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Niverville to Host 2022 Manitoba Winter Games

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Winter Games Crop
Young and old gather at Niverville High School to announce the 2022 Manitoba Winter Games. Sylvia St. Cyr

On February 25, Niverville Mayor Myron Dyck, standing alongside representatives from the Province of Manitoba, Sport Manitoba, and Manitoba Hydro, announced that the town will host the 2022 Power Smart Manitoba Winter Games. The big announcement took place at Niverville High School.

The previous Winter Games were held in Thompson in 2018 and generated $1.7 million in economic activity. Niverville’s Games will take place February 26–March 5, 2022.

The Games are the largest ongoing multi-sport event in Manitoba. They typically bring together more than 3,000 people from across the province, including athletes, officials, staff, coaches, and volunteers.

“This is significant for our town, as we haven’t done anything of this magnitude before,” Mayor Dyck exclaimed in his opening remarks. “But we’re ready!”

The Honourable Minister Cathy Cox, Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage, also attended the announcement. “The Games are an introduction on the competition circuit for many who go on to compete in the Canada Games, and even the Olympics,” she said.

The ages of the athletes competing in the games range from 13 to 17 years old. The events include archery, alpine ski, badminton, cross country ski, curling, figure skating, futsal (a type of indoor soccer), gymnastics, hockey, ringette, speed skating, and wrestling.

Of the 12 sports, ten will take place in Niverville. Other communities have agreed to help host events the town is unable to accommodate. Alpine skiing will be held at Spring Hill Winter Sports Park just north of Winnipeg, and curling will be played at the Morris Curling Club.

Artel Farms has generously agreed to host the archery competition on their land. The cross country skiing event’s destination has not yet been determined.

The indoor sports, including the ice rink sports, will be held at the Community Resource and Recreation Centre (CRRC) currently being built beside the high school. The final financial boost from the federal and provincial governments of $11 million for the CRRC has made this event possible. The new facility will be the focal point of the Games.

The Town of Niverville hopes to have the construction of the CRRC finished by early 2021, leaving a year for it to become fully functional before the Games. The brand-new building is 99,000 square feet and will house a multiuse fieldhouse, a new arena, and a two-storey playground. The fieldhouse and arena will each have 500 seats to accommodate spectators.

“We would hope that an announcement like this would encourage our business community to maybe see an opportunity,” Mayor Dyck says about the notion of building a hotel in Niverville. “Obviously it would have to happen soon to meet construction demands, but it would be exciting to see one go up.”

Two employees of the Town of Niverville, Angela Janz and Chantel Todd, have been instrumental in winning the bid to host the Games.

Chantel Todd, Niverville’s Recreation Programmer for the past five years, has worked with various sports groups to assist with program building, communications, and facility scheduling. Her strong interest in grant and proposal writing was an asset when it came to submitting a bid for the Games.

“We’re super excited and the next step is getting volunteers on board and able to help,” says Todd.

The Games will require between 800 and 1,000 volunteers from Niverville and the surrounding community, which is almost double the amount needed to put on the Niverville Olde Tyme Country Fair.

Angela Janz, a Recreation Programmer for the past two years, has experience as an administrator for the Eastman Minor Hockey Association.

“This is an opportunity to display Niverville as an athletic centre of excellence and have all the sports of the Games be exposed to the amazing venues and hospitality in Niverville,” Janz says.

President and CEO of Sport Manitoba, Jeff Hnatiuk concluded the announcement by saying, “It’s an exciting opportunity that allows participants to advance their skills, build on their accomplishments, and gain a truly rewarding experience that will create memories to last a lifetime. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the people of Niverville to put on a fantastic Manitoba Games as part of the Manitoba 150 celebrations.”

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