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Canadian Olympic Committee to explore feasibility of Indigenous-led 2030 Games in B.C.

Four First Nations, City of Vancouver and Resort Municipality of Whistler exploring the option
FILE – Torchbearers Rick Hansen, left to right, Wayne Gretzky, Catriona Lemay Doan, Steve Nash and Nancy Greene hold their torches during the opening ceremonies at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver on Friday Feb. 12, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) is partnering with Vancouver-area First Nations to explore the feasibility of hosting the 2030 Winter Games.

The announcement was made through a COC and CPC news release Tuesday (Feb. 1) morning.

Four First Nations – Lilwat, Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh – along with the City of Vancouver and Whistler are exploring the feasibility of a bid.

An Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid that genuinely embraces the TRC’s Calls to Action, DRIPA and UNDRIP will be ground breaking,” said Kúkwpi7 Skalúlmecw (Political Chief) Dean Nelson of Líl̓wat Nation. “There is potential for these Games to be a social innovation driver for First Nations—we will be considering the many ways this potential can be realized.”

The 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralymics were hosted in Metro Vancouver and Whistler and over the past 12 years, emotions about the Games have been mixed. The 2010 Games saw the construction of the Canada Line, connecting Richmond to Vancouver and improvements to the Sea-to-Sky highway between Vancouver and Whistler. Numerous athletic facilities were also built, including the Richmond Olympic Oval which is still in use as a recreation facility to this day.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis released the year after the Olympics found the Vancouver Organizing Committee kept spending under $2 billion. It estimated the Games contributed $2.3 billion to the GDP, resulted in $1.26 billion on local development projects and in one month alone drew 650,000 visitors.

The city said in April 2010 that it spent $550 million and leveraged another $174.9 million from other levels of government, deeming it an investment that “created a sustainable legacy of city assets for the use of our citizens for years to come.”

Tuesday’s announcement about the 2030 Winter Games comes after a memorandum of understanding was signed between the four First Nations, Vancouver and Whistler.

Next steps involve a group of experts conducting research and technical assessment to determine the feasibility of the Olympic bid. A more formal concept review is expected to take place this spring, followed by the development of a draft hosting plan.

The work required to complete the feasibility assessment will be paid for in full by the COC.

READ MORE: On 10th anniversary of Vancouver Olympics, public figures reflect on mixed legacy

– With files from The Canadian Press


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