2009 Canada Games launch provincial campaign aboard cruise ship

October 10, 2007 Charlottetown, PEI -The Honorable Robert Ghiz, Premier of Prince Edward Island, the Honorable Carolyn Bertram, Minister of Communities, Cultural Affairs, and Labour, and Mr. Joseph Spriet, President of the PEI 2009 Canada Games Host Society today hosted Prince Edward Island business leaders at a lunchtime reception on the Charlottetown waterfront aboard one of Holland America Lines’ cruise ships, the ms Maasdam, for the official launch of the Games’ Provincial Sponsorship Campaign.

Wayne Carew, vice-president of the Friend of the Games Division, the fundraising and sponsorship arm of the Host Society, acted as Master of Ceremonies for the ‘Cruisin’ to the Games’ event and explained, “There are tremendous opportunities available to the Island business community in becoming a 2009 Canada Games sponsor while at the same time great potential for building relationships and working together to make these Games the “best ever”.

Business leaders were told that $14.3 million of the $33 million total budget for the 2009 Canada Games will be spent on new and renovated facilities from Souris to Tignish while $18.7 million would be spent on operating the Games by feeding, housing and transporting the visiting athletes. Of the total Games budget , the Host Society, through the Friends of the Games Division, must raise $7 million.

The 2009 Canada Games will have upwards of 150 hours of television coverage to the rest of the country and will give Prince Edward Island a wonderful opportunity to present itself as a great place to visit, a great place to do business and a great place to raise a family.

By becoming a provincial sponsor, a business will be granted special rights and benefits by the Host Society including marketing opportunities, tickets, and hospitality. Reception attendees were shown a presentation giving more detail on the program while they enjoyed the ship’s culinary and musical offerings. Holland America was a sponsor of the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse.

Carew added, “Over the next few months, our team of volunteers and staff will be approaching businesses ‘Island-wide’ inviting them to participate in our fundraising efforts. This will be the largest single event ever held on PEI so we are challenging the business community to ask themselves what they as business owners and managers can do, what their company can do, and what their employees can do to help. Becoming a Games sponsor will be a ‘win-win’, offering businesses a chance to connect with new audiences through the Canada Games relationship.”

The 2009 Canada Games will be hosted on Prince Edward Island from August 15-29 and features 4,400 athletes, coaches, and managers competing in 18 sports over the two week period. A cultural component called the National Artist Program, with young artists from each province and territory taking part, is also included in the Games schedule.

The 2009 Canada Games is truly a Prince Edward Island event with activities happening right across the province. Week one of the Games will be based in the western part of the province with the Athletes’ Village at Slemon Park near Summerside, with week two based in the eastern part of the province and the Athletes’ Village moving to the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown.

The Canada Games Council, owners of the Canada Games, has also broadened its focus from Games only to Games and between Games initiatives. This new focus on resources, programs, activities, tools and events for Canada’s youth between the Games, 52 weeks a year, is called Dreams and Champions. The first goal of Dreams and Champions is to Inspire Dreams in Canada’s youth and encourage them to participate in sport and physical activity. The second goal is to Build Champions by providing the programs, tools and support young athletes need to reach and succeed at high levels. Over the next several years, the Canada Games Council will work with other partners in Canada’s sport system to build an inventory of programs so more young Canadians have access to what they need to stay involved in sport and physical activity.

Held once every two years, alternating between winter and summer, the Canada Games are the country’s premiere multi-sport event, representing the highest level of national competition for up and coming Canadian athletes. The Games are proud of the contribution to Canada’s sport development system and leave a lasting legacy of sport facilities, community pride, and national unity.

The organization of the Canada Games is made possible thanks to the government of Canada provincial/territorial governments, host municipalities and the Canada Games Council.

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