Labrador Winter Games Postponed
June 8, 2021
The Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs and Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation, and Ernie McLean, Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Labrador Winter Games, today announced the postponement of the Labrador Winter Games to 2023.
Minister Dempster and board members met in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on June 4 to discuss a range of matters associated with the event and decided on postponement. The Board of Directors also met with public health officials to consider the logistics associated with hosting a large event in the midst of a pandemic.
Uncertainty associated with the spread of COVID-19 and the impact that could have on travel, public gatherings, venues for events, and the health of Labrador athletes, officials, family members and supporters contributed to the decision to postpone the Games. Delaying the event until 2023 avoids compromising the integrity of the Games and the health and safety of participants.
The Labrador Winter Games, last held in 2019, are typically held every three years in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and were scheduled to take place in March, 2022. The Games were founded in 1983 and feature traditional sporting activities and other events unique to Labrador.
More information on the Games can be found in the backgrounder below.
“We support the cautious approach that has been adopted by the Board of Directors and look forward to 2023 when we can gather to cheer on our athletes and support the many events that make the Labrador Winter Games so unique in celebrating our rich culture and tradition.”
Honourable Lisa Dempster
Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs and Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation
“The Labrador Winter Games are all about bringing athletes and their supporters from communities throughout Labrador together for a week of fun, fellowship and friendly competition. It’s the board’s position that delaying the Labrador Winter Games by one year avoids the health risks associated with running an event during a pandemic.”
Ernie McLean, Chair
Labrador Winter Games Board of Directors
Members of the 2019 Board of Directors of the Labrador Winter Games: (l-r) Todd Winters, Rex Goudie, Ernie McLean, the Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation and Labrador Affairs, Mary Winters, George Russell, Michelle Watkins and Jackie Compton-Hobbs. Missing from photo: Randy Letto, Pauline Russell, Janice Barnes, Michelle Healey, Lieutenant-Colonel Guy Parisien, John Andersen, Chief Eugene Hart and Andrew Battcock.
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Labrador Winter Games
Labrador Affairs Secretariat
Chair, Labrador Winter Games
Information on the Labrador Winter Games
The Labrador Winter Games are known as the ‘Friendly Games’ for their portrayal of friendly competition and a focus on traditions and cultural heritage.
The Games were introduced to promote the development of sport and recreation, encourage and enhance co-operation and understanding among all residents of Labrador, and revive the development of activities associated with traditional lifestyles of the region.
The Labrador Winter Games involves participation from more than 350 athletes and 20 communities throughout Labrador.
More than 400 volunteers support the operation and delivery of the event.
Some 2,000 spectators throughout Labrador travel to Happy Valley-Goose Bay for the week-long event.
The Provincial Government is the primary source of funding for the Labrador Winter Games, contributing $500,000 through the Labrador Affairs Secretariat. Operating costs are also covered through sponsorship and athlete registration fees.