AC Trials wins CSTA Canadian Sport Event of the Year Award

Recipients of the 11th annual Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) PRESTIGE Awards stretched right across the country from Vancouver, British Columbia to Saint John, New Brunswick. The awards recognize events from local to national to major international championships and tournaments and also honour outstanding volunteers and organizations, who work to bid, host and stage sport events across Canada.

“Each one of our PRESTIGE Award recipients has made a meaningful contribution either personally or as part of an organization to keeping Canada a world leader in bidding and hosting events,” said Rick Traer, CEO, Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance. “We are proud to honour the 23 finalists from across the country, and the eight events, sponsors and communities who were announced as recipients.  Congratulations to everyone and thank you for ensuring the sport tourism industry continues to grow and have a significant impact on our economy.”

Recipients were announced on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 during the 11th PRESTIGE Awards gala luncheon sponsored by Saskatoon Sports Tourism at the CSTA’s annual Sport Events Congress  at the Westin Ottawa Hotel.  A special CSTA Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to Don Schumacher, the longtime leader of the National Association of Sports Commissions in the USA for his leadership and dedication to sport tourism.

2017 PRESTIGE Award Recipients

CSTA Canadian Sport Event of the Year Award (Group A: budget greater than $1 million) presented by Laval SportCité

  • Ski Tour Canada 2016 (Gatineau, Que., Montreal, Que., Quebec City, Que., Canmore, Alta.) 

Over 12 days, 400 of the world’s top cross country skiers, from 25 nations, took part in the first World Cup Cross Country Finals ever staged outside of Europe. Combining city park races in such iconic locations as the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City, Mont Royal in Montreal, and Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau with Alberta’s spectacular Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park, Ski Tour Canada 2016 showcased our ability to stage a massive multi-site event. Featuring ski expos at each stop that engaged people of all ages, it also generated awareness of Canada’s winter sport communities world-wide. The Ski Tour Canada 2016 had an operating budget of $8.3 million. Live-streamed in Canada, it reached an international audience of over 52 million viewers.

CSTA Canadian Sport Event of the Year Award (Group B: budget less than $1 million) presented by Laval SportCité

  • Canadian Track and Field Championships and Selection Trials for the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games (Edmonton, Alta.)

The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Selection Trials hosted the deepest, most talented pool of Canadian Track & Field athletes ever to compete for berths in the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio. The event surpassed all expectations for the 1,135 athletes, 235 coaches, and 135 officials and was run on an overall budget of $513,383. Over 18 Edmonton/Alberta organizations partnered with TrackTown to be part of the Olympic dream and to showcase the City of Edmonton with over 250 volunteers helping to stage the event. Hundreds of young athletes from over 15 Edmonton and area local Track and Field Clubs attended and volunteered at the Trials, sparking their own internal Olympic flames.

CSTA International Sport Event of the Year Award presented by Tourism Toronto              

  • 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship (Kamloops, B.C.)

For the first time Hockey Canada hosted the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championships west of Manitoba, holding the 2016 event in Kamloops, B.C. It powerfully promoted and strengthened female hockey and skills development throughout B.C.’s interior and beyond. By announcing Team Canada’s roster at a local elementary school, children became immediately engaged in the championships, as did the local community. Key partnerships were formed with a mosaic of community groups reaching wide demographics and socioeconomic status from the Japanese Cultural Association to Kamloops Minor Baseball. 

CSTA Canadian Sport Event Sponsor of the Year Award presented by Adup Display

  • Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) - HSBC Canada Sevens (Vancouver, B.C.)

Through its investment as the title sponsor of the HSBC Canada Sevens, HSBC has had a profound impact on the sport of rugby not only in B.C. but across Canada. It has made the growth of grassroots rugby development a central pillar of its sponsorship objectives and as a result, has provided a platform for growth that would not otherwise exist. Encouraging employee engagement created opportunities for staff to experience the event at a deeper level through direct participation in the staging of two HSBC Youth clinics. And by investing in video and other shareable online content, it promoted the game globally.

CSTA Sport Event Volunteer of the Year Award presented by CBC Sports

  • Bill MacMackin; East Coast Games, Athletics New Brunswick, Saint John Track Club (Saint John, N.B.) 

As if serving as the President of the Saint John Track Club for over a decade, coaching at the Saint John High School and sitting on the board of Athletics New Brunswick wasn’t enough for Bill MacMackin, he managed to take the East Coast Games from an idea on paper to reality. His vision was to bring together seven separate sporting events into one multi-sport manufactured event, with the critical mass to draw increased sponsorship, attendance and media attention. Three years later, the East Coast Games, under Bill’s guidance and leadership, brought together 2,200 athletes, 1,500 parents and resulted in $800,000 in economic activity.

CSTA Sport Tourism Champion Award presented by ConnectOnCampus  

  • Candice Stasynec, Executive Director, Edmonton Events (Edmonton, Alta.)

For nearly 40 years at the City of Edmonton, Candice Stasynec has provided leadership and support to high profile projects and events. Along the way she built strong relationships locally, nationally and internationally.  From running event operations at Commonwealth Stadium to being an integral member of a major event bid or local organizing committee, her passion for sport and the tangible community benefits they bring was always evident. Her impact on the not-for-profit sport community was immeasurable as in 2016 alone she provided consultation, support and help to secure funding for over 15 associations. Her legacy will be seen in the long-term strategy for Edmonton Events that she helped to create.

CSTA Sport Tourism Organization of the Year Award presented by WestJet

  • Sport Hosting Vancouver (Vancouver, B.C.)

The Sport Hosting Vancouver partnership is a first of its kind in the City of Vancouver to actively review, assess and establish a framework for the sport hosting profile in the region. It unites all sport hosting stakeholders, providing a responsive, streamlined approach to attracting major events and making them successful on every level. In 2016, Vancouver hosted the inaugural Americas Masters Games, along with such diverse events as the HSBC Canada Sevens rugby tournament, the Little League Canadian Championships, and the Subaru 5i50 Vancouver Triathlon to name just a few. With City approval of a Major Event Acquisition Fund, Vancouver will host many more successful sport events in the years to come.

CSTA Sustainable Sport Event of the Year Award presented by Edmonton Events

  • 2016 Alberta Summer Games (Leduc, Alta.)

Environment sustainability at the 2016 Alberta Summer Games, including widespread education ahead of time, was a key objective of the event from the very beginning. With 11 of the 14 sports taking place within a very close proximity, transportation was reduced significantly right from the start. The food centre had an active waste diversion plan, with the result that 89 per cent of waste was sorted into organics and recycling, rather than landfill. Disposable water bottles were discouraged, with water refill stations readily available. Installing Canada’s largest commercial roof-top solar array on the Leduc Recreation Centre created a legacy that will be felt in Leduc for many years.


About the PRESTIGE Awards

PRESTIGE Awards are the CSTA’s marquis Program Recognizing Exceptional Sport Tourism Initiatives, Games & Events. Now in its 11th year, this annual award program shines a spotlight on the dynamic Canadians, places and events that are building our nation’s growing sport tourism industry. 

About the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA)

The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance is a non-governmental, member-based, capacity building organization that promotes sport tourism as a grassroots economic development initiative at the community level. The CSTA services over 500 members across Canada, including 150 municipalities, 300 national and provincial sport, multi-sport and major games organizations and a variety of other sport and tourism industry partners. Sport tourism is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry in Canada with over $6 billion in annual spending by domestic and international visitors.


For more information contact:

Barb MacDonald, CSTA Communications Consultant

Tel: (613) 521-7314
#PRESTIGE @CdnSportTourism
#SEC17 @SportEventsCong

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