events & legacy
interview with wayne long, acting manager of economic development, tourism, and culture, charlottetown, canada
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Charlottetown is ranked as the number one destination for hosting sporting events with a population of under 50,000. What do you see as the key strategic pillars of your success?
Charlottetown is an event leader on the national scene. Boasting an impressive hosting resume, the Capital City has been ranked as the #1 sport event hosting destination in Canada (for populations < 50,000) since the inception of the Canadian Sport Hosting Index and is currently ranked #6 in the country regardless of population, which is dominated by metropolitan centres.
The SCORE team is the recipient of numerous Sport Tourism Canada PRESTIGE Awards, which serve as the platform to the destination’s success, driven by an experienced team, stellar venues, quality accommodations, superb culinary scene, supportive fanbase and corporate community, and passionate volunteers.
What is the SCORE! initiative?
The SCORE initiative was established twenty years ago to capitalize on the lucrative sport tourism market. The SCORE team leads the bidding, promoting, and hosting of signature events in Charlottetown- providing support and strategic management in a variety of areas that propel success.
As a nationally recognized award-winning sport event hosting destination, the municipality never loses sight of the big picture, and their successes prove it. With every event, big or small … the SCORE team is always on the top of their game, so hosts and participants can be at the top of theirs! Charlottetown’s impressive hosting experience shines through with every event.
In 2022 alone, 15 national or regional events were to be hosted in Charlottetown. People may think: “how do they do it”? Could you share with us some of your secrets? How do you finance the organisation of all of these events?
Events create extraordinary experiences and Charlottetown is fortunate to have hosted a wide variety of marquee sport events with great success over the years. Their hosting resume, infrastructure, community at large, along with their culture and people are unique attributes that allow them to stand out as a prized sport event hosting destination.
Established partnerships with other levels of Government, the DMO and BIA, and tourism industry provide a competitive advantage. A funding anchor is the Charlottetown Special Events Reserve Fund (SERF), established to attract sport events to Charlottetown, which have a pronounced tourism focus and strong potential for incremental growth.
As you like to say, “an event is not only hosted in our city, it becomes part of our city”. How do you manage to get your community so excited about sporting events?
Charlottetown takes every opportunity to harness the power of event hosting and build community through establishing a sense of pride, driving engagement, and maximizing legacy and afterglow. Events stimulate economic, tourism, social, and culture prosperity year-round in the Capital City.
As a well-established tourism and hosting destination, Charlottetown has a solid foundation that springboards the vibrancy of the city. The pulse is alive when events are in town and there’s a desire by the community at large to be part of something special. The highly valuable benefits of event hosting are what uplifts the excitement of everyone wanting to feel the magic, as events become the city
Finally, Charlottetown will host the 2023 Canada Winter Games. What is the plan? What sports will the city host? And how will you use the event to attract tourist?
Prince Edward Island will host the 2023 Canada Winter Games with Charlottetown serving as the hub city. The athletes’ village, opening|closing ceremonies, festival, along with a number of sport competitions- gymnastics-trampoline, hockey, squash, archery, fencing, table tennis, judo, ringette, wheelchair basketball, and badminton will be held in the Capital City.
The Games are a perfect example of sport tourism, bringing significant economic activity to Charlottetown and will support post-COVID recovery efforts through new and improved sport and community facilities. The total economic benefit to the province is expected to surpass $100M, with Charlottetown being a significant benefactor.