Just 100 days to go!

 

Oh, what a night! With just 100 days to go until Huntsville 2019, a celebration was in order. (Well, technically it’s 96 days away, but who’s counting…wait, we are!)

The Huntsville 2019 Games Organizing Committee (GOC), volunteers, sponsors and dignitaries gathered at the beautiful new visitor centre at Arrowhead Provincial Park on November 27 for an evening of fun to celebrate the coming games. There was fabulous music courtesy of the Funky Fisher Brothers, libations from Games sponsors Copperhead Distillery and Sawdust City Brewery, delicious and locally sourced appetizers courtesy of Morgan’s Mouthwatering Moments, and our flashy Drive Muskoka Huntsville 2019 Jeep greeted everyone at the door. Each volunteer received a Huntsville 2019 toque courtesy of Noveltymann.ca.

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us! We appreciate everything you do to help make these the Best Games Ever!

And many thanks to Ontario Parks for donating the beautiful space for us to use for the evening—if you’re a Nordic athlete or if you’re planning to stay and play for an extra day or two, stop in to check out this building with it’s inviting warming space. You’re going to love it!

Arrowhead Provincial Park's new visitor centre has a beautiful space to warm up in the winter...or have a party!

Arrowhead Provincial Park’s new visitor centre has a beautiful space to warm up in the winter…or have a party!

The Funky Fisher Brothers made our 100 day out celebration a groovin' good time

The Funky Fisher Brothers made our 100 day out celebration a groovin’ good time

Mmmmm... locally sourced goodness from Morgan's Mouthwatering Moments

Mmmmm… locally sourced goodness from Morgan’s Mouthwatering Moments

Games sponsor Copperhead Distillery

Games sponsor Copperhead Distillery

Games sponsor Sawdust City Brewery

Games sponsor Sawdust City Brewery

(From left) Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport representatives Lexy Fogel and Ryan Albright and Tow1 of Huntsville staff Greg Pilling and Kari Lambe

(From left) Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport representatives Lexy Fogel and Ryan Albright with Town of Huntsville staff Greg Pilling and Kari Lambe

(Clockwise from front left) Games sponsor Noveltymann (Linda and Frank Mann, Games GM Sheri Renaud, Volunteer Co-Chair RuthAnn Cook and Events Chair Kelly Haywood

(Clockwise from front left) Games sponsor Noveltymann (Linda and Frank Mann, Games GM Sheri Renaud, Volunteer Co-Chair RuthAnn Cook and Events Chair Kelly Haywood

Games Sport Technical Co-Chairs John Cowan (left) and Jonathan Percival (right) with Transportation Co-Chair Peter Redwood and OSGA representative Angie Richard

Games Sport Technical Co-Chairs John Cowan (left) and Jonathan Percival (right) with Transportation Co-Chair Peter Redwood and OSGA representative Angie Richard

Games Chair Fran Coleman (front) with (from left) Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison, Councillor Johnathan Wiebe, Deputy Mayor Karin Terziano, CAO Denise Corry, and Councillor Nancy Alcock

Games Chair Fran Coleman (front) with (from left) Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison, Councillor Johnathan Wiebe, Deputy Mayor Karin Terziano, CAO Denise Corry, and Councillor Nancy Alcock

(From left) Games Chair Fran Coleman and Medical Co-Chair Emma Love with Andrew Hudson and Paul Palmer

(From left) Games Chair Fran Coleman and Medical Co-Chair Emma Love with Andrew Hudson and Paul Palmer

(From left) Games Medical Co-Chair Paulsen, Julia McWilliams, Volunteer Co-Chair Wendy McConnell and volunteer Dan McConnell

(From left) Games Medical Co-Chair Paulsen, Julia McWilliams, Volunteer Co-Chair Wendy McConnell and volunteer Dan McConnell

Arrowhead Provincial Park staff

Arrowhead Provincial Park staff

Games GM Sheri Renaud (left) and Chair Fran Coleman (second from right) with Jill Thompson and Christina Azzopardi from Games platinum sponsor Drive Muskoka

Games GM Sheri Renaud (left) and Chair Fran Coleman (second from right) with Jill Thompson and Christina Azzopardi from Games platinum sponsor Drive Muskoka

The Huntsville 2019 GOC

The Huntsville 2019 GOC

Supporting healthcare for a stronger community: Games platinum sponsor Drive Muskoka raises $15,000 for local hospital

“The hospital is an integral part of our community,” says Jason Armstrong, owner of Drive Muskoka. “A community of this size without a hospital is a scary thought so we need to give back to the community that gives to us.”

This summer, Drive Muskoka, Huntsville 2019’s platinum sponsor, ran its fourth annual Drive for Your Hospital event. For every new or used vehicle purchased in August, the company donated $100 to the area’s three local hospitals. It was the most successful event yet, with $14,700 raised for Huntsville Hospital and another $5,000 for the hospitals in Bracebridge and Parry Sound.

“Jason Armstrong and his dealerships have taken the lead in the community,” said Katherine Craine, Executive Director at the Huntsville Hospital Foundation. “They were among the first in our Business Cares campaign and have always been behind the hospital. We are truly grateful for this kind of support where it involves other community members.”

