News Local

Region preparing for 2014 games

By Lorne Stelmach

Jordan Driedger, centre, with the 2014 Manitoba Games committee co-chairs Rick Klippenstein, left, and Dan Giesbrecht (right) of Morden and Winkler, Manitoba.

Jordan Driedger, centre, with the 2014 Manitoba Games committee co-chairs Rick Klippenstein, left, and Dan Giesbrecht (right) of Morden and Winkler, Manitoba.

Organizers are getting to work on preparations for March of 2014 when Winkler, Morden and the R.M. of Stanley host the Power Smart Manitoba Winter Games.

Hosting the games comes with a budget of around $700,000 with funding come from the province towards such costs as operations and facility upgrades.

Close to half of the budget is to come from the host communities.

As part of the fundraising effort, representatives are making a pitch to the municipalities for per capita based funding in 2013 and 2014, but they will also be canvassing the community in general.

Their target of about $300,000 would include about $200,000 in funding and $100,000 through services or gifts in kind.

“Those are preliminary numbers right now because we don’t yet know exactly what the budgets are,” said Winkler councillor Henry Siemens. “They’re busy trying to dot every I and cross every T from the 10 or 11 sports that will be involved.”

“We think it’s doable,” added Alex Fedorchuk, despite the challenge of the communities also facing other significant fundraising campaigns including Tabor Home.

Promote region

As planning proceeds for the games, both said they will above all else be promoting the regional aspect of the games.

Morden previously hosted a summer games, and both Morden and Winkler “could host a games like this by themselves,” Siemens observed.

“But one of the things we’re hoping to get out of this is co-operation. We’re so close to each other here. If Morden was hosting, there would be lots of people from Winkler volunteering ... lots of people from the RM of Stanley. Services would be needed from both communities as well.

“When we looked at being able to do an event like this, it really was important to showcase our ability to work together ... which hopefully could lead to hosting other events,” said Siemens. “We want to show that we can do bigger and better things together as well.”

Legacy project

Another benefit they see resulting from the games is to come out of it with a legacy fund.

They hope such a fund could be in the range of $100,000. How that money would be used will be determined by the games host committee, but however it is used would have to be something that benefits all three municipalities and involves sports in some way.

“And the legacy we have in mind is a bike trail between Morden and Winkler,” Fedorchuk noted.

“That’s something that has been talked about and wished for a long long time. We thought that would be pretty exciting.”

“That amount obviously isn’t going to even come close to making that happen but it would be a tremendous seed,” added Siemens. “And once there’s some dollars there, we can leverage that for funding from a multitude of different organizations and foundations as well.”

The games committee has a co-ordinator in place with Jordan Driedger coming to the role with past experience as an assistant in both the 2011 Canada Winter Games and 2011 Western Canada Games.

Driedger will have a role in the all aspects of the games including marketing, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, administration and operations.

The 2014 Power Smart Manitoba Winter Games will take place March 2-8, 2014 and will bring upwards of 7,500 athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers together from across the province.


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