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Niagara 2022 Canada Games beats Grey Cup, Brier at tourism awards

Canada Games hosted by all of the region's municipalities receives recognition
Opening ceremonies at the 2022 Niagara Games are shown in this file photo

The Niagara 2022 Canada Games has won two awards that recognize the event's resounding success, beating out well known sporting events such as the Grey Cup and the Tim Hortons' Brier curling competition.

The Niagara Games recently took home the Canadian Sport Event of the Year Award and the Sport Event Legacy of the Year Award presented by Sport Tourism Canada.

The recognition, presented at the 15th Annual PRESTIGE Awards Gala held in Richmond, B.C., honoured the best in Canada’s sport tourism industry.

The Niagara 2022 Canada Games won in the category of events with a budget of greater than $1 million.

The award recognizes the overall success of an outstanding single-sport, multi-sport or collegiate event held in Canada between 2020-2022.

The STC Sport Event Legacy of the Year Award recognizes the achievements or contributions by individuals, companies or organizations that have helped advance sustainable and environmental stewardship within a Canadian Sport Event held between 2020-2022 and have left a demonstrable legacy to the community.

Other finalists in the event of the year category were the 2022 Grey Cup Festival and 109th Grey Cup Game, and the 2020 Tim Hortons Brier, Sport Tourism Canada said in a news release.

The other finalist for the legacy award was The Style Experience FIS Snowboard Big Air World Cup.

The awards gala was held in conjunction with STC’s annual Sport Event Congress. It's Canada’s largest annual gathering of sport and tourism professionals, event managers and industry suppliers that attracts approximately 400 delegates each year.

“For 16 days, Niagara celebrated the wonderful achievements of Canada’s best young athletes,” said Doug Hamilton, board chair of the Niagara 2022 Host Society.

"Our vision for these Canada Games was to host an event that would inspire, transform and unify Niagara, and that would also leave a lasting legacy for our community."

Despite facing challenges such as the COVID pandemic, Niagara delivered on its vision, Hamilton said. 

"We were able to achieve this success thanks to the generous support from our partners and sponsors, and the phenomenal contributions by our tremendous team of volunteers and staff.”

Added Regional Chair Jim Bradley: “For over two weeks last August, Niagara played host to the nation as we celebrated sport, culture and the unity that can only be brought about through competition. These awards are a further acknowledgment of the Games’ transformational legacy across Niagara, and the outstanding job done by the organizing committee and volunteers.”    

Taking place at venues across Niagara, the 2022 Canada Games saw approximately 5,000 athletes, representing Canada’s future generation of Olympians and Paralympians, compete for the right to be a national champion.

The Games featured an inaugural women’s rugby sevens competition, the return of men’s lacrosse after a 37-year absence from the Games, and the first-ever women's lacrosse competition in the history of the Canada Games.

Thirteen municipalities (the Regional Municipality of Niagara and its 12 local area municipalities) collectively hosted the competition.