It’s not the only thing Drive Muskoka has done to support the hospital. In 2015, the Drive Muskoka team donated $150,000, funds raised partially through employee giving incentive and match. Prior to that, they donated funds for surgical equipment at the hospital. And they were one of the first companies to join the Huntsville Hospital Foundation’s Business Cares Program which asks businesses to each pledge $5,000 per year over five years.

Armstrong estimates that Drive Muskoka has raised close to $250,000 for the hospital to date, and says that their customers appreciates the way they give back to the community.

Drive Muskoka supports many other community groups as well, including the Chrysalis women’s shelter, minor sport, and Hospice Huntsville.

And, of course, the Huntsville 2019 Ontario 55+ Winter Games.

“I think supporting winter events is a big part of our community continuing to grow,” says Armstrong. “Bringing people to Huntsville and Muskoka is a wonderful thing in the winter—it’s not just a summer destination. And it’s a lot of fun.”

Thanks for your support of the Games and the community at large, Drive Muskoka!

On the road: the Huntsville 2019 Jeep spreads the word about healthy, active living

A new vehicle will be taking the message of healthy, active living and aging on the road across Muskoka in the coming months.

On August 9, members of the Huntsville 2019 Games Organizing Committee (GOC) unveiled the Ontario 55+ Winter Games Jeep at the Canada Summit Centre. The event, which will be hosted by Huntsville and surrounding communities from March 5-7, 2019, will see almost 1,000 participants from across the province competing in 10 different sports.

Huntsville 2019 GM Sheri Renaud said that the GOC is grateful to platinum sponsor Drive Muskoka and its three area dealerships—Armstrong Dodge, Huntsville Honda and Hyundai of Muskoka—for supporting the Games with a Jeep to help spread the message as well as runner vehicles for use during Games time.

“The Games Jeep will be at the Ontario 55+ Summer Games this weekend in Mississauga, and at upcoming events around Muskoka,” said Renaud. “It will also be out visiting seniors centres around Muskoka and Lake of Bays. Watch for it around Huntsville in the months leading up to the Games.”

She also gave a shout out to the other local sponsors who have come on board already: Best Western Muskoka Inn, Comfort Inn & Suites, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Deerhurst Resort, District of Muskoka, Fountain Tire, Hearing Life Canada, Hidden Valley Resort, Holiday Inn Express, Home Comfort Care Services, Huntsville Brewhouse, Lakeland Power, Motel 6, Seamliss Marketing and Graphics, the Town of Huntsville, the Township of Lake of Bays, and YourTV Muskoka.

“Having the support of our sponsors now really lets us mobilize to start planning for all the things we want to provide to the participants,” said Renaud, “and it encourages others to get on board. There are new and unique sponsorship opportunities available and we are excited to partner with local businesses. Their contribution directly impacts the experience of the participants and we just can’t do it without the community support.”

Businesses across Muskoka can get involved in the Games either as sponsors or by providing volunteer support. “If a local business or service group wants to support the Games but aren’t able to provide sponsorship, they may have services or people power that would really help us out,” said Renaud.

Renaud noted that with almost 1,000 participants and their family members travelling to Huntsville and area, the event will have some solid economic impact. “We fill just about every hotel in town, we’re going to be using a lot of our local restaurants as caterers, and we encourage participants to enjoy the many exciting activities and amenities that Huntsville and Muskoka have to offer. We have a great reputation for hosting these types of events here and we’re going to knock it out of the park.”

For more information on sponsorship and how to get involved in the games, visit huntsville2019.ca and follow @Huntsville2019 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.

Huntsville 2019 calls for community-minded volunteers and sponsors

Huntsville’s long history of sporting excellence continues in 2019 with the arrival of the Ontario 55+ Winter Games.

The Games Organizing Committee (GOC) is excited to announce the launch of its website huntsville2019.ca, and with it a call for volunteers and sponsors. Help us make these Games the best ever!

The Games will need more than 200 volunteers in a variety of roles, from registration and transportation to food services, special events, photography, and more. You’ll find descriptions of the Games volunteer roles at huntsville2019.ca/volunteer. The Games recruitment portal is now open and we want you!

Huntsville 2019 will encompass three days of exciting competition from March 5-7, 2019. The Games will host 986 participants in 10 sports at venues in Huntsville and its neighboring communities of Baysville, Bracebridge, Burk’s Falls, and Gravenhurst. Volunteers are needed at all venues and events.

“Muskoka has a long-standing tradition of volunteerism and community support,” says Games General Manager, Sheri Renaud. “We are excited to showcase our region’s hospitality for the Ontario 55+ community.”

The Games wouldn’t be possible without the support of sponsors. We are thrilled with the early commitment of accommodation sponsors Best Western Plus, Comfort Inn and Suites, Holiday Inn Express, and Motel 6; sports sponsor Hidden Valley Resort; and Friend of the Games sponsor Fountain Tire.

Sponsorship of the Games provides a unique opportunity for companies to both support community and promote active lifestyles for older adults. Sponsorship packages are available at huntsville2019.ca/sponsors.

Huntsville last hosted the Ontario