Cumberland is jumping on board with a regional bid to host the British Columbia 55+ Games a few years from now.
Council was presented with a proposal concerning a joint bid application from the City of Campbell River and the Comox Valley Regional District about the event for 2025 or 2026.
“They need the buy-in from the local Comox Valley municipalities,” interim manager of recreation Ryan Parton said at the June 13 meeting.
The expectation is that Cumberland might host a few events. These could include whist, mountain biking and pickleball, and perhaps set up an accreditation centre for volunteers.
Cumberland venues mentioned include the Cultural Centre, the trail network, Village Park and a gymnasium. There is a minimum of 20 different events needed to host the games, Parton added.
The village’s participation though would be contingent on support from the City of Courtenay and the Town of Comox. The staff report notes the need for these partners, along with the school district, in order that the regional district be able to provide enough venues for events.
Council passed a motion to support the joint application with Campbell River and the CVRD, subject to support from Courtenay and Comox.
Parton said the impact to local village operations would consist of some in-kind support such as offering facilities as well as some staff time for planning.
“Operationally, we would expect that this would be manageable for staff,” he said.
The estimate is that the in-kind contribution for the whole area would amount to about $55,000. Cumberland’s portion would total maybe a couple of thousand dollars, according to Parton. On the upside, the 55+ Games could mean up to $3 million in economic activity for the region.
“Obviously, the impact to the village would be scaled proportionately,” he added.
As the staff report points out, the feeling was that an application for 2024 would be too soon. The expectation is that the event would happen over four days in either August or September of either 2025 or 2026.
Victoria is hosting the games this September, after it had been scheduled to host them in 2021. These were cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.