The City of Orillia has been announced as the host city for the 2024 Ontario 55+ Winter Games and will be provided a hosting grant of $235,000 by the Province of Ontario to help deliver the Games.
Details were provided today by Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North, on behalf of Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, at the Orillia Recreation Centre where she was joined by Orillia Mayor Don McIsaac for the special announcement.
“Congratulations to the City of Orillia! Hosting the Ontario 55+ Winter Games in 2024 will drive tourism and boost the local economy,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “These Games are an excellent demonstration of healthy and active living for older adults – I encourage everyone to come out, cheer and support the competitors in delivering their best performances.”
The Ontario 55+ Winter Games will bring over one thousand participants, aged 55 years and older, to Orillia and Lake Country to compete in a variety of events, including hockey, curling and skiing over three days in February 2024. The full list of sports will be made available at a later time, once sport selection has occurred through Games Ontario.
“I am delighted that Ontario’s seniors have this opportunity to participate in the 55+ Winter Games,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “These Games help to promote healthy living and community participation which are fundamental to the health and well-being of seniors across this province.”
The 2024 55+ Winter Games will be the third time the City of Orillia serves as host to Games Ontario multisport hosting program, having successfully executed the 2018 and 2020 Ontario Winter Games previously.
“The Ontario 55+ Winter Games provides athletes from all over the province with an incredible opportunity to display their talents and compete on a larger stage,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP Simcoe North. “What better location than the City of Orillia, which offers such a vast array of beauty in not only its waterfront landscape but also in the diverse people, history, arts, culture, and of course, sports that make Orillia such a great place to live, work and play.”
The hosting grant of $235,000 will be used to offset operational costs, such as facility fees, accommodations and food and beverage for the athletes and other participants at the Games. Additionally, funding for the Games will be supported through the Orillia Municipal Accommodation Tax and participant entry fees. The Games are anticipated to generate over $1.5 million in local economic activity.
“The opportunity to host the 2024 Ontario 55+ Winter Games presents an incredible opportunity to show off our community,” said Orillia Mayor Don McIsaac. “With a return to live sporting events after the COVID-19 pandemic, events like these will help inject much needed activity into the local economy, while showcasing the exceptional facilities, restaurants and accommodations Orillia and Lake Country has to offer.”
The City of Orillia is recruiting for interested volunteers to serve on its Games Organizing Committee. A variety of roles are available including chairing various subcommittees such as finance, sponsorship, special events, accommodations, medical, sport technical and food and beverage. Application forms can be found at orillia.ca/55OWG.
The 2024 Ontario 55+ Winter Games is supported by the Ontario government, through its Games Ontario program. This program delivers or supports multi-sport events, including the Ontario Winter and Summer Games for youth, the Ontario 55+ Summer and Winter Games, and the Ontario Parasport Games.