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Coquitlam loses out on chance to host B.C. Summer Games

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The B.C. Summer Games will not be coming to Coquitlam in 2016 or 2018.

The municipality had been vying to host the event but on Friday the B.C. Games Society announced that it would be Abbotsford in 2016 and Cowichan Valley in 2018 that will hold the multi-sport extravaganza.

Council unanimously voted last spring in favour of putting a bid in for the Games, and were aiming to hold the event in 2016, just in time for the city's 125th birthday and the opening of the Evergreen Line. A 2018 bid package was also submitted as a backup plan.

Mayor Richard Stewart said in a press release that he is disappointed in the news, but congratulated the communities that won the bid.

"We wish both the city of Abbotsford and Cowichan Valley all the best in their hosting of the B.C. Summer Games," he said. "In the end Coquitlam athletes will still have great opportunities to compete at the provincial level and we will always be supportive of excellence in amateur sports."

Lori MacKay,Coquitlam's general manager of parks, recreation and culture, said there are still plenty of opportunities for the community to host large, high-level sporting events.

She noted that the city recently held the B.C. Provincial Curling Championships and will be welcoming the under-19 World Field Lacrosse Championships in 2016.

"We are looking forward to some of the other upcoming provincial or higher sports events that will be held in Coquitlam including the B.C. Summer Swimming Association Provincial Championships at CCAC and Spani in August this year," she said.

In a presentation to council last spring, Joyce Fordyce, Coquitlam recreation manager, said there would be numerous spin-offs the city would gain by organizing the event. She pointed to the $2.6 million in economic development that Kelowna reaped by hosting the 2008 four-day competition.

The city had also hoped that hosting the games would serve as a launching point for its new sports tourism strategy, highlighting new and upgraded venues like the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex and Chimo Pool.

-with files from Janis Warren

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