Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pincher Creek awarded 50th Southern Alberta Summer Games

SASG and SARA committee members with Pincher Creek dignitaries prior to 2019 SASG announcement

Chris Davis - Today it was announced that Pincher Creek (Town and Municipal District) will be hosting the 2019 Southern Alberta Summer Games (SASG), which will be the 50th anniversary of the event.  The SASG draws a large crowd of participants, family members, coaches, officials, sports fans, and volunteers to its host municipalities every year. Pincher Creek hosted the first Southern Alberta Summer Games in 1970, and hosted again in 1985, 2004, and 2014 (the 45th anniversary).  The SASG began in Pincher Creek.  It covers 13 regions, each with a regional director or organizer.  The announcement was made during a special luncheon at Pincher Creek's Town Hall today, at which it was also announced that Taber will be hosting the 2018 SASG.  Raymond had originally been vying for the 2019 games as well, but deferred to Pincher Creek because of the anniversary and will instead aim for 2020.

Pincher Creek's Summer Games Society lobbied the Southern Alberta Recreation Association (SARA) to bring the games back to where they started for the milestone 50th anniversary. Pincher Creek representatives visited Vulcan, Brooks, and Taber yesterday, and a 5-member SARA committee visited various event locations in the Pincher Creek area today before making the official announcement at the luncheon. Several local dignitaries spoke before the announcement, as did SARA co-chair Bonnie Ellis (a former Pincher Creek resident who now lives in Vulcan).  Ellis also made the official announcement after the luncheon.

Sign on the Town Hall lawn prior to today's announcement
"You guys are just right on top of recreation, from expanding your pool area, and have facilities that would make having the games here really easy," said Ellis prior to the luncheon.  At that point the pending official announcement was a poorly kept secret for those in attendance, and there was a celebratory atmosphere to the proceedings.

SASG torch at 2014 opening ceremonies in Pincher Creek

Director of Community Services Diane Burt-Stuckey spoke about many of the venues which will be used in 2019, including areas in the rural region such as the pickle ball and tennis courts, gun club, archery range, cycling, and Piikani hockey arena (see a more complete list further below).

A sea of Pincher Creek orange takes the field en route to 2014 opening ceremonies at the Ag Grounds

Town of Pincher Creek Mayor Don Anderberg thanked SARA for their consideration.  "We have a great volunteer base in Pincher Creek, a hundred plus groups and organizations that volunteer on a regular basis,"  he said, recognizing the vast network of volunteers who help to create every SASG.  "Town council and administration see the 2019 Games as a way to showcase our community, and support the legacy of Southern Alberta Summer Games."

MD of Pincher Creek Reeve Brian Hammond also spoke of the strong volunteer base the community has, including people who come to the area to volunteer, as well as resident volunteers.  "Without them, we wouldn't be able to do the things that we do."  He also thanked the many volunteers.  Remembering the first SASG he said "People from all walks of life in our rural community as well as within the town itself came together and made a very successful event, and I have no reason to believe that wont repeat itself this time around, if the community is given that recognition, or opportunity."

Town Councillor Doug Thornton had a very personal reason to be beaming at the anticipated awarding of the Games.  "Going back to 1969, from a personal note, a fellow by the name of Max Gibb was our Recreation Director, looking after our pool.  Max had this crazy idea about maybe getting everybody together in southern Alberta, and went to my father (Ken Thornton) who turned out was the Chairman of the Recreation Board at that time, and Bob Toney was the Reeve of the MD at the time.  The three of them put their heads together and voila, the very first (regional) summer games, it turns out, in Canada were held here.  I'm pretty proud of all that."

Max Gibb at the 2014 SASG (former Town of Pincher Creek Recreation Director/SASG progenitor)

Max was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 for his contributions.

In a presentation to the Pincher Creek Rotary Club just before the 2014 games Diane Burt-Stuckey also reminisced about Gibb's involvement in the first Games.  "He said 'I remember the first morning of the games, and thinking, is anyone going to come? Is anyone going to come? Pretty soon school buses came rolling over the hills and they really did come!' It was the beginning of a long legacy of games."

