The Canada Summer Games aren't just for sports fans

As you well know by now, our fair city is playing host to this year’s Canada Summer Games – and it’s kind of a big deal.

With 16 sports and over 250 events at 20+ venues, it’s Canada’s largest multi-sport competition featuring the best young athletes from across the country. This year also marks the Games’ 50th anniversary and coincides with Canada 150, making it extra special.

The celebration officially began with the arrival of the torch on July 26, and the Games themselves will run from July 28 until Aug. 13. There’s a massive kick-off party at Bell MTS Centre Friday night, and The Forks even installed a brand new sign that’s sure to flood Instagram feeds for the foreseeable future.

In all, more than 4,000 of the best young athletes from across Canada will represent their province or territory and compete for the Canada Games Flag and Centennial Cup. In past years, the Games have given us our first glimpse of superstars like Sidney Crosby, Steve Nash and hometown hero Cindy Klassen.

But the sports are just the beginning.

Over the next 16 days, we’re expected to welcome more than 20,000 tourists. That means more traffic, more exposure and more money for our city’s local businesses. It also means there’s plenty of action for us Winnipeggers to take part in.

If you want to see some of the competition up close, you can enjoy a cold one while watching beach volleyball at the Sargent Park Volleyball Centre or take in some mountain biking at the Bison Butte, a new man-made hill at Fort Whyte. Day trips are also an option, with sailing races in Gimli, and Kenora hosting some canoe/kayak events.

The Summer Games Festival is also serving up a ton of free, family-friendly activities around the city, highlighted by 11 days of free music at The Forks. Each lineup will be dedicated to a different province and end with fireworks.

In addition to headliners like Serena Ryder, Kardinal Offishall and Coeur de Pirate, there’s a stellar lineup of local artists including Attica Riots, Faouzia, JP Hoe, Royal Canoe, Sierra Noble, The Mariachi Ghost, William Prince and more.

With the Games acknowledging Treaty No. 1, Treaty No. 3 and the Manitoba Metis Federation as co-hosts, there’s also a killer collection of Indigenous talent from across the country, including Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tanya Tagaq and The Jerry Cans.

You’ll also be able to load up on handmade goodies from local vendors at the Canada Games Market, grab a bite from some of Winnipeg’s best food trucks and sip with friends at one of the many licensed venues throughout the city.

However you decide to celebrate the Summer Games, don’t forget to support our local businesses. If you’re looking to discover some great hidden gems, check out our Partners page. And if you’re into saving a few bucks (which Winnipegger isn’t?!), get the We Heart Winnipeg card to enjoy great discounts at some of the best independents our city has to offer.

For tickets and more information visit the Canada Summer Games website.

What's up in Winnipeg

Love supporting local?

Get the We Heart Winnipeg card and enjoy exclusive lifetime offers from some of the best small businesses across the city.