Otway Nordic Centre and the 2015 Canada Winter Games
Questions and Answers
Q. What are the Canada Winter Games?
A. First established in 1967 (Canada's Centennial year) under the Games motto ‘Unity through Sport’, the Canada Winter Games is Canada’s largest multi-sport competition for young athletes. The Canada Games, a celebration of youth, sport, culture and community, are the product of ongoing collaboration between the Government of Canada, provincial/territorial governments, host municipalities, the private sector and the Canada Games Council.
The sport legacies derived from the Canada Games include:
1) Athlete Development - The Canada Games Council works in partnership with the national, provincial and territorial sport organizations as well as the provincial and territorial governments to ensure the Canada Games are a relevant and integral component of the developing athlete’s pursuit of excellence in every sport on the Games program.
2) Coaching Development - Another of the Canada Games contribution to the sport system is its investment in the development of coaches and officials. Coaches must be fully certified under the National Coaching Certification Program to at least Level 3 or Competency-based Education and Training equivalent.
3) Infrastructure Development - As part of all Canada Games, new venues are constructed while others are upgraded to national standards resulting in the availability of quality venues to host other provincial, national or international events.
4) Enhanced Sports Programming -The athletes, coaches and officials who attend the Canada Games are the product of provincial and territorial sport programming. In addition, hosting the Canada Games often leads to enhanced sport programs and training opportunities for the host athletes.
Q. When will the 2015 Canada Winter Games be held in Prince George?
A. The 2015 Canada Winter Games will be held in Prince George from February 12 to March 1, 2015.
The Prince George Games will be the largest sporting event ever held in northern British Columbia, involving about 3,300 athletes, coaches and managers and many thousands of visitors from across Canada.
Q. How is Otway involved in the 2015 Canada Winter Games?
A. In co-operation with the City of Prince George, the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club, and the 2015 Canada Winter Games Host Society, the Otway Nordic Centre has been selected as the venue that will host the sports of Cross Country Skiing, Biathlon and Para-Nordic Events.
Q.What changes are required at Otway to host Cross Country Skiing, Biathlon and Para-Nordic Events for the 2015 Canada Winter Games?
A. The standards for hosting the Canada Winter Games are from the National Sporting Organizations (i.e Cross Country Canada based on FIS cross country standards and Biathlon Canada based on IBU standards).
Changes required for Cross Country to meet the standards for the 2015 Canada Winter Games
Although Otway did host the 2005 National Cross Country Ski Championships, it was hosted under a "grandfathered" set of standards which are now significantly outdated due to evolution of race formats and trails standards. As such, significant upgrades are required to meet the new standards for Cross Country. These upgrades include a new 5km Free Technique (skate ski) trails, modifications to the Classic Technique trails (5km), modification to the existing stadium area making it larger to accommodate various race formats and addressing terrain requirements (slope, drainage), and the construction of a Technical Building to accommodate various functions to support race logistics (i.e. timing, stadium, equipment storage, first aid).
Changes Required for Biathlon to meet the standards for the 2015 Canada Winter Games
In order for biathlon to meet the standards required for hosting the 2015 Canada Winter Games, significant changes are necessary which primarily include a relocation of the biathlon range/stadium closer to the main access and main lodge. The relocation also requires the trails network be modified to connect to the new stadium to accommodate the various race formats. Fortunately, this planning was done in parallel to the cross-country trails designs, so biathlon will utilize the same trails networks (i.e. Free Technique). Similar to cross country, the biathlon facility also requires a technical building to support race logistic as well as equipment storage facilities. The relocation of the biathlon range also requires that safety standards are met (i.e. safety berms) and the planning team has worked closely with Provincial Firearms authorities to ensure the proper safety standards are incorporated into the range and safety berm design.
Q. Where will the upgraded facilities be located at Otway?
A. The cross-country stadium will be in its current location (though expanded in width to address the race formats required).
The new biathlon and range will exist in the area to the east end of the lower parking lot. The land was added to Otway's sub-lease (from the City of Prince George) specifically for the purpose of relocating the biathlon range. (A 6-month public input process was initiated by the club with almost 90% of respondents supporting this location for the relocated range).
