The province is providing support for the Special Olympics Canada 2018 Summer Games by providing a $1 million contribution for one of the main venues at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish.
Finance and Treasury Board Minister Randy Delorey, on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Tony Ince, announced today, March 20, the funding for seating improvements at the university’s Oland Centre. The upgrade will provide greater accessibility for athletes and their families.
“We want to create the best national games experience ever for the athletes and their families when they arrive in Antigonish,” said Mr. Delorey. “Through this investment we are helping to provide the most modern facilities that will also have a long-lasting impact on the community and the university when it comes to hosting provincial and national events.”
The existing bleachers, which were built in the 1960s, will be replaced by a new high-standard seating area for 1,500 people.
“This investment will have a positive impact on the games for both athletes and their families and reflect positively on the university, our organization and our province,” said Michael Greek, president and CEO, Special Olympics Nova Scotia.
“We are honoured to host the 2018 National Special Olympic Games,” said Kent MacDonald, president of St. Francis Xavier University. “This $1 million investment by the province will help us prepare our campus facilities for hosting this national event that will draw thousands of Olympians and spectators from across Canada to our campus and the surrounding community. This funding will also help in upgrading our facilities in support of our varsity and recreational athletic programs and give us the ability to compete to host more national sporting events.”
Organizers estimate the economic impact on the area of the summer games and the 4,000 participants to be more than $5 million dollars.
Investment in community and cultural organizations and advancing cultural diversity are vital parts of the province’s recently unveiled culture strategy, Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan. The full plan is online at novascotia.ca/culture/.