Alberta's Culture Minister Ron Orr made an appearance in Okotoks this afternoon (Aug. 9) to make an announcement.

Okotoks and Black Diamond will be hosting the 2023 Summer Games.

According to the province, the games are expected to generate $3 million for the two towns and surrounding communities.

The Government of Alberta will be contributing a $420,000 operating grant, with $70,000 being designated for cultural activities.

Okotoks and Black Diamond have been pursuing a bid to host the games since 2019 and asked the province to delay the games from 2022 to 2023 last year.

Minister Orr shared some kind words about Mayor Bill Robertson, who played a key role in that process.

"There's no doubt that as an educator and a sportsman, Bill recognized and appreciated the value of these games for our young athletes and for the community at large, quite honestly, and while he's no longer with us, his presence will surely be felt and remembered both during preparations for the games and at the games themselves. I do want to thank him for his commitment to his community and to Alberta's youth."

Okotoks Deputy Mayor Ray Watrin and Black Diamond Mayor Ruth Goodwin also made appearances to share their excitement at the announcement.

Highwood MLA R.J. Sigurdson took to the podium as well.

"I think this is extremely, extremely exciting news, not only for Okotoks and Black Diamond but the entire surrounding communities. This is so important for sports development and our economies here in rural Alberta."

The Summer Games will see athletes competing in 14 events, with zone playoffs held throughout Alberta to qualify.

Many Summer Games athletes have gone on to compete in the Olympics, one of them being Kyra Christmas, who participated in 2008 and 2010, and just recently competed in the Tokyo Olympics.


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