Winnipeg to host the North America Continental OutGames in 2020

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(Winnipeg, MB; November 28, 2016) – Look out, Winnipeg! OutGames is coming to the city for the first time. Following a competitive bidding process to attract this high-profile sport-tourism event, the board and membership of the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association (GLISA) for North America is pleased to announce Winnipeg will serve as hosts of the North America Continental OutGames in July 2020. Held every three years, the Winnipeg games should attract about 850 participants and generate an estimated economic impact of $4.3 million for Manitoba.

OutGames’ ambitious agenda features more than a dozen sports, a three-day conference focusing on LGBTTQ* and diversity rights, and a multiday culture showcase held in conjunction with the annual Pride celebration. Sports will include runs, net sports, aquatics and other unique activities like a fishing derby.

“Winnipeg is an amazing city, and I’m convinced it’s the perfect place to present our wonderful signature event,” said Greg Larocque, president of GLISA North America. “The chance to welcome conference attendees to the iconic Canadian Museum for Human Rights and to highlight exciting sports throughout the city, all tied together by a culture celebration linked to Winnipeg’s extraordinary Pride festivities, is an opportunity too good to miss.”

Set against the backdrop of one of the largest Pride celebrations between Vancouver and Toronto, leading local OutGames advocate and president of Pride Winnipeg Jonathan Niemczak is thrilled to introduce participants to Winnipeg’s LGBTTQ* and local communities. Winnipeg is a jewel among the Prairies, with an active and diverse LGBTTQ* community, and he’s excited to welcome guests from all over to experience Winnipeg for themselves.

“OutGames activities occurring jointly with the annual Pride celebrations include an athlete’s space at The Forks, a fireworks display, music, poetry, dance and visual arts, and a moment of silence to honour those lost due to homophobia and transphobia,” said Niemczak. “I’m looking forward to showing off our city to its best possible advantage, and I’m grateful for the assistance Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) staff and its Bring It Home program provided in helping to secure this important event.”

EDW’s Bring It Home program encourages local business and community leaders to advocate Winnipeg as the city of choice for national and international meetings and conventions. Since its inception in 2012, Bring It Home has helped facilitate 96 meetings, bringing more than 36,000 delegates to Winnipeg and generating estimated direct spending of $39 million.

“EDW is committed to ensuring local influencers are given the support needed to attract milestone events to our city,” said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “We’re pleased to have partnered with Jonathan in convincing GLISA North America that Winnipeg is an ideal setting for its upcoming OutGames, and I know his passion to champion our city to locals and LGBTTQ* visitors alike will help everyone involved take another step toward inclusion and acceptance for all.”

The successful proposal can be viewed on the GLISA North America and GLISA International websites in the coming days.

Pride Winnipeg – The Pride of the Prairies – is one of the largest celebrations between Toronto and Vancouver of LGBTTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, and pansexual) people and their allies, supporters and friends. Our mission is to affirm the lives of everyone by generating and participating in events that celebrate the history, culture, spirit and pride of people within the Winnipeg community. We invite everyone from far and wide to join our welcoming city and celebrate Pride in Winnipeg – the heart of the continent.

For more information about the Pride Winnipeg please visit www.pridewinnipeg.com.

GLISA North America – is the independently governed continental affiliate of GLISA International, whose mission is to advance equality in sports and level the playing field for LGBTTQ* members. Founded in 2006 to provide stewardship for the North America OutGames, the volunteer-based organization has become the leading advocate exploring inequalities that persist at the intersection of sports, culture and human rights, culminating in such recent successes as the Pride House initiatives and the global boycott of Russia’s homophobic hostility towards its LGBTTQ* citizens. To date, its membership is a combination of more than 80 sports, culture and human rights organizations throughout the United States and Canada.

For more information about GLISA North America please visit www.glisana.com.

North America OutGames – first hosted in Calgary in 2007, is among the largest gathering of LGBTTQ* athletes and activists in the world. Uniquely modeled as a multiday quadrennial festival with organized competitions for approximately a dozen sports, a human rights conference and community-wide cultural events, the North America OutGames is now in its third edition, scheduled to be Winnipeg, Canada, during the summer of 2020.