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Vernon Set To Host BC Winter Games After 4 Year Hiatus Due To COVID Restrictions

The BC Winter Games are back winter 2022-2023 after the 2020 games were canceled due to COVID restrictions.

Over 1,000 athletes from around the Province of BC are heading to Vernon and the beautiful North Okanagan for the 2022-2023 BC Winter Games.

The 2022-2023 BC Winter Games are scheduled to take place in the North Okanagan region March 23-26, 2023.

Most of the events will be held in and around the city of Vernon.

The Games attract around 1,000 to 2,000 athletes, coaches, and officials, as well as thousands of spectators, volunteers, and other participants.

The BC Winter Games are one of the largest multi-sport events in British Columbia, providing a valuable opportunity for young athletes to compete and develop their skills in a supportive and competitive environment.

The event, initiated by former Premier Bill Bennett and his Social Credit government, was first held in 1979. The purpose of the Games was to provide an opportunity for young athletes to compete in a multi-sport event, similar to the Olympic Games, and to encourage the development of amateur sports in British Columbia.

The Games were also intended to promote community involvement and economic development in the host community. Over the years, the BC Winter Games have grown in size and scope, but the core mission of promoting amateur sport and community involvement remains unchanged.

BC Games Torch Carried to Vernon City Hall
BC Games Torch Carried to Vernon City Hall

The BC Winter Games take place in different regions of British Columbia to showcase the athletic talent and cultural diversity of various communities throughout the province.

The decision on where to host the Games is made by the BC Games Society, which is responsible for organizing and overseeing the Games. The Society considers a number of factors when selecting a host community, including the availability of suitable facilities, the capacity of the local organizing committee, the potential economic and social benefits for the host community, and the overall suitability of the community as a host.

The goal is to provide a high-quality experience for athletes, coaches, and spectators while also promoting community involvement and engagement throughout the province.

According to the BC Games Society, the estimated cost of hosting the BC Winter Games ranges from $500,000 to $1 million or more.

This cost is typically funded through a combination of government grants, corporate sponsorships, and fundraising efforts by the local organizing committee.

While the cost of hosting the Games can be significant, the economic benefits, such as increased tourism, job creation, and community engagement, can often offset the cost and provide a valuable boost to the local economy.

Overall, the funding for the BC Winter Games is a collaborative effort between various levels of government, corporate sponsors, and community partners.

BC Games Torch Carried to Vernon City Hall
BC Games Torch Carried to Vernon City Hall

While there are no cash prizes or monetary rewards for participating in the BC Winter Games, athletes do have the opportunity to compete against their peers from across the province and gain valuable experience and exposure in their respective sports.

The Games provide a platform for athletes to showcase their skills and potentially catch the eye of college or university coaches or national sports organizations.

Athletes who perform well at the Games may also be eligible to compete at the provincial or national level in their respective sports. In addition to the opportunity to compete, athletes also receive a variety of commemorative items and souvenirs, including medals, clothing, and other items, as a memento of their participation in the Games.

The event has been held every two years since 1979 with one exception. The 2020 BC Winter Games were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was scheduled to take place in Fort St. John, British Columbia February 20-23, 2020.

BC Games Torch Carried to Vernon City Hall
BC Games Torch Carried to Vernon City Hall

The BC Winter Games are open to athletes who are 12 to 18 years old, depending on the sport. The age categories for each sport may vary slightly.

The BC Winter Games typically feature a variety of winter sports and cultural events. Some of the sports that are included in the games are:

- Alpine Skiing

- Cross Country Skiing

- Freestyle Skiing

- Snowboarding

- Biathlon

- Curling

- Figure Skating

- Ice Hockey

- Speed Skating

-Wheelchair Basketball (demonstration sport)

In addition to the sports competitions, the BC Winter Games also include cultural events that celebrate the heritage of the host region, such as Indigenous cultural performances and displays. The cultural events provide an opportunity for participants and spectators to learn about the local history, traditions, and arts.

The BC Winter Games are held every two years, typically in even-numbered years.

Here is a partial list of gold medal winners from 2018:

Alpine Skiing:

Male Giant Slalom: Christopher Kent (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal)

Female Giant Slalom: Ariana Hills (Zone 6 - Vancouver Island-Central Coast)

Male Slalom: Christopher Kent (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal)

Female Slalom: Maja Woolley (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal)

Cross Country Skiing:

Male 2.5 km: Ian Oliphant (Zone 2 - Thompson-Okanagan)

Female 2.5 km: Keira Cadden (Zone 6 - Vancouver Island-Central Coast)

Male 5 km: Ian Oliphant (Zone 2 - Thompson-Okanagan)

Female 5 km: Bronwen Zandberg (Zone 2 - Thompson-Okanagan)

Freestyle Skiing:

Male Slopestyle: Justin Dorey (Zone 4 - Kootenays)

Female Slopestyle: Haley Cooke (Zone 4 - Kootenays)


Male Snowboard Cross: Ross Powers (Zone 3 - Fraser Valley)

Female Snowboard Cross: Raine Haziza (Zone 4 - Kootenays)


Male 6 km Sprint: Julian Deyn (Zone 2 - Thompson-Okanagan)

Female 6 km Sprint: Ambrose Deck (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal)


Male Curling: Team Tao (Zone 2 - Thompson-Okanagan)

Female Curling: Team Taylor (Zone 6 - Vancouver Island-Central Coast)

Figure Skating:

Male Singles: Tristan Taylor (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal)

Female Singles: Sophia Buie (Zone 6 - Vancouver Island-Central Coast)

Pair Skating: Sofia Lefaivre and Stefan Lefaivre (Zone 4 - Kootenays)

Ice Dance: Jessica Lee and Joshua Venema (Zone 2 - Thompson-Okanagan)

Ice Hockey:

Male Ice Hockey: Team Fraser River Delta (Zone 4 - Kootenays)

Female Ice Hockey: Team Vancouver-Coastal (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal)

Speed Skating:

Male 400 m: Oskar Kwiatkowski (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal)

Female 400 m: Emma Hansen (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal)

Male 1500 m: Oskar Kwiatkowski (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal)

Female 1500 m: Caelan Pang (Zone 5 - Vancouver Coastal)

Check out the "Guide to the GAMES"

or visit the "BC Games" Web Page:


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