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Ontario Winter Games Kick off in Orillia

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Ontario Winter Games Kick off in Orillia

Three Thousand Athletes Set to Compete, Boosting Local Economy

Three thousand athletes from across the province will compete in the 2018 Ontario Winter Games in Orillia beginning today.

The 2018 Ontario Winter Games will showcase the skills of amateur athletes and para-athletes in competition, while also drawing visitors and boosting the local economy. All sporting events are open to the public, with admission being completely free of charge.

The Games will run from March 1 to 4 and feature 25 sports, including:

  • alpine and para alpine skiing
  • weightlifting
  • wheelchair basketball
  • boxing
  • wushu
  • ringette
  • hockey and sledge hockey
  • figure skating

The Ontario Winter Games provides young athletes with an opportunity to compete on a big stage and is often a stepping stone on a path toward the Canada Games, Pan Am and Parapan Am Games or the Olympics and Paralympics.

Supporting athletes and boosting local tourism is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is supporting the Orillia 2018 Ontario Winter Games with a $1-million investment.
  • The 2018 Ontario Winter Games are expected to generate $6 million in local economic activity.
  • Ontario also holds four other multi-sport events — the Ontario Summer Games, the Ontario Parasport Games, and the Ontario 55+ Summer and Winter Games.
  • Started in 1970 in Etobicoke as a showcase for amateur sport, the Ontario Games Program is now Ontario's largest multi-sport event.
  • The Ontario Games Program is part of Game ON — The Ontario Government's Sport Plan to help more people participate and excel in sport.
  • The sport industry contributes an estimated $2.1 billion to Ontario’s GDP and supports 43,730 jobs.

Additional Resources


“I’m delighted to welcome everyone to the Orillia 2018 Ontario Winter Games! Our government knows how important it is that athletes receive the right support to develop their skills, and the Ontario Games Program provides them with that important competition experience. It also gives communities, volunteers, and everyone a chance to celebrate sport in Ontario. I have no doubt these Games will be a memorable experience for everyone involved and give our talented young athletes the opportunity to shine.”

Daiene Vernile

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“Through an incredible partnership with our neighbouring communities and the Province of Ontario, we are honoured to host the Orillia 2018 Ontario Winter Games. Our community has come together with passion, excitement and dedication to deliver what we hope to be a very positive and unique experience for the young athletes and their supporters during the Games. We are absolutely delighted to welcome everyone to Orillia and to have the opportunity to showcase what our region has to offer. On behalf of the City of Orillia, I would like to wish the athletes good luck during the competition and congratulate them on their incredible achievements. The lessons the athletes learn through these Games will benefit them their entire lives.”

Steve Clarke

Mayor, City of Orillia

“Orillia is so excited to welcome the athletes, participants and fans of the Ontario Winter Games. Volunteers and sponsors have been working to ensure a memorable experience for all attendees! Congratulations to the athletes! #yourtimetoshine”

Gill Tillmann

Chair, Games Organizing Committee

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