B.C. Summer Games could have big legacy

An announcement that the B.C. Summer Games are coming to the Cowichan Valley in 2018 has far-reaching impacts.

Last week’s big announcement that the B.C. Summer Games are coming to the Cowichan Valley in 2018 was made in Duncan, but it has impacts that reach far beyond that city.

And right now, we’re in a great position to grab ahold of those opportunities.

Local officials estimate the four-day games will pump about $2.6 million into the local economy through rentals, hotels, retail purchases, bistros and much more, according to an article in the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial.

During the announcement, which took place Friday, Jan. 25 at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre, CVRD chair Rob Hutchins noted that Cowichan’s “culture, exceptional environment, and hospitality” await players, families, fans, and officials to the games, which he called “a gift to the Cowichan region.”

The games legacy was estimated by North Cowichan parks and recreation manager Ernie Mansueti to hit about $200,000. That purse will help fund registrations, through KidSport Cowichan, for local athletes.

Regional director Loren Duncan stated, “the multipliers will be significant. We’re casting a fairly broad net here.”

The games’ Cowichan debut will see 22 sports played in 26 local venues.

We have so much to offer Summer Games competitors, their families and spectators here in Ladysmith and Chemainus. We have the wonderful facilities at Forrest Field and the Frank Jameson Community Centre and our beautiful Transfer Beach, and we have a lot to offer visitors looking for something to do between competitions. And perhaps now would be a good time to start filling in the gaps so we can make sure we have everything else visitors would be looking for, such as an RV park, a campground and other amenities people in the community have been talking about for years. Why not use this event, which will surely bring huge amounts of people and money to our region, as a reason to get started on some things that have been talked about for a long time now?

— Lindsay Chung