"The main objective of the games, even way back then in 1970, is to provide an opportunity for the greatest number of people possible to participate in an enjoyable, grass-roots festival." said Burt- Stuckey.  "It was also meant to be a showcase for identifying young athletes that have desire and potential for higher level training and competition," Burt-Stuckey explained. "My first games, I was a summer student, it was 1976 in Cardston. I counted up, and I've attended 37 games over the years in very many communities. It has been a fun adventure. It's always new, and always exciting. Every community has their own flavour of how they portray the games, and some of the sports have changed over the years as well. Back in 76, kids still pretty much were bused in, and they stayed overnight in the gymnasium. They don't do that anymore, but that was interesting. It was my job as the Regional Director and local organizer to be a supervisor in the gymnasium." SASG mascot Gusty the Gopher has been with the games since 1976. "He got a girlfriend, and her name is Breezy."

Breezy, 2014 Pincher Creek SASG Regional Director Megan Rainford, and Gusty
The Max Gibb Award is now an annual high point of the SASG. It is presented annually to individuals who have significantly contributed to the development of the SASG. Local winners include Brenda Shenton, Kim Jorgenson, Jeff Hardy, Archie Wilson, Kelly Tatenger, Alice Cook, Laurie Watson, Diane Burt-Stuckey, Bob Toney, Susan Vogalaar, Roley Cote, Meredith Dickey, Faith Zachar, Roger McAdam, and Brian Wright.

At today's event MD Councillor Quentin Stevick said he was happy to hear the many possible venues in the MD.  "There's an opportunity for us to work together collaboratively for the benefit of everyone."

In her preamble to officially announcing the awarding of the 2019 Games to Pincher Creek Bonnie Ellis talked about how fact finding tours like the one the SARA committee was on allows for various communities to visit each other, find out about the different recreational facilities in the area, and get everyone involved not only in their own community, but in others.

"2019 is such a special year for us, as SARA members because it is our 50th anniversary," said Ellis.  Quite a grassroots legacy that we have."  She then talked about the growth of the organization, and how new communities were welcomed to the games.  "Last time you held the games in 2014, you welcomed so many participants.  We had over 2000 participants then, and we're expecting at least that much, and probably even more, being the 50th anniversary for this 2019 year that we are looking at.  You have also welcomed your partnership with the MD.  I think the Town and MD have worked so well together, it seems so seamless."

"On behalf of SARA the organization that started here, that has our grassroots here;  We are pleased to award the 2019 Games to the MD of Pincher Creek and the Town of Pincher Creek.  We look forward to working with you and your communities to bring the athletes, parents, and friends to your community to celebrate our 50th anniversary in the very place we started."

SASG and SARA committee members with Pincher Creek dignitaries after 2019 SASG announcement in Town council chambers

Facts, figures, backstory, and Pincher Creek's bid:

2098 athletes and 164 coaches participated in the 2014 Games, participating in 23 sports and cultural events held over the course of four days. 340 of those athletes were from the Pincher Creek area, and Pincher Creek athletes participate in the games every year, at every host location.

Pincher Creek topped the final standing at the 2014 SASG with a total 301 medals, including 148 Gold, 91 Silver, and 62 Bronze for a total of 4737.5 points.
 The 2014 Games were made possible by the efforts of over 350 volunteers and 75 officials. It is anticipated that the 2018 games will include 24 sports and a “50 years of Games” display including memorabilia and photographs” of past games. A local seven-member Games Planning Committee will commence meeting in 2018.  According to Pincher Creek's bid, "The proposed operational budget is $110,500. Minor upgrades of facilities may be required, as approved by the Town."  Proposed funding sources include $29,000 (each) grants from the Town and the MD and a $2.00 levy for each athlete.  Total funding revenue is projected at $110,500.  Total expenses are also projected at $110,500.  The financial boost for area businesses is expected to be significant.