The new free technique trails (5km length), will exist almost entirely within the cutover area where the Northern Lights trail exists. The classic technique trails (5km length) are largely a modification of existing trails (e.g. Chutes, Inner 5) but also include some new trails within the cutover area where the free technique trails are proposed and the area of the present Inner 5.
View Site Plan Map here.
Q. Will Club funds be used to upgrade the facilities for the 2015 Canada Winter Games?
A. No. The cost of all upgrades that are necessary to meet the standards to host the 2015 Canada Winter Games are the responsibility of the 2015 Canada Winter Games Host Society.
The Club has taken a proactive role in planning the facilities in working with planners/designers from the National Sports Organizations (Cross Country Canada and Biathlon Canada), and the Canada Winter Games Host Society to ensure that the upgraded facilities best align with the long-term objectives and strategic direction of the club.
Q. Who is involved in working with the 2015 Canada Winter Games Host Society in planning these upgrades?
A. The committee that has been endorsed by the CNSC Board to work with the 2015 CWG Host Society is composed of the CNSC President (Kevin Pettersen), the Director of Competitions (Jim Burbee) and the Director of Facilities, Trails and Grooming (Tim Roots).
The first and foremost principle guiding this committee is the long-term strategic interests of the club and its membership (and how the 2015 Canada Winter Games can complement this). Prior to the awarding of the 2015 CWG to Prince George, the club developed a Strategic Plan to ensure that club was guided by its own strategic objectives and that things such as upgrades resulting from the 2015 Canada Winter Games could then be aligned with long term strategic objectives of the club.
Q. When will the upgrades start at Otway?
A. The upgrades could start as early as this coming spring (after the ski season) with the initial focus likely being on upgrades to the cross-country stadium and the new biathlon range and stadium. The most dramatic change will be the clearing of the space for the biathlon range and stadium (to the east of the lower parking lot). In the planning process, there was an emphasis on visual aesthetics to try to reduce the amount of visual impacts as much as possible.
Starting the upgrades the spring of 2012 will enable the facilities to be tested for 2 ski seasons prior to the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
Q. How will the planned upgrades fit with the existing trails and facilities?
A. The initial site planning and design was oriented to make the best use of existing trails and facilities. Another consideration in the design was to allow for better compatibility between competitions and regular users of the Otway trails and facility when competition events are occurring. As such, during smaller competitions, better access is available to popular recreation trails (Pine Flats, Fingers, Antlers, Up the Creek, “Fir-ther” up the Creek, Hickory Wing, Sawmill Loop, etc.) as well as the rental shop and lodge. Click here to see detailed site plan map showing the planned upgrades.
Q. How will these upgrades impact other uses (mountain biking, trails runners, etc.)?
A. Fortunately, with the current design of the upgraded facilities/trails, we have been able to avoid impacts to much of the single track trail network. The single-track trails that will likely be affected by the upgrades are in the areas of the relocated biathlon stadium/range and the new race trails in the cutover area within Northern Lights --- though again, the vast majority of single track trails are not affected by the required upgrades for the 2015 CWG. In those specific areas where single track is affected, the best solution will be to work with the designers of the single track trails to develop alternative routes.
Q. Has expanded parking been considered in the plans to upgrade Otway?
A. Yes, expanded parking has been considered into the upgrade plans. While the expectation seems to have been that the lower parking lot would expand eastward (into the area that was sub-leased by the City to CNSC specifically for the biathlon relocation) due to the space needed to meet the requirements for a biathlon range/stadium, there is only marginal space for parking expansion in this space. As such, the conceptual plans are looking at the areas westward of the upper parking lot to address expanded parking at Otway.
View Site Plan Map here.
The above is an initial set of questions and answers, but we want to ensure that this list continues to evolve as things progress. Please feel free to send in your questions so we can add to the information email@example.com Our goal is to provide clarity and transparency in this process, and to ensure that members are well informed of the process and progress in developing the Otway Nordic Centre into a world-class facility that enhances the experience of all members and users.