LONDON, Ontario — The Ontario government announced Tuesday that the City of London will be hosting the 2024 Ontario Summer Games and will be provided with a hosting grant of up to $1 million.
The 2020 games, which was originally scheduled to take place in London and postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will not proceed. As Ontario navigates a safe and gradual reopening, the government remains committed to protecting the health and well-being of all Ontarians, including all participants, volunteers and event staff for the Ontario Games.
“The City of London’s world-class facilities, dedicated volunteers and experience hosting large-scale events make it a premier sport hosting destination,” said Minister Lisa MacLeod, Minister of heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries. “I look forward to working with games organizers and am proud to provide up to $1 million to bring this event back here in 2024.”
This grant will be used to offset operational costs, such as accommodating, feeding and transporting athletes and other participants at the games.
“We are very excited to welcome the Ontario Summer Games back to London in 2024,” said Ed Holder, Mayor of London. “While unfortunate to all those who had worked so hard to prepare for the 2021 Games, this is the best decision for the safety of all involved. Thank you to the Province of Ontario for the opportunity to host this event once again, and I have no doubt that London will put on an extraordinary experience in 2024.”
The games provides an opportunity for athletes to develop their skills and experience high-level competitions. Many athletes use this experience to prepare for national and international competitions. The games will also boost the local host community and economy with an economic impact of about $5 million.
The government is committed to the sport sector and has opened the 2020-21 Sport Hosting Program to continue to support amateur sport events in Ontario, when it is safe to do so. The annual grant program, which started accepting applications on June 10 for events with start dates from November 2021 to July 2023, provides project-based funding for national and international amateur single-sport events that help develop Ontario athletes, strengthen local communities, and create sport legacies. The deadline for applications is July 12, 2021. As a result of the COVID-19 public health situation, there will be only one intake period for the 2021-22 program.
“While disappointed that this event has ultimately resulted in cancellation due to the pandemic, we fully support this decision. London was looking forward to hosting this event again, and we appreciate the province providing us with the opportunity to do so in 2024. We want to thank all our sponsors, volunteers and venues for their continued support, and we look forward to celebrating the return of this event to our city in 2024, ” Zanth Jarvis, director, sport tourism, tourism London.