Officials use a cruise ship to announce the fundraising campaign
for the 2009 Canada Summer Games
While infrastructure has been the legacy of previous Canada Games, the P.E.I. host society wants the benefit to Island athletes to be even greater.
It wants to assure provincial athletes can afford to aspire to the highest level of competition possible.
“That’s what it’s all about, to raise a legacy beyond the bricks and mortar to start leaving some legacies behind in small town Canada across the country so we can start building future Olympians — the Eli MacEacherns of the world and the Heather Moyses . . . professional-level athletes like Lorie Kane,” said Wayne Carew at the launch of the provincial sponsorship campaign ahead of the 2009 Summer Games on P.E.I.
“They didn’t just get there by accident, it was by long, hard training and, unfortunately, it’s still for middle or upper income families.”
Carew said the hope is to have a financial legacy remain.
“We need to make sure that we don’t lose out on having some future Eli MacEacherns just because we didn’t have the resource for the training,” said the vice-president of the host society’s fundraising and sponsorship wing.
The host society used a unique venue to make its pitch to the business community on the Island for sponsorship — a noon reception aboard the ms Maasdam, a Holland America Lines’ cruise ship docked in Charlottetown during a regularly-scheduled stopover.
“We wanted to make sure the venue was something that people didn’t ordinarily get a chance to see,” said Carew.
Of the total Games budget of $33 million, the Friends of the Games Divisions must raise $7 million, with $2 million from the local community, the remainder nationally. All funds raised will remain in the province.
While the society has its fundraising target, Carew admits he has one of his own.
“We’re going to be fundraising right up to the last minute,” he said. “Seven million is what we need, I have my own private figure that I will share after 2009.”
President of the host society, Joe Spriet said the Friends of the Games division has been active for over a year, concentrating on national corporations.
“We have, of course, been doing some work provincially and regionally, too. Today is the start of the provincial piece of the sponsorship campaign.”
Spriet said he is confident the money will be raised.
Companies becoming a provincial sponsor will be granted special rights and benefits, including marketing opportunities, tickets and hospitality.
The ‘09 Games will be the first hosted by an entire province.
The first week of the two-week extravaganza takes place in western P.E.I. with the Athletes Village at Slemon Park.
The second week is based in the east and uses UPEI as the athletes village.
There are 40 sport venues being utilized province-wide.
Held once every two years, alternating between winter and summer, the Canada Games is the country’s premiere multi-sport event, representing the highest level of national competition for athletes.
2009 Canada Summer Games at a glance
* Where - Prince Edward island
* When - Aug. 15-29, 2009.
* A First - The summer edition of the multi-sport and cultural event will mark the first time a Canada Games will be hosted province-wide.
* Who’s Coming - Close to 4,400 athletes, coaches and managers from the 10 provinces and three territories will compete in 18 sports.
* Second Time - P.E.I. hosted the Games once before, the winter version in 1991.
* Volunteers - Upwards of 6,000 volunteers will be needed.
Last Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2007 | 1:43 PM AT
The 2009 Canada Summer Games fundraising campaign kicked off on a cruise ship in Charlottetown Harbour Wednesday.
The host society was hoping the novel setting, the 750-seat ballroom of the Maasdam, would encourage potential donors. The committee is looking to raise $7 million from the private sector, $2 million of which would come from P.E.I.
Committee vice-president Wayne Carew said the donations do not all have to be in cash.
"We need huge food supplies like 11,000 litres of milk products and 260,000 bottles of water, and actually 13,000 to 14,000 boxes of cereal," said Carew.
The 200 people on the invitation list represented some of the biggest businesses in the province and the region. From corporations like Aliant and Atlantic Lotto, the host committee is looking for major contributions.
"Typically [at] an event like this, the communications is a large piece, everything from high speed internet at all the venues to phone lines to cellphones," said Paul Murray of Aliant.
"Aliant has a long history with the Canada Games and we're hopeful and optimistic that tradition will continue."
While this was the first official event, negotiations with major sponsors have been underway for about a year, and some say they'll be ready to announce their support in the coming weeks.