Brock University has approved contributing a parcel of land at its main campus so it can be the site of a community and athletics complex that would be the central site when the 2021 Canada Summer Games are hosted in Niagara.
On Thursday, May 9, Brock’s Board of Trustees voted to provide the land, currently part of a parking area, where Canada Games Park can be built if Games organizers are able to secure the required funding from various levels of government.
In addition to the land for Canada Games Park, which Brock will provide on a long-term lease for a nominal-fee, the University will contribute $3.5 million in-kind through the use of Brock’s facilities during the Games, as well as a $500,000 financial contribution.
“The 2021 Canada Summer Games has the potential to be a transformative moment in Niagara’s history, and Brock University is on board,” said Gary Comerford, Chair of the Brock University Board of Trustees.
“This will be the largest sporting event ever held in Niagara, and the largest-ever Canada Games. As such, it will leave a lasting legacy on the region on many levels, including new and upgraded facilities.”
More than 5,000 athletes will compete in 18 different sports from Aug. 6 to 22, 2021, with all of those competitions taking place across Niagara municipalities.
Canada Games Park would include a sport and ability centre, arenas, gymnasiums and an outdoor facility with a track, athletic field and beach volleyball courts.
Brock President Gervan Fearon said the investment being made by the University will benefit generations of not just students, but the entire Niagara community.
“The investment supports the Canada Games in building two legacies,” said Fearon. “First, there is the physical infrastructure legacy of the Games, and second is the legacy of leveraging the facilities in support of university community engagement, academic curriculum and research activities involving the Niagara region here at Brock.
In addition to Brock’s contribution to the Games through the in-kind and financial donations, it will also be involved from the academic and student engagement perspective.
The University now has three Canada Games academic committees in the areas of research, experiential learning and community engagement.
These groups are working to develop innovative initiatives in all three areas, from identifying collaborative research projects and curricular offerings to creating volunteer community engagement opportunities.