ANTIGONISH, N.S. - How is this for economic impact; $8.7 million for the Town of Antigonish and Municipality of the County of Antigonish, $10.7 million for the Province of Nova Scotia and $12.6 million for Canada.
Those were the numbers announced by Special Olympics Canada 2018 Summer Games organizing committee co-chair Carl Chisholm, the former mayor of Antigonish, as he presented councils for the town and county, with a special framed photo, medals and pins as reminders of their contributions to last year’s Games in Antigonish.
Chisholm made the presentations, put together for the municipalities as well as St. F.X. by Special Olympics Nova Scotia, during a joint town and county council advisory committee meeting Feb. 20 at Antigonish town hall.
“That’s air flights, restaurants, car rentals, gas stations …” Chisholm said, pausing and gesturing to indicate the list of economic spin-offs goes on and on.
“It’s above what we had hoped for so, like I said [during the presentation], kudos to everyone who was involved. The 850 plus volunteers, without them, it wouldn’t have happened, but with them it was a tremendous success.”
Chisholm said the organizing committee has heard accolades from right across Canada.
“Two provinces and the Yukon asked us if we would put in to host again in 2022; that’s quite a compliment for the town and county to get that and, of course, St. F.X. who was a major part in hosting it,” he said.
During the presentation, Warden Owen McCarron took a moment to thank Chisholm and co-chair Marc Champoux for their work.
“It’s nice to have the accolades given to the town and county but Carl, I think you and Marc stepping up and taking on the roles you did was instrumental in keeping everyone on track,” McCarron said.
“So I think we owe Carl, Marc and their group a big round of applause.”
Mayor Laurie Boucher noted the organizing committee, led by Chisholm and Champoux, started a long-time before the more visible signs of the Games coming to Antigonish started to be seen.
As for the economic impact, she said it’s great news.
“Our community has shown we’re able to host events of this magnitude and we’re very excited about that,” she said. “We want to attract event such as the Special Olympics; we’re doing it for the community, the businesses in town.
“But without the partnership between the town, county and St. F.X., this would never have happened. Once again, it shows strong partnerships are better for our community economically.”
As for attracting other major events, Boucher said the town will “try our best.”
“Now that we’ve showcased our community on a national stage; there is no reason why we can’t continue to do so,” she said.