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This article was published 28/7/2016 (364 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Mayor Brian Bowman raised the 2017 Canada Summer Games flag at city hall Thursday to start the clock a year before the multi-sport event for amateur athletes takes over the city.
Bowman, flanked by Canada Summer Games CEO Jeff Hnatiuk and co-chairman Hubert Mesman, said "the hottest summer in half a century" will take place next year in Winnipeg. The 2017 event will be the 50th edition of the Canada Games.
"We’re going to show the rest of Canada who we are and all of the great this this city has to offer to athletes and tourists," Bowman said. "I can’t wait to show Winnipeg off to Canada and to welcome everyone here. We want to thank everyone who is working to host Canada here on Treaty One land in the traditional home of the Métis nation."
The 2017 Canada Summer Games, next July 28 to Aug. 13, will involve 16 sports, 4,000 athletes and coaches and 20,000 visitors from across Canada.
There will also be a cultural festival.
Hnatiuk said the impact that a multi-sport games can have on athletes can reach international levels.
"There are statistics that show the last couple of Olympic Games and Pan Am Games, 50 per cent of Canadians who have actually medalled are Canada Games alumni," Hnatiuk said.
"We talk a lot about the athletes that use the Canada Games as an opportunity to move on, but we talk to so many other athletes who say, ‘You know, the Canada Games was my absolute pinnacle, it was my highest level, and it’s a memory that will stay with me forever.’ A lot of those people go on to be corporate and community leaders."
The event is expected to inject $153 million into the economy, based on an assessment done by Economic Development Winnipeg.
The games will leave a legacy, including the new Sport for Life Centre at 145 Pacific Ave., renovations to the Pan Am Pool and several training and performance spaces and sport medicine research and treatment facilities.
The kickoff continued Thursday at The Forks with interactive kiosks featuring 14 of the 16 sports and live music with Mama Cutsworth, Leonard Sumner, Kelly Bado, the Dirty Catfish Brass Band and JP Hoe.