Niagara College is supporting Niagara’s bid to host the largest multi-sport event in the nation: the Canada Games.
With the Games taking place every two years – alternating between summer and winter events on a rotating schedule for the host province and territory – Ontario is next in line to host the Summer Games in 2021. Niagara is among four communities bidding to host the event, along with Ottawa; the City of Greater Sudbury; and the combined cities of Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge. The final host selection is scheduled to be announced at the end of March.
Representatives from the College’s leadership team have participated on various bid group committees and the College has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Niagara Bid Group for the use of College facilities for a variety of Games activities.
Associate vice-president, Academic and Learner Services David Veres noted that the College’s commitment to the Games bid involves the use of facilities at the Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses.
The Welland Campus will be used as the Games broadcast centre. Its gym will be used as a practice and alternative games site for basketball, and the residence will house all the Games’ technical officials for South Niagara sport locations.
The NOTL Campus will be used as the media centre for the Games, and the residence will house all of the Games technical officials for North Niagara sport locations.
Veres noted that, in collaboration with the Games committee, the College will supporting the Human Legacy plan for Niagara.
“This plan will see upwards of 100 job opportunities for Niagara students and recent graduates as well as numerous placement internship, and course based projects,” said Veres.
The Niagara Employment Legacy Initiative – the human resources plan for the games – aims at developing skills in the youth of Niagara over the four years of game development through a series of experiential learning opportunities, including:
• A First Job Program: A focus on hiring NC and Brock grads during years three and four (2019 to 2021) of Games development and implementation. Program and opportunities for engagement in Games development activities will be identified while the individuals are still in school; opportunities to be through co-op placement and intern experience, course-based research and project components, giving potential employees two to three years of related experience prior to employment; and
• The Games Experiential Learning program: A focus on hiring graduates and students from NC and Brock for position in 2021 supporting the final preparation and implementation of the games. Potential employees will have the opportunity to engage in Games activities through their academic programs two years prior to the games through school placements, course based projects and assignments and applied research.
NC President Dan Patterson noted that the College is very committed to, and very excited about the experiential learning and staffing program that the college’s leadership team has been developing in collaboration with the Niagara Bid Group. He noted that the College’s hands-on learning approach opens up opportunities for numerous potential partnerships to support the development and delivery of a first-class Games.
“We look forward to partnering with Niagara’s Host Society to provide a Games First Job and Experiential Learning program for our students that will integrate Games planning and delivery activities into our curriculum though program projects and research activities, through our practicum and co-op program, and through Games staff positions,” he said.
“This approach to experiential learning has been identified as a cornerstone for creating our next generation of innovative entrepreneurs and a dynamic workforce. The Games First Job and Experiential Learning Program would greatly benefit our students and provide an important legacy for Niagara College, for Niagara and for the Canada Games.”