Kimberley looks at 55 plus BC Games bid

Joint bid with Cranbrook under discussion for Games in 2017, 2018 or 2019

Kimberley is exploring a bid for the BC Seniors Games.

Kimberley is exploring a bid for the BC Seniors Games.

The City of Kimberley is exploring the feasibility of putting in a joint bid with the City of Cranbrook for an upcoming 55+ BC Games in 2017, 2018 or 2019.

Kimberley City Council discussed the possibility at their regular meeting this past Monday evening (March 9).

The City of Kimberley had submitted a joint bid with the City of Cranbrook for the 2004/2006 BC Senior Games (now renamed the 55+ BC Games) but were unsuccessful. The City of Cranbrook also bid on the 2015 and 2016 BC Senior Games but were also unsuccessful.

Manager of Parks and Recreation for the City of Kimberley, Dave Clarke, indicated in a report to Council that the BC Senior Games Society has made changes to their bid process that would make it more accessible to smaller cities. But Clarke still felt that a joint bid, such as the successful 2008 BC Winter Games hosted by Cranbrook/Kimberley, was the way to go.

The 55+ Games also have the advantage of requiring fewer volunteers and athletes and coaches provide their own accommodation.

Analyses completed for the Nanaimo Games (2007) and the Richmond Games (2009) estimate the economic impacts for the two host communities from the four-day event at $2 million and $2.1 million respectively, Clarke reported.

Clarke’s report recommended that; contingent on the active involvement of the accommodation and tourism sector in Cranbrook and Kimberley, to assist with bid package development, and subsequent organization of the games if a bid is successful, that Council directs staff to submit a joint bid with the City of Cranbrook, to host the 2017, 2018 or 2019 55+ BC Games and that an expenditure of $30,000 cash, and $27,500 in kind services be committed if the Games are awarded.

Council had some discussion on what the expected level of support from the accommodation and tourism sectors should be. Coun. Kent Goodwin pointed out that past successful Games in the area always had a strong community champion heading up a good volunteer committee.

“If we don’t get that, I don’t think we can do it,” he said.

Mayor Don McCormick agreed that a lot of information was needed before the bid goes in.

Coun. Darryl Oakley said that Kimberley had always had amazing volunteers and that the economic benefits of a Games were significant.

Council remained a little uncomfortable with the $30,000 cash and $27,000 in kind promise that went along with the bid and in the end, voted to proceed to investigate the bid but not promise that financial aspect yet.