August 6-21, 2022
Meridian Credit Union fr

1/7/22

by: Niagara Host Society

Revisiting Niagara 2022’s Best Moments from 2021

There’s no doubt that this past year has been filled with plenty of highs and lows, the latter often coming as a direct result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

However, as we look ahead to 2022, our Niagara Host Society can’t help but be excited by the rapidly approaching 2022 Canada Summer Games, which are scheduled to take place across the Niagara Region from August 6-21.

Ultimately, these Canada Games will be the culmination of nearly 10 years of planning and work by so many across our Niagara community, and a big part of the Games journey will have undoubtedly taken place over the last 365 days.

As such, given all the major milestones that we’ve experienced in the past year, ones that have set the stage for all the exciting events and competitions that will be a part of the 28th edition of the Canada Games, we are looking back at our best and brightest highlights from the year 2021.

One-Year-Out Celebration

On August 6, 2021, we officially celebrated being one year away from the commencement of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games! To mark this special occasion, we gathered some prospective N22 participants, local athletes, and dignitaries from the Niagara Region to celebrate this milestone at Canada Games Park (CGP), which will be the home of new state-of-the-art sport facilities on Brock University’s campus. 

CHCH joined in the festivities as well, where they helped us showcase the spirit of the Games to viewers across the province! CHCH also televised the first-ever performance by POESY of Steel Heart, which is the anthem of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. This new song, which was released in November 2021 along with its music video, was written, produced and recorded by POESY, who is the solo project of singer/songwriter/pianist Sarah Botelho. 

You can learn more about our One-Year-Out event through our article from this past August and/or by watching the live segments for our One-Year-Out Celebration on CHCH.

Torch Relay

In October 2021, at a ceremony at the Welland Canal’s Lock 3, our Niagara Host Society proudly announced an exciting partnership  that’s going to see our Niagara 2022 Torch Relay Program presented by Canada Steamship Lines (CSL)! The Roly McLenahan Canada Games Torch’s journey will begin by being lit on Parliament Hill in Ottawa this June, before embarking on the CSL Welland in Montreal and traveling on that vessel down Canada’s iconic St. Lawrence Seaway to the Niagara Region. 

Following its trek on water, the torch will then disembark from the ship at one of the world’s greatest engineering marvels, the Welland Canal, prior to visiting each of Niagara’s twelve municipalities in the lead up to the 2022 Canada Games. After its final leg of the land program is complete, the Torch will finally make its way to the Meridian Centre on August 6, 2022 for the Opening Ceremony, where it will ignite the Canada Games cauldron and officially commence the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. 

The Torch’s journey will pay tribute to the historical significance of water as a means of transportation across Canada and through Niagara. Shelly will also join the trip, taking them back to their watery roots.

You can revisit the reveal of our Torch Relay Program here, which also includes a full schedule for the land program in the Niagara Region.

Games-Time Volunteer Platform Launch

Fuelling a Canada Games with 5,000 participants requires a team of volunteers of nearly the same size. 

For that reason, our Niagara 2022 Host Society excitedly launched its Games-time volunteer portal at the end of October! Having  already received over 2,250 applications for the Meridian Volunteer Program, the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games is well on its way to achieving its goal of recruiting close to 4,500 volunteers to support and deliver all operational areas of Canada’s largest multi-sport event.

Altogether, the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games represent a unique opportunity for the Niagara Region to showcase itself on a national stage. With events taking place in each municipality, there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved with the Games and to help make a success out of this once-in-a-generation opportunity for the Niagara community.

If you are interested in applying to be a volunteer, it isn’t too late! 

There are more than 150 different Games-time volunteer roles available in a wide variety of areas such as sport operations, food services, merchandise sales, and media relations — just to name a few. Plus, the Games also have a need for over 600 bilingual volunteers to participate as translators, interpreters, announcers, proofreaders, and/or hosts. So, be sure to check out our website for more information and sign up today!

Release of Steel Heart, Niagara 2022’s Official Games Anthem

The Niagara Host Society commissioned Toronto-based artist POESY to write a song on behalf of the 2022 Canada Games, which the talented singer-songwriter managed to complete and official release in 2021.

Specifically, POESY wrote, produced and recorded a song called Steel Heart as the anthem of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games! Featuring a verse in French, Steel Heart aims to inspire Games’ athletes and others to keep persevering in the pursuit of their dreams. The music video was exclusively filmed in Niagara and captured some of the region’s gorgeous scenery, which included Glenridge Quarry, Niagara Shores Park, and Charles Daley Park. It also starred a diverse cast of young local athletes from this community. 

Be sure to check out Steel Heart’s music video, and watch our exclusive interview with POESY about the anthem and a behind-the-scenes look at how the music video was made.

Looking ahead to the upcoming year, POESY will have the distinct privilege of performing Steel Heart at our Games’ Opening Ceremony on Saturday, August 6, at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, as well as the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, August 21, at Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls. POESY will also take part in a 100-Day-Out Celebration concert event on April 27 at the Meridian Centre alongside TIM HICKS and LOVERBOY. You won’t want to miss it! You can purchase tickets for the concert here.

Substantial Progress at Canada Games Park and the Henley Rowing Centre

Despite having faced some unprecedented challenges over the last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including material shortages, the two major legacy projects of the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games are well on their way to being Games-ready and completed in the first half of 2022.

The biggest of these projects, Canada Games Park (CGP), which will be the home of new state-of-the-art sport facilities on Brock University’s campus, is on track for completion prior to spring 2022. When completed, the 210,000 square foot Walker Sports and Abilities Centre at CGP will consist of a sport performance centre, a health & well-being centre, a twin-pad arena, a 200m indoor track, sport offices, and a multipurpose fieldhouse that will feature a parasport gymnasium and a combative sport centre. Additionally, outside of that building, you’ll find six competition beach volleyball courts, a cycling and storage pavilion, and a 400m track-and-field facility.

The second of N22’s major infrastructure projects, the Henley Rowing Centre (HRC), is slated to be fully built by early spring 2022 and ahead of the upcoming rowing season. HRC is set to be fully accessible, with accessible change rooms, training facilities (with rowing ergometers and other exercise equipment) and event facilities on Henley Island.

This new off-water infrastructure is going to satisfy a need that will allow the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course maintain its world-class status and host major competitions, such as the World Rowing Championships, which will be returning to the City of St. Catharines in 2024.

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