have never participated in or never seen played before. We feel watching these high calibre athletes will expose people to many different sports and it may encourage people to try something new as well,” she adds.
The city has also hosted the Arctic Winter Games in 2010 and the 2018 Summer Games.