Organizations in Niagara are Investing in Recreation and Sports Initiatives
Related to the investments in subsidizing children’s participation in recreation and sports in Niagara that are cited in the above Facilities and Participation Indicator, there are examples of specific fundraising being done to support such giving.

In 2013, the Niagara Community Foundation (NCF) spent 5% of its allocation to grants and charitable programs on Recreation and Sports.

The NCF has worked with the mayors of both St. Catharines and Welland on raising funds to support Prokids programs and Jump Start programs in their community. Since 2003, the St. Catharines Mayor’s Au Marche fundraising event has raised more than $200,000 for the Investing in St. Catharines Youth Fund and has helped over 2,000 kids participate in sports, recreation and cultural activities.

Source: Niagara Community Foundation
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Niagara is hosting international sporting events that generate significant economic activity.

July, 2015 Pan Am Games and the Para Pan Am Games Rowing and Canoe/Kayak Sprint Events are Being Held in Niagara
The St. Catharines rowing, and the Welland flat water sport venues are official sites for the 2015 Pan Am and the Para Pan Am Games.

For more than a century, the best rowers in the world have raced across the waters of Martindale Pond, home of North America’s largest rowing regatta. Rated as a world-class rowing course by the International Rowing Federation, the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course will host 14 men’s and women’s competitions during the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games. The facility has previously hosted the 1970 and 1999 World Rowing Championships, as well as the prestigious annual Royal Canadian Henley Regatta since 1903. The regatta is regularly held in August. For the Games, the Government of Canada and the City of St. Catharines are jointly funding the replacement of the main bridge linking the rowing facility to the mainland.

Source: TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games
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Canoe/Kayak Sprint Events
The Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre boasts almost eight kilometres of deep, placid water, making it an ideal spot for hosting fast-paced paddling sports. In fact, the name Welland comes from a Celtic word meaning “good river.” In preparation for the Games, TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games widened a section of the canal to meet international competition standards, built two new buildings, including a timing tower and the athlete centre, and added a plaza, start towers and permanent seating for 500 spectators. In addition, a state-of-the-art, multi-sport training tank has been installed in the new athlete centre. The tank will enable Canadian high-performance athletes and fledging local paddlers to perfect their strokes in the off-season in a controlled testing environment against a variable current.

Source: TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games
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In August 2015, the World Dragonboat Racing Championships will be held at the Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC), with 4,000 participants from more than 30 countries. Total economic impact of events at the WIFC from 2011 to 2014 is over $80 million, with an annual average of 12,000 international visitors.

The Welland Recreational Canal Corporation is the steward of the Welland Recreational Waterway, which is home to the WIFC. Illuminaqua is a concert series that combines fire, music and water on the Old Welland Canal. The series takes place at the Merritt Park Amphitheatre in Welland, and draws attendees from across Ontario and Western New York.It links arts, culture, heritage and recreation through initiatives such as the Canoe Art Project.

The Welland Recreational Waterway Master Plan (2008) can be found here.

Source: Welland Recreational Canal Corporation
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The World Championships for International Ice Hockey Federation under-18 girls will be held at the new Meridian Centre arena in St. Catharines in January, 2016; this event is projected to create a $4.2 million economic spinoff for the local economy. The weeklong tournament will be comprised of 22 games. This will be the second time the tournament is held in Canada, with the prior Canadian host city being Calgary in 2008. Hockey Canada and the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association announced this site selection in October, 2014.

Source: Hockey Canada
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The Niagara Sport Commission (NSC) has been involved in over 40 sporting events over the last 4 years, with an economic impact of over $75 million in Niagara. NSC is a regional development agency that uses sport as a catalyst for economic (sport tourism) and community (active healthy lifestyle programs) development within the Niagara Region.

(Note: Additional information about NSC can be found in the Coordinated Planning Indicator area for this Sector of the Living in Niagara-2014 report.)

Source: Niagara Sport Commission
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Cycling for pleasure and fitness is growing in popularity among local citizens and tourists. Niagara Region’s bike map shows 282.2 km of official trails in Niagara, mostly off the road, away from street traffic and connecting all the municipalities together. Research done for Niagara Parks shows that 84,000 cycle tourists visited the Niagara region in 2010; that same year cycle tourism contributed $104 million to the Ontario economy.

Source: Niagara Community Observatory at Brock University, Policy Brief #17, November 2013, Cycle Tourism in Niagara Parks
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(Note: see further details about this research and cycling in Niagara in the Facilities and Participation Indicator area of the Recreation and Sports Sector of the Living in Niagara-2014 report)

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