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Penticton to host BC Summer Games 50 years after hosting the first in 1978

Kamloops will host the 2028 BC Winter Games
Members of Penticton’s Lake City Basketball team put on a display of skill at the announcement of the return of the BC Summer Games to Penticton in 2028. Penticton hosted the inaugural games in 1978. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Marking 50 years since the BC Summer Games were first held in Penticton, the games are returning to the city for their anniversary in 2028.

Kamloops, the original host of the BC Winter Games, will also once again host the event in February of 2028.

Hundreds of student athletes from across B.C. in every geographic zone of the province will come to the two communities to showcase their talent and build connections with their fellow competitors.

“A lot’s changed in 50 years and I think during that period, the focus went away from the pure competition to building athletes in and around the province,” said Penticton Mayor Julius Bloomfield. “I think the focus now is about using the games to build communities and strengthen communities. I see that as a message to strengthen both of our communities here and to work together.”

Since hosting the inaugural BC Summer Games in 1978, Penticton has played home to the 1990 BC Winter Games, 1995 BC Summer Games, and 2016 BC Winter Games.

Kamloops has hosted three previous games, making 2028 the community’s fourth after the 1979 BC Winter Games, 2006 BC Summer Games, and 2018 BC Winter Games.

The games will take place on traditional and unceded territory, and representatives from the communities respective bands were present at the announcement ceremonies in Kamloops and Penticton.

“I’m all for bringing our youth together and this kind of a healthy lifestyle, we need more of that,” said Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel. “There’s a lot of challenges before our youth and our kids now and we’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity to showcase their talents and provide support and inspiration for them to continue on with this good healthy lifestyle.”

When it came to choosing the hosts for the 2028 games, Penticton and Kamloops were both quickly identified as ideal host communities.

Known internationally as Canada’s Tournament Capital, Kamloops has a reputation as a centre for sporting events and cultural events, with more than 100 hosted each year.

With a strong and engaged base of more than 5,000 active volunteers, Penticton is a destination for year-round events in sport and beyond.

“It was looking at the perfect spot to host the 50th anniversary and a community that would make great sense,” said Niki Remesz, the BC Games Society chair. “It started out in 1978 with the summer games here in Penticton. The community is an awesome community, so everything just came together.

The games are hosted in cooperation between the cities, local First Nations, the local school districts and the BC Games Society.

The BC Games Society also supports Team BC at the Canada games.

READ ALSO: 4 time Olympic medalist, Okanagan local swimmer, off to Paris Games

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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