Submitted By Bobbie Fox
Every two years since 1967, various cities across Canada have hosted either a summer or winter national sporting event. Red Deer most recently hosted the Canada Winter Games in February 2019. This sporting event focuses on participation and community rather than winning. Even so, the competition has always been fierce between provincial and territorial teams vying for the coveted Canada Games Flag and Centennial Cup.
In 1972, a group of southern Alberta residents petitioned the National Sport Federation to allow Lethbridge and 13 surrounding communities to host the 1975 Canada Winter Games. The organizers of the event worked hard to host the games, whose motto that year was “Unity through Sport.” The 1975 Games were the first hosted by a regional group. It was an achievement in community and national awareness. To stage the 1975 Canada Winter Games, the local organizers required co-ordination between, and support from, the federal and provincial governments as well as 13 local municipal governments.
Lethbridge was the hub community with Blairmore, Bow Island, Cardston, Claresholm, Coaldale, Magrath, Picture Butte, Pincher Creek, Raymond, Standoff, Taber and Westcastle supporting the games by housing athletes or hosting events. The eyes of the nation focused on southern Alberta from Feb. 11-23. Four thousand volunteers worked very hard to make the games a success. Schools shut down to provide accommodation for the 3,000 participating athletes, and school buses shuttled athletes to the sporting venues.
The 1975 Canada Winter Games were an example of community co-operation and spirit.
The Galt Museum has multiple documents and objects in its care related to the 1975 Canada Winter Games. You can browse those in our database at collections.galtmuseum.com.
Your old photos, documents, and artifacts might have historical value. Please contact Galt Museum & Archives for advice before destroying them.