The public is invited to a special celebration event as the B.C. Games returns to Penticton for their milestone 40th anniversary on March 15 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. Submitted photo

B.C. Games returns to Penticton to celebrate 40th anniversary

Participants, volunteers and supporters are invited to a celebration on March 15 in Penticton

With the B.C. Games celebrating their 40th anniversary, they are bringing it back to where it all started in Penticton.

To mark the milestone anniversary past B.C. Winter and Summer Games participants, volunteers and supporters are invited to a celebration on March 15 in Penticton — the very first host community of the B.C. Games.

“It will be a chance to remember the past, to recognize successes and contributors, and to renew friendships and commitment to the importance of the BC Games for our province,” said Barb Haynes, who sat on the board of directors for the Penticton 2016 B.C. Winter Games.

The B.C. Winter and B.C. Summer Games were originally created by Premier Bill Bennett to provide an opportunity to bring the province together in the spirit of sport and friendship. The first B.C. Summer Games were held in Penticton in 1978, with the first B.C. Winter Games held the following year in Kamloops. Since then, the Games have been hosted 60 times in 38 different communities across the province involving over 150,000 participants and an equal number of volunteers.

“We have matured over our 40 years as we have been entrusted by successive, supportive governments to grow sport and community. We have enjoyed the wisdom of board members who have guided and decided policy, many of whom have helped shape other jurisdictions in their events. And we have counted on community leadership to guide thousands of volunteers to ensure our vision of inspiring exceptional experiences through sport is upheld,” said Kelly Mann, president and CEO of the B.C. Games Society.

The public is invited to the 40th celebration event to hear about the impact of the Games from alumnus and Olympian Brent Hayden as well as community leaders.

The celebration evening takes place at the Penticton Lakeside Resort from 6 to 8 p.m. Light appetizers will be served and there will be a cash bar. The event is free to attend, but organizers are asking for those planning to come to RSVP at the eventbrite website found at www.goo.gl/Xiiyjv.

B.C. Games anniversary events will also take place in Nanaimo, Prince George, Trail, Terrace and Vancouver this year.

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