> Home > Living > Events and Festivals > 2022 Arctic Winter Games

2022 Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo will host the 2022 Arctic Winter Games! 

After a competitive bid process, the Arctic Winter Games International Committee officially announced Wood Buffalo will host the 2022 Games at a press conference Feb. 8, 2019 at MacDonald Island Park. Mayor Don Scott, Ricardo Miranda the Alberta Minister of Culture and Tourism and Kim Rizzi a Co-Chair for the Wood Buffalo 2022 Arctic Winter Games Bid Committee were in attendance to share their excitement.

“I’m excited that our region will be hosting a major international event and welcoming thousands of visitors to our community,” said Mayor Don Scott. “It’s an opportunity for Wood Buffalo to showcase our world-class facilities, enthusiastic volunteers and incredible community spirit and diversity. I’d like to thank the Arctic Winter Games International Committee for choosing Wood Buffalo, the Bid Committee for their hard work and our residents for their support.” 

The Arctic Winter Games are the largest northern multi-sport and culture event in the world. Athletes from the circumpolar north will travel to Wood Buffalo to compete in traditional arctic sports, Dene games and other popular winter sports over the span of seven days. In addition to sports, the Games will feature cultural and social events throughout the week to celebrate our diversity, heritage and promote an exchange of values between residents and visitors.

Wood Buffalo’s bid to host the 2022 Arctic Winter Games was led by a bid committee, which was comprised of a diverse group of community stakeholders. The committee created a comprehensive bid package and planned a bid tour to showcase our community to members of the Arctic Winter Games International Committee. The bid tour was held on January 15, 2019 and included a community pep rally, cultural performances and a tour of the proposed facilities in Wood Buffalo’s bid. 

MISSION

Honouring the heart and spirit of the Games, Wood Buffalo will enrich lives by promoting personal excellence, cultural diversity and creating a legacy for athletes, participants, volunteers and the Wood Buffalo Region
 
VISION

In sharing the energy of our great northern community, we will create a memorable athletic, cultural and social experience while fostering a sense of accomplishment for local and visiting participants.
 
VALUES
 
  • Access and Equity
  • Cultural Diversity, Inclusion and Awareness
  • Fairplay
  • History
  • Honesty
  • Legacy
  • Personal Excellence
  • Respect for Self and Others
What are the Arctic Winter Games? The Arctic Winter Games are the largest northern multi-sport and culture event in the world. Over 2000 athletes from the circumpolar north will compete in traditional arctic sports, Dene games, and other popular winter sports over the span of seven days. The Games promote an exchange of cultural values and relationships through friendly competition and social interaction.

Who participates in the Arctic Winter Games?
 Over 2000 athletes from Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Northern Alberta, Nunavut, Greenland, Yamal (Russia), Nunavik Quebec and Sapmi (Indigenous peoples of Norway, Sweden and Finland) are expected to participate in the 2022 Arctic Winter Games. The majority of athletes are twelve to eighteen years old.
 
When are the Games held? The Games are held every two years and usually happen in March. The proposed dates included in Wood Buffalo’s bid were March 13 to March 19, 2022
 
What sports will be held in 2022? The events included in the 2022 Arctic Winter Games have not been finalized. The International Committee is responsible for selecting which sport events will be included in the Arctic Winter Games. The events will be selected when the host society signs the contract with the Arctic Winter Games International Committee.  

The proposed sports that were included in Wood Buffalo’s bid are: 

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Archery
  • Arctic Sports
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Curling
  • Dene Games
  • Dog mushing
  • Figure Skating
  • Futsal (Indoor Soccer)
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey 
  • Short Track Speedskating
  • Ski Biathlon
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowshoe Biathlon
  • Snowshoeing
  • Table Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

In addition to sports, the 2022 Arctic Winter Games will include numerous culture activities and social events. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies will ​feature local performers who will showcase Wood Buffalo's rich and diverse culture!

Why did Wood Buffalo submit a bid for the 2022 Arctic Winter Games? The benefits of bidding and hosting the Games align closely with the RMWB’s long-term goals around economic opportunity, sport development, social development, rural and Indigenous partnerships and cultural enrichment.
 
Strategic Priority 3f in the RMWB 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, includes a commitment to host and attract major multi-sport and cultural events that support arts and culture development, contribute to increased tourism and generate prosperity for the region along with improved reputation and branding.
 
Who decided to submit a bid for the Games? Aligned with Strategic Priority 3f in the RMWB 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, Council approved the motion to submit a bid for the 2022 Arctic Winter Games on October 23, 2018.
 
How much will it cost to host the Arctic Winter Games? The total cost of hosting the Games is typically between  $5 - $8 million dollars. Council approved up to a maximum of $4 million dollars for operating and capital costs associated with hosting the Games. The Alberta provincial government will contribute $1.8 million to the winning community and a significant portion of the costs will be covered through grants, sponsorships, and gift-in-kind contributions. If our bid is successful, the Host Society will present a finalized budget to Council. 
 
What is the economic impact of hosting the Games? Past Games have had economic impacts ranging from $7.65 million to $14.3 million for the local economies. The 2018 Arctic Winter Games held in South Slave generated an economic impact of $14.3 million for the local economy. Fort McMurray Tourism conducted a preliminary economic impact assessment using the STEAM model and the output estimate was a $13.2 million economic input for the Wood Buffalo economy.

What are the next steps? The Bid Committee will dissolve, and an incorporated host society will be formed to manage and stage the Games. Council will appoint the 2022 Arctic Winter Games Board of Directors, who will oversee the staging of the Games. The host society will also include a games manager, coordinators and volunteers. A finalized budget for the Games will be presented to Council by the host society. 

When will a Games Manager be hired? The Games Manager will be hired at least 26 months in advance of the 2022 Arctic Winter Games. We anticipate this position will be filled by January 2020.

How many paid positions will there be in the host society? It is anticipated the Games staffing model will include a Games manager, office administrator and 4-6 coordinators. 

How many volunteers will be needed? We will not know the exact number until closer to the Games. However, past games have required 2000 – 3000 volunteers.  

How can residents get involved with the Games? There will be plenty of opportunities to get involved with the Games, starting with the Board of Directors and key roles. Once the host society is formed there will be plenty of volunteer opportunities leading up to the Games in 2022 and of course volunteer opportunities during the Games. The 2004 Arctic Winter Games in Wood Buffalo had over 4,000 volunteers!

In addition to volunteering, the Games will feature plenty of social and cultural events that will be open to the public. If past games are any indication, the Opening and Closing ceremonies will be “can’t miss” community events. 

 

All Winter Maintenance Zones are relaxed until further notice.