Pincher Creek's Summer Games Society was originally formed for the 2014 Games. Their bid for 2019 states a current bank balance of $16,400, which they intend to supplement with fundraising. The Pincher Creek and District Recreation Advisory Committee passed a motion to support the bid for the 2019 Games.
SARA board members:
  • Bonnie Ellis - Vulcan (SARA co-chair)
  • Denise Spenser - Claresholm
  • Cindy Hoffman - Coaldale
  • Travis Grindle - Lethbridge
  • Randi McPhillips - Brooks
  • Diane Burt Stuckey - Pincher Creek
  • Adam Grose - Pincher Creek

The complete text of Pincher Creek's bid for the 2019 SASG (including planned events):

Town of Pincher Creek & Municipal District of Pincher Creek
Celebrating 50 Years of Southern Alberta Summer Games!

The Town of Pincher Creek and Municipal District of Pincher Creek wish to submit a bid to host the 2019 Southern Alberta Summer Games. The proposed dates are July 3 to 6, 2019.

Desire to Bid:
The first Southern Alberta Summer Games was held in Pincher Creek in 1970 with approximately 1200 athletes participating in what was intended to be an annual grassroots sporting festival. The games have run every year since then, and Pincher Creek would be very proud to host the 50th year of the Summer Games, back home where it all began.

Pincher Creek has had a strong involvement with the Southern Alberta Summer Games, being a host in 1970, 1985, 2004 and most recently in 2014. Athletes from the Town and M.D of Pincher Creek send a strong contingent of athletes to Summer Games each year and Recreation Department representatives have provided their ongoing support to the games program by attending SARA meetings and the annual games event.

The 2014 Games hosted by the Town and M.D. of Pincher Creek were a great success with 2098 athletes and 164 coaches participating in 23 sports and cultural events. Over 350 volunteers and 75 officials assisted during the 4-day event and they were integral to the success of these games. We were very proud to have 440 local athletes participate in the games and at opening ceremonies.

The “sea of athletes” in orange t-shirts is still one of the great memories for local organizers. Overall the games were well organized and well attended. Participants were pleased with the condition and maintenance of sport facilities and many expressions of appreciation were received for the incredible volunteers and amazing spirit of the games. The Town was very pleased with the resulting economic benefit and the positive vibe that was created in the community. We are ready to step forward to host the games again and very excited about an opportunity to celebrate 50 years of games in Southern Alberta.

We currently have an active “Summer Games Society” which was originally formed for the 2014 Games. They passed a motion to support the bid for the 2019 Southern Alberta Summer Games and are prepared to commence fundraising to supplement their bank balance of $16,400. Also, the Pincher Creek & District Recreation Advisory Committee passed a motion to support a bid for the 2019 Games.

Several individuals have expressed their interest to be involved in the Games once again – with such a positive experience last time, they are ready and willing to volunteer again! The Town of Pincher Creek Recreation Department is positioned to provide strong leadership and organizational skills for the Summer Games and key staff have been involved in the hosting of previous games. Along with the support of the Town and M.D. of Pincher Creek, we have a strong and enthusiastic community support for a 2019 bid.


Pincher Creek is poised to host 24 sports for the 2019 games. We have facilities and volunteers to host all the 11 core sports including: 5/10K run; Athletics; Baseball; Badminton; Basketball; Cycling (Road & Time Trials); Golf; Mini-Soccer; Photography; Soccer and Swimming. In addition, we would like to host 13 optional sports including: Archery; Ball Hockey; Beach Volleyball; Bowling; Cribbage; Equestrian; Handgun; Kayaking (tentative); Ball Hockey; Pickleball; Smallbore; Rugby, Tennis and Trapshooting.

In general, the Town of Pincher Creek has a wide variety of sport fields and facilities that are well maintained and available for use during the Games. Through user agreements, school facilities and other facilities such as the Ag Grounds, Golf Course etc. will be available for use as well. A summary of proposed sports and locations can be found on Schedule A. More specific information on each proposed facility is as follows. Note: core sports are indicated by *

3/5/10 Km Run*
The trail system along the creek and hillsides of Pincher Creek has been used successfully for the 2014 Games, Moonshadow Run and school cross-country events. It is a safe and scenic route, that provides options for a 3, 5 and 10 km runs.

