Posted by Editoress on 11/13/13
The legacy of the "People's Games" will live on for decades, thanks to a $70-million fund announced today in Toronto.
The Toronto 2015 Sport Legacy Fund Plan, jointly supported by the Government of Canada and Province of Ontario, was announced at the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus.
The venue, which is now 65 per cent complete, is one of the three brand new facilities built for the Games to be supported by the Legacy Fund. The others include: the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome and the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium at York University.
"These state-of-the-art facilities are a boon to our communities and athletes," said Ian Troop, Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015). "This Legacy Fund will not only ensure they remain at international standards for high-performance sport, it will also help facility owners with their operating costs for years to come."
The Legacy Fund will be supported through contributions of up to $65 million from the Government of Canada (subject to Treasury Board approval) and $5 million from the Province of Ontario.
Managed by the Independent Toronto Community Foundation, the Legacy Fund will contribute to the operating and capital maintenance of the facilities for the next two decades, at a minimum. The foundation was selected after applying to TO2015's qualification and expression of interest (Q/EOI) last fall.
"This Legacy Fund will help ensure Canadians can continue to use these facilities and benefit from sport programming well beyond 2015," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "Through this investment, our Government is making sure that generations to come have access to these world-class facilities, which will perhaps help create some of Canada's future stars."
These facilities are also drawing other Canadian national teams and sport organizations. The Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) is moving its head office to the Aquatics Centre and Field House, as is Wheelchair Basketball Canada's National Academy. Diving Canada, Swimming Canada, Synchro Canada and Water Polo Canada will also move components of their high-performance teams and training programs to this facility.
In Milton, the Canadian cycling team will be able to stay home to train in a world-class, year-round facility for the first time in more than two decades when the Velodrome opens in the fall of 2014. Cycling Canada and Cycling Ontario are also opening offices at the facility.
"The TORONTO 2015 Games will be a game changer for Canadian summer athletes," said Curt Harnett, four-time Olympian, three-time Olympic medallist in cycling and the Chef de Mission for Canada's Toronto 2015 Pan American Games team.
"Not only are they providing much needed sport infrastructure in Ontario, but today's announcement means these venues will continue to offer our athletes the world-class facilities and conditions they deserve," he said.
At York, Athletics Canada will make use of the new Athletics Stadium and facilities to expand its high-performance programs.
In the case of all three facilities, the high-performance sport users and facility owners will work closely together to identify opportunities to bid for and host major provincial, national and international events on an ongoing basis. This initiative will support the ongoing development of high-performance sport and sport tourism in Ontario and Canada, as well as provide economic stimulus for the area. It will also be a step forward in establishing Toronto as a premier national and international centre for sport hosting.
"The vision of the province is to see the legacy of the 2015 Games enrich and enhance the lives of Ontarians for generations," said Michael Chan, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.
"Creating a strong, lasting legacy of the Games will serve athletes, university students and communities while creating social and economic benefits for Ontario," he said. "Through the development of high performance sport at local, national and international levels, communities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe will be put on the map as premier destinations to live, practice and play."
The first payments from the Legacy Fund are scheduled to be made in 2014 after the facilities officially open. The Aquatics Centre and Field House will reach substantial completion in July, with the Velodrome and Athletics Stadium following that fall. All three facilities remain on track and on budget.
In the first three years of the Legacy Fund, the Aquatics Centre and Field House is expected to receive approximately $4.1 million, the Velodrome $736,000, and the Athletics Stadium $288,000. Thereafter, future drawdown allocations will be determined by the Legacy Fund Allocations Committee, based on annual business plans submitted by the facility owners. It is anticipated the fund will last for a minimum of 20 years.
The allocations committee will consist of seven representatives selected by the Government of Canada, Province of Ontario, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and the City of Toronto.
"This announcement is just the beginning of long-term sport legacies that the people of Toronto will benefit from thanks to our role as Host City of the 2015 Games," said Toronto City Councillor Mark Grimes (Ward 6 Etobicoke-Lakeshore), the Mayor's Pan Am Games Champion.
"The Aquatics Centre and Stadium will be vital hubs for athletics in their respective communities," he said. "They will create access to elite facilities for local residents, university students and high-performance athletes alike. The City of Toronto applauds the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario for their commitment to our city's athletic community."
Marcel Aubut, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), said: "Thanks to our Federal and Provincial Governments, many more of our Canadian athletes will have access to world-class facilities for generations to come. I know how much this country wants to win, and today's announcement will go a long way to help create and prepare our future champions."
Gaétan Tardif, president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) stated: "The ongoing support of these three important venues is fantastic news for our plans to increase awareness and access to parasport training. Having world-class, accessible facilities on home soil will take the Paralympic Movement to a whole new level in Canada."
"The Toronto Community Foundation is pleased to have been selected as the manager of the Toronto 2015 Sport Legacy Fund," said Rahul K. Bhardwaj, president & CEO, Toronto Community Foundation. "We look forward to working with the partners and facility owners to ensure the Games continue to deliver lasting benefits to high-performance sport in Canada and the health and well-being of our communities for years to come."
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