A major Canadian energy company is providing financial and volunteer support for the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games in Swift Current.
TC Energy, until recently known as TransCanada Corp., will be a gold level sponsor of the event, which will kick off in less than a month.
The announcement of TC Energy’s financial commitment of $15,000 and volunteer support for the tennis competition took place at the company’s Swift Current premises, July 11.
Steve Loney, the indigenous and community relations liaison for TC Energy's central region, said the company is really proud to be a part of the Western Canada Summer Games.
“We like to support community events that are important to communities and this particular event is important to the country,” he mentioned. “We'll have people visiting Swift Current, taking in sporting events. So we'll have family members of employees, we'll have neighbours, landowners, all kinds of folks here to take in these games and a great opportunity for young people to experience the thrill of a games competition.”
The company provides employment to just over 20 people at its Swift Current location, and some of them will volunteer at the set of four tennis courts in Riverside Park, which has been resurfaced in preparation of the Summer Games.
“TC Energy will be on site with some of our employees and volunteers, and we're looking forward to engaging with the community,” he said. “The tennis venue is going to be very high profile, a part of the legacy of the Games, a lot of work being done on infrastructure throughout the town and surrounding area. So we're very proud to be part of that.”
It is part of the company’s corporate values to be involved in communities where their employees live and work, which is also the reason for the volunteer commitment.
“So our employees – it’s actually also employee driven – want to get involved and be a part of this momentous sporting event that is happening here in town,” he said.
TC Energy has experience of being involved with big events in other communities, and Loney said it has been positive.
“The games experiences that we've had in other markets, much like we're going to have here, just create a real energy and excitement,” he said.
Friends of the Games Director Scott Cassidy expressed appreciation towards the company for supporting the Summer Games.
“We did reach out to these guys early 2018,” he recalled. “It's one of these ones again that has been in the works for a long time and TC Energy just really connected with the Games right away. So they were in. We talked to some vice presidents in the marketing department and next thing you know our check was sent in the mail.”
He felt it made a difference if companies they spoke to have a local presence in the Swift Current area.
“All the ones that we've landed successfully have went through the local branch and then it's the employees who want to be a part of this,” he said.
The hosting of the Summer Games will not be possible without the involvement of volunteers, and it is a real benefit if corporate involvement includes volunteering by employees.
“Talking to the local staff here today, they all talk about volunteering, and that's the buzz that's been generated here from the Games,” Cassidy said.
One of the goals of the corporate sponsorship is to connect companies to each of the sports at the Summer Games.
“We've got 16 of them, and that was our fundraising goal from the start to sell all the sports, and I am happy to say that we're very, very near that goal,” he said. “We've got a month left basically and I think we have got one or two sports just to finalize and then every sport would be sold out to these games. So that's great.”
The efforts to obtain corporate support have been successful. The total value of sponsorship, whether in cash or in-kind donations, has reached the $1 million mark. According to Cassidy the community really stepped up in providing in-kind donations, for example to use equipment during the 10-day period of the Summer Games.
“We were looking at renting vehicles,” he said. “That was going to be like $9,000 to go to Regina airport and pick people up. The local dealerships just stepped up and basically all pooled in together, and then that cost is eliminated off the budget. So it's great, we made it.”
There is still a need for more volunteers to assist with a variety of tasks during the Summer Games. Over 1,700 athletes, coaches, officials and mission staff from Alberta, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, and Yukon will attend the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games from Aug. 9-18. For more information about the event, to buy tickets or to volunteer, visit the website http://2019wcsg.ca