In 2014, the archery event was held at the Black Powder Gun Range, located east of Pincher Creek on Range road 29 near Summerview. This is the proposed location once again as it is a natural site along the Oldman River with appropriate terrain for a 3D event, shade and camping. The event was hosted with the assistance of the Southern Alberta Bow Hunters Association however, Pincher Creek now has its local Archery Club to help support this event.

The 7 lane 400-meter asphalt track is located near the St. Michael’s School and is set up for all running, throwing and jumping events. As Pincher Creek annually hosts local and regional track meets, several individuals have the experience to organize these events. Portable washrooms and a portable concession would be set up to service this area.

Both Matthew Halton High School (MHHS) and St. Michael’s School can accommodate badminton. In 2014, badminton was held at MHHS with 4 courts set up along with bleachers, washrooms and a concession provided.

3 on 3 Basketball*
Both the Matthew Halton High School (MHHS) and St. Michael’s School gymnasiums can accommodate the 3 on 3 event, providing 2 courts at each school. Both schools have adequate bleachers, washrooms and concession facilities. In 2014, 3 on 3 was held at the St. Michael’s School.

Ball Hockey
The MCC Arena was the site of ball hockey in 2014 and it can accommodate the schedule, albeit long days. For 2019, we are proposing that some games are to be played at the new Piikani Arena which is less than 15 minutes east of Pincher Creek. This will showcase their new facility and encourage volunteer involvement from the Piikani Nation in the games.

Pincher Creek has adequate baseball facilities with a total of 5 diamonds being available for play: Lions Ball Park is suitable for the Minors while Juan Teran Park and Sproule Field are suitable for the Majors. Three of the diamonds have pitching mounds. Both Lions and Juan Teran have washrooms facilities.

Beach Volleyball
Juan Teran Park has one permanent beach volleyball court which was upgraded for the 2014 Games. As this is a very busy sport, a second temporary pit will be developed nearby. Both areas offer sun and shade with the Juan Teran concession and washrooms nearby.

Chinook Lanes, next door to the Golf Clubhouse, is home to the 5 Pin Bowling Association. They hosted bowling in 2014 and members have participated each year that it was included in the games. Washrooms and a concession is available. The 5-lanes are being upgraded this summer and will be ready for play in 2019.

The always popular cribbage will be played at the Kootenai Brown Museum (2014 site) or at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall. Both have barrier free access with washrooms and food services available.

Both events will be held north of Pincher Creek, close to the Oldman River Dam. Time trials will meet at Cottonwood Campground and use Range Road 293. The Road Race event would meet just south of the Dam spillway, and use Highway 785 for their event. The roads would not be closed however it is a low traffic area and motorists would be advised to slow down by signage and volunteers.

Pincher Creek has both outdoor and indoor riding facilities on the same grounds, located in the Town of Pincher Creek. Between the Ag Society and 4-H Clubs, there is volunteer leadership to host this event. Washrooms, concession and adequate parking are available on site.

Golf *
Pincher Creek has a picturesque 9-hole course and a welcoming cedar log clubhouse with washrooms, lounge and restaurant. The Golf Club will be asked to be involved with the organization of this event.

Pincher Creek can accommodate handgun at the Oldman River Gun Club range, depending on the schedule of other events. The facility is located 15km west of Pincher Creek, off Highway 3. As an alternative, the indoor range in the Crowsnest Pass Pistol Club can be accessed for handgun, as was the case in 2014.

A total of 7 fields are available for the ever popular mini-soccer. These will be set up at Canyon School (3 fields); Ag Ground (2 fields) and Matthew Halton (2 fields). We anticipate that this will be adequate however there are 2 other fields that could be made available. All fields will have washroom facilities provided. The Soccer Association has experience hosting tournaments.

To be displayed in the “Hawks Nest” foyer of the Matthew Halton HighSchool. This is a wonderful location with lots of natural light and circulation area. Display boards will be borrowed from Heritage Acres. This school will also be the site of the quilt display and the 50th Anniversary of the Games exhibit. With badminton/basketball going on in the gym and soccer outside, this will be a busy venue.

This is a new sport to Pincher Creek but we have had a lot of keen interest over the past winter. In fact, they are playing in the Arena for the summer months. The preferred location is Canyon School Gymnasium (2 courts) as the other school gymnasiums are being used for basketball and badminton. Depending on scheduling, a second gym could be used.

