Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

The Lake Simcoe area will experience the next generation of high performance athletes, at the 2018 Ontario Winter Games.

The event offers residents the opportunity to enjoy watching the majesty of figure skating, the intensity of sledge hockey and the precision of wheelchair curling live!

The Orillia 2018 Ontario Winter Games will attract over 3,000 participants (athletes 12 – 18 years of age) who will compete in 25 different sports over the four-day event taking place March 1 to 4, 2018.

Because of the generous sponsorships and support the Games have received, admission to all events will be free of charge. “We are excited to be able to offer this opportunity and hope that it encourages everyone to come out, get involved and cheer on some of the best athletes in Ontario,” said 2018 Ontario Winter Games (OWG) Manager, Michael Ladouceur.

This is one of the largest multi-sport events ever to be hosted by the City of Orillia. The Games Organizing Committee and more than 600 volunteers are ready to welcome athletes, coaches, managers, officials, residents and visitors to the City and surrounding communities from March 1 to 4.

“We have been absolutely amazed at the amount of enthusiasm and support we have received from the people of Orillia and all of the communities hosting Games events,” said Ladouceur.

The Games will officially kick off on Thursday, March 1 with the Opening Ceremony at Couchiching Beach Park, beginning at 6:30 pm. This will be an opportunity for the community to celebrate the many athletes competing in the Games, along with coaches, managers and officials, as they parade into the park.

The Drumming Circle of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation will perform a traditional welcome song, while a torch from their sacred fire is carried in to light the official Games cauldron. Entertainment will feature Bleeker, Orillia's own Juno-nominated band, and the precision drumline, Cadre. Festivities will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display.

Members of the community are encouraged to attend the Opening Ceremony as well as all of the free events throughout the weekend.

Sport competitions will take place in Orillia, along with venues located in Oro-Medonte, Barrie, Chippewas of Rama First Nation, Town of Blue Mountains, Midland, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Huntsville. Some events will actually begin on February 28 and March 1 in advance of the Opening Ceremony. Detailed sport schedules can be found at the website.

“These Games are an opportunity to celebrate our communities and the accomplishments of some of the best young athletes in the province,” said Gill Tillmann, Orillia 2018 OWG Organizing Committee Chair. “Our mantra (and one of the Games’ social media hashtags) has been, “Your Time to Shine!” – whether you are a participant, volunteer, sponsor or spectator” – come out and help us celebrate!”

The Games are hosted by the City of Orillia in partnership with the Province of Ontario and corporate sponsor Jim Wilson Chevrolet Buick GMC. The full schedule of sports events can be found on the Orillia 2018 website –

Photo: More than 600 volunteers, including Paul Boles and Kristi Town, will be sporting these shirts as the City of Orillia plays host to the Orillia 2018 Ontario Winter Games, March 1 to 4.

Article and photo courtesy of Orillia 2018 Ontario Winter Games.

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