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Orillia Winter Games 'the most successful games to date,' says mayor

The Ontario Winter Games will return to Orillia in 2020
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Stephen Graham is flanked by the mascots from Georgian College and Lakehead University. Graham, one of the most decorated Special Olympics athletes in Canada, was the flagbearer that led the athletes into the 2018 Ontario Winter Games opening ceremonies. Dave Dawson/OrilliaMatters

NEWS RELEASE
CITY OF ORILLIA
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With the generous and dedicated support from volunteers, community partners and sponsors, the City of Orillia was able to successfully host the Orillia 2018 Ontario Winter Games from March 1 to 4, 2018.

“The Orillia 2018 Ontario Winter Games truly brought people together to host, what I believe was, the most successful games to date. The commitment from the community whether financial, in kind, or through their volunteerism was absolutely incredible,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “On behalf of the City of Orillia, I would like to thank the Winter Games Organizing Committee, dedicated volunteers, our amazing community partners and sponsors for their contributions in making this event a true success. It was evident from the feedback we received that everyone went above and beyond to make The Games an event to remember for all involved. It was amazing to see over 800 volunteers become 800 wonderful ambassadors.”

The event, which included over 3,000 participants in 25 different sports, took place throughout the region and kicked off officially on March 1 with an incredible Opening Ceremony featuring Orillia’s own Juno nominated band, Bleeker, and fireworks.

The Games were sponsored by local businesses, organizations and individuals including corporate sponsor, Jim Wilson Chevrolet Buick GMC and volunteer sponsor, Hydro One Inc. Thanks to the generosity of local business sponsorship, admission for all events was free.

Events took place throughout the region with the City of Orillia partnering with The City of Barrie, Chippewas of Rama First Nation, Towns of Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Blue Mountain, Midland, Huntsville, Township of Oro-Medonte and the County of Simcoe.

“This event brought thousands to our area, filling up hotels and restaurants and providing a boost to our economy during the shoulder season,” said Mayor Clarke. “We are very thankful to the Province of Ontario and our community partners for their participation and sponsorship. It was a wonderful opportunity to highlight our region during the duration of The Games.”

The City of Orillia has also been selected to host the Ontario Winter Games in 2020.

“Building off of 2018, Orillia is poised to elevate the bar even higher in 2020. The Orillia community has helped propel the Ontario Winter Games event into a must attend event on the winter sport calendar. Working with Games Ontario and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Orillia can’t wait to build off of this momentum and create a lasting legacy that will extend far beyond 2020.”

The City of Orillia received a $1 million hosting grant from the Province of Ontario. Within that $1 million hosting grant is a $100,000 legacy fund.

The City of Orillia is a city of 31,000 people in the heart of Ontario’s Lake Country on the shores of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe. Visit our website at orillia.ca.

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