Sproule Field is the site of our local rugby team and very suitable for play. Leadership for this sport would be provided through the school program.

Soccer is one of the biggest sports of the games! Currently we have 4 fields available for play and they would be scheduled as follows: U12 – Ag Grounds; U14 – Pool Field & St. Michaels; U16 – Matthew Halton and U18 – Sproule Field. We have started discussions around a new football/soccer field facility which could provide an additional field if completed in time for the games.

Strength and Conditioning
Our local Cross-Fit Gym hosted the Strength and Conditioning event in 2014. Their gym in the Multi- Purpose Facility is well suited for this type of event. They host competitions on a regular basis.

Small Bore
This event would be hosted at the Oldman River Gun Club range, located west of Cowley on Range Road 15, off Highway 3. The Gun Club would be asked to provide leadership for this event.

Pincher Creek has a 6 lane, 25-metre swim pool with adequate spectator and athlete seating. As a Canada 150 project, upgrades to the pool will include a building expansion for a water slide, washrooms and deck seating as well as an outdoor spray park, north of the facility by December 31, 2017. The pool is part of the Multi-Purpose Facility, which offers public washrooms. The Dolphin Swim Club has been instrumental in hosting swim meets for over 50 years so they are well prepared.

Two surfaced tennis courts are located behind the Multi-Purpose Facility. They are ready for play and should accommodate the number of tennis players registered in the past few games.

This event would be hosted at the Oldman River Gun Club range, located west of Cowley on Range Road 15, off Highway 3. There are 3 traps available for the event.

Opening Ceremonies
To be held at the Agricultural Grounds where there is ample room for parking, seating and the Parade of Athletes. A special program will be organized to recognize the 50th anniversary of the games, back to where it all began in 1970! Proposed special guests to include dignitaries, past organizers of summer games as well as athletes that were involved with the 1970 Games (there are still a few around). A short but entertaining program will be organized to open these prestigious games.

With the assistance of the Southern Alberta Recreation Association, a reception for “old SARA members” will be organized before (or after) the Opening Ceremonies. Effort will be made to locate and invite SARA members that have been part of the Games organization for the past 50 years – a reunion is always a good way to share stories and create new memories.

Closing Ceremonies
The closing ceremonies will be held at the Town Hall, site of the Games Office and Results Board. A brief ceremony will be organized to close the games, express appreciation and pass on the flag to the 51st SASG community.

The photography exhibit and a quilt display will be set up at the Mathew Halton High School. As well, this will be the location of the “50 years of Games” display including memorabilia and photographs” of past games. Local entertainment such as native dancers, musicians, singers etc. will be part of the opening ceremonies. An outdoor movie will be held Town Hall Park and the Fox Theatre offers 2 nightly movies. The Public Art Exhibit and Gift Shop at Lebel Mansion will be open daily for visitation as is the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village/Museum. A Farmer’s Market will be held on the Friday morning.


Accommodation, Camping and Services
Pincher Creek is well known as the “Centre of Adventure” for Southwestern Alberta and we are well serviced to accommodate visitors to town. There are 7 hotels (with 1 more under construction), providing over 200 rooms. There are 85 camp sites available in the town site, and camping is located close by at the Oldman River Dam (Chinook and Cottonwood), Beauvais Lake Provincial Park, Heritage Acres and Lundbreck Falls.

Pincher Creek offers a variety of restaurants, fast food options as well as some mobile food trucks. In 2014, various service clubs or community organizations set up concessions at venues which were not within walking distance to the business areas. We would strive to have this in place once again.

Pincher Creek has a strong business community offering a wide range of services that would support the visitation to the community during the 4-day event. This time we would stock up on bug spray and sunscreen, just in case! There is a strong Chamber of Commerce that would be pleased to work with and support the Summer Games event, welcoming athletes and families to enjoy our shopping and services.

