The BC Games were originally a vision of Premier W. R. Bennett who believed in providing “an opportunity to bring all parts of BC together, large and small communities, in the spirit of sport and friendship”. Mr. Bennett’s vision for the BC Games has provided a substantial foundation and structure on which excellence in sport and community has been and continues to be built.
Established in 1977 by the Provincial Government under the Societies Act, The original mandate of the BC Summer and Winter Games Society was to provide an opportunity for all British Columbians to compete in an organized sports festival that promoted physical fitness, individual achievement, and community pride. The very first BC Summer Games were held in Penticton in 1978 with the first BC Winter Games taking place the following year in Kamloops.
In 1994 the mandate of the organization, now named the BC Games Society, shifted from participation-focused event to become a key part of athlete and sport development in the province.
BC Games Society
The BC Games Society is the organization responsible for setting the ongoing policy and direction of the BC Winter and BC Summer Games.
The BC Games Society is the leadership organization that guides the BC Winter and BC Summer Games and prepares Team BC for national multi-sport Games. We build on the expertise and support of partners to create development opportunities for athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, and communities.
The Society works in partnership with governments, businesses and not for profit organizations, in and out of the sport sector, in the planning and staging of the Games. The organization is recognized as a leader in multi-sport event and volunteer management.
Following the philosophy of Helping Others Lead, an extensive transfer of knowledge program provides tools, resources and templates to the Host Society to assist volunteers to create and implement a high quality event. A team of 10 experienced staff work for the BC Games Society including Event Managers who work directly with the Host Society volunteers.
The society has its office at 200 – 990 Fort Street in Victoria, BC.
When a community is awarded the Games, through the bidding process, a nominations committee, led by the local mayor, identifies community leaders to form the Board of Directors. The Board for each BC Winter and BC Summer Games then forms its own Society.
The Board is organized into 14 planning areas (Directorates). The work in the Directorates is overseen by a Director and managed by committee chairs (75+ chairs in total). Collectively the Directors and Chairs lead as many as 3,200 community volunteers as they undertake to plan and stage the Games.
Find out more about each Host Society on the respective Games pages.