April 20, 2006 – Saskatchewan’s sports and cultural communities should reap the benefits from the 2005 Canada Summer Games after the event is a faint memory.
The financial legacy of the Games was guaranteed when the multi-sport event realized a profit of $3.2 million. That surplus, which was nearly triple the anticipated profit of $1 million, has been directed towards 16 sport and culture initiatives in Saskatchewan.
“We wanted to have a major impact up front rather than a foundation that is costly to run,” says John Lee, chief operating officer of the Canada Summer Games, which were held in Regina, Moose Jaw, Lumsden and Saskatchewan Beach.
The 1989 Canada Games Foundation was created after the Summer Games turned a profit of $1.1 million when they were held in Saskatoon. That foundation invests the interest from the profits so sports governing bodies can purchase smaller but important items.
“Saskatoon has a great program so we didn’t need to duplicate it,” Lee said.
After consultation with stakeholders in the Canada Games, partnerships were formed with the City of Regina, Sask Sport Inc., the University of Regina, the provincial government, Sport Canada, Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture Inc., the 1989 Jeux du Canada Games Foundation, the Regina public and separate school boards and the Canada Games Council. The diverse group of partners allowed the profits from the Summer Games to touch thousands of children.
The partners are also providing $2.5 million in the form of matching dollars to supplying office space or gifts in kind. The additional cash increased the funding available to $5.7 million over the four to five years of the Building Dreams and Champions Legacy program.