Pincher Creek Attractions
What to do while you are Pincher Creek? Visit the Kootenai Brown Museum and Pioneer Village with 24 heritage buildings on 6 acres of attractively landscaped grounds. A gift shop is on site. Stop by the Lebel Mansion for a self-guided tour of this 1909 residence is now home to the Allied Arts Council, the public art gallery and a unique gift shop with work of local artisans. Take a walk about the downtown to learn more about the historic murals and the flower beds which are tended by a volunteer group, the Pincher Planters. Enjoy a quiet stroll along the Creekside Walkway or visit one of our many parks and playground areas including a skate park and bike park. The Municipal Library offers a quiet stop to rest, read or check your email. Drop by the Bobby Burns Fish Pond to have a picnic or take time for quiet reflection. And be sure to check out the Heritage Acres Farm Museum, located just north east of Pincher Creek.

Medical Facilities
Pincher Creek offers a full spectrum of health and wellness services. The Association Clinic, located in a wing of the hospital, is a practice with 10 physicians and clinic which is open daily from Monday to Friday. The Pincher Creek Health Centre is an acute care and continuing care facility offering 24-hour emergency services, intensive care, surgery, on site lab and x-ray and obstetrics. There is also a variety of wellness services including dental, optometric, physiotherapists and massage therapists available.

Information Centre and Signage
The Information Centre is in Pioneer Place, headquarters of the Kootenai Brown Museum and Pioneer Village. A wide range of information about Pincher Creek and are is available. As well, the Town of Pincher Creek has a signage/wayfinding project underway in 2017 and this will help direct Games visitors to their venue, along with the regular games signage.


Games Office
Games Office to be in the Town Hall Gymnasium. There is adequate space for information, results, equipment storage and meetings at this location. Phones and computers will be set up and the Council Chambers available for SARA meetings. The results board will be set up outside the Games Office. Washrooms are available in the facility. Games schedules and information would be available at the Games Office.

Games Planning Committee
The Planning Committee for the Games will include volunteer chairpersons responsible for various areas. Some of the positions will be filled with our Summer Games Society executive members and others from the community at large. They will commence meeting in 2018.

Sports and Facilities Committee
This sub-committee to include chairs of the various sports. The Sports & Facilities Chair will conduct these meetings separate from the Planning Committee but occasionally the whole group will meet.

The overall games coordination and communications will be handled out of the Recreation Office. It is proposed that a Games Coordinator would be hired in mid-January 2019 to review the rules and regulations and commence more detailed planning.

Proposed Budget
The proposed operational budget is $110,500. Minor upgrades of facilities may be required, as approved by the Town. Budget details follow.

Pincher Creek has successfully hosted 4 Southern Alberta Summer Games and we are well positioned to host another. We look forward to this event which builds volunteerism, sport development and community pride. We would be very pleased to host the 2019 Games to showcase our community, but even more so, we are so excited to bring the games back to Pincher Creek where we will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of this remarkable sporting and cultural festival! P.S. We know who lit the torch at the first Southern Alberta Summer Games.

  • $ 17,000 - Alberta Sport Connection (SARA & Cultural Grant )
  • $ 4,500 - SARA ($2.00/athlete)
  • $ 16,000 - Summer Games Society Funds
  • $15,000 - Summer Games Society Fundraising/Sponsorships
  • $ 29,000 - Town of Pincher Creek
  • $ 29,000 - MD of Pincher Creek
Total Revenue $110,500

  • $23,000 - Salaries & Wages - Summer Games Coordinator 
  • $4,500 - Benefits
  • $200 - WCB
  • $2,500 - Training & Travel
  • $1,000 - Freight & Postage 
  • $800 - Communications (Telephone, Internet) 
  • $9,000 - Advertising
  • $15,000 - Professional Services (Officials/Judges, Software)
  • $8,500 - Public Relations (Ceremonies, Volunteer Lunches)
  • $12,000 - Repairs & Maintenance (Minor Facility & Equipment)
  • $6,500 - Rentals & Leases (Toilets, Facilities, Bus)
  • $2,500 - Insurance
  • $25,000 - Goods & Goods for Resale (Volunteer shirts, Supplies, Sport Equip.)
Total Expenses $110,500

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Comments are moderated before being published. Please be civil.

Infinite Scroll