Canada Games turns on heat two years out
A spiffy new bulkhead for the Pan Am Pool will be one of many lasting impressions the 2017 Canada Games will make on Winnipeg.
The local host society announced the improvement Tuesday, at a sweltering hot and humid morning news conference at the 48-year-old facility. Representatives from all three levels of government also turned out for the Games’ first major announcement.
“If you’re taking pictures of any of us up here, and we look a little wet, you can just say we were in the pool for training,” Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman quipped.
Hey, at least the heat was on-theme. Tuesday’s announcement, timed to take place exactly two years before the opening ceremony, also served to reveal the 2017 Canada Games’ official slogan: “The Hottest Summer in Half a Century.” It is a nod to what will be the event’s 50th anniversary — and the concept of heat is a major part of the Canada Games imagery that will splash across Winnipeg.
The branding, designed by local firm McKim Communications Group, was inspired by the swooping shapes seen in heat maps and weather radar — forms designers also see reflected in indigenous art and the topography of Winnipeg itself. So Canada Games branding became a heat-seeking mission.
“Despite the fact we’re nationally renowned for being cold, we all know our summers are hot,” McKim CEO Peter George said. “Heat goes hand in hand with the idea of passion, sweat, exertion and exhilaration. So in creating this brand... we had to ask ourselves, ‘What does heat actually look like?’ ”
As the next 24 months pass, Winnipeggers will find out more about what kind of changes are in store for the city. While the Pan Am Pool bulkhead was the only new commitment made Tuesday, 2017 Canada Games director Jeff Hnatiuk said all of the 20-plus venues utilized at the Games will get some sort of boost.
“Each one of those venues will have some form of an upgrade to them,” Hnatiuk said. “Over the next two or three months, we’ll be rolling out some other facilities that will be receiving major dollar contributions.”
The centrepiece of the 2017 Canada Games physical legacy will be the second phase of the Sport for Life Centre, which held a sod-turning ceremony last month. Construction on the multi-use facility is expected to begin in September, and be completed by 2017.
The two-week Canada Games are scheduled to kick off July 28, 2017.
More than 4,000 athletes and up to 20,000 visitors are expected to convene on Winnipeg, where more than 250 events in 16 different sport categories will be contested.