As we begin this historic year of celebrations for our country’s 150th anniversary, we must already look to the future and determine what will keep this momentum going once our 2017 events have come and gone. As you may know by now, Ottawa is doing this by bidding for the rights to host the 2021 Canada Summer Games. We need your help in the race to win the bid by registering your support online at ottawa2021.ca before Thursday’s launch party, which will take place at the Rink of Dreams at City Hall from noon to 1pm.

The Canada Games are the largest multi-sport event in our nation, bringing our country together to showcase our talented athletes. The Canada Summer Games attract 4,600 participants from every province and territory, competing in 20 different individual and team sports.

The Games legacy on the host community goes beyond the exciting two weeks of competition. It means new and upgraded athletic facilities that will benefit our local athletes and residents for years to come, as well as a boost of more than of $165 million to our local economy.

We are now in the second phase of the bidding process. The first phase focused on the readiness of our city’s venues. Now, this phase measures our community support, showing our enthusiasm and capacity to host this nation-building event that provides a preview of Canada’s Olympic stars of tomorrow. Past Canada Summer Games alumni include Steve Nash, Andre De Grasse and Eugenie Bouchard, just to mention a few.

The Canada Games rotate through all provinces and territories, meaning that Ottawa will not have this opportunity again for another 20 years. The other Ontario bids include Niagara Region; City of Greater Sudbury; and a combined bid from Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph.

Let’s bring Canada’s Games to Canada’s capital. Take a minute in the next few days to register your name for support. Get online to help us to the finish line at ottawa2021.ca.

I urge you to come out in great numbers on Thursday, January 12 at 12 p.m.