The BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon have been cancelled due to COVID-19 and other external factors in the province.
the BC Games Society and the Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games Society made the announcement Friday, Jan. 14, less than six weeks before the Games were to begin.
The organizations said organizers and stakeholders will look into whether the multi-sport event can be held in Greater Vernon in 2023.
“I recognize how devastating this news is for the athletes, coaches, volunteers, and host region of Greater Vernon who have been working tirelessly to prepare for these Games,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “These are not easy decisions to make. I sincerely hope that the dreams of these athletes to compete at this stage can be safely realized in the near future.”
The organizations said the pandemic as well as external factors including the wildfires and floods that impacted B.C. in 2021
made staging the Games in a safe and memorable manner “impossible.”
“With so many challenges across the province this year, it has become clear that the 2022 BC Winter Games cannot happen this February,” said Val Trevis, president of the Greater Vernon 2022 BC Winter Games Society.
“Our volunteer board of directors and chairs have worked relentlessly to bring these Games to our community and we are very disappointed for the athletes and volunteers. We are committed to discussions to determine if there is a path forward to host these Games in the future.”
The 2022 Games in Greater Vernon were anticipating 1,800 athletes, coaches and officials from across the province, along with as many as 2,000 volunteers.
“We are disappointed not to be able to have these Games in 2022,” said Jamey Paterson, Chair of the BC Games Society board of directors. “We are so grateful for the local organizers and volunteers who have devoted countless hours as they navigated a very difficult and constantly changing landscape over the past 18 months.”
The BC Games are held every two years. Prince George is slated to host the 2022 BC Summer Games and the 2024 BC Winter Games will be held in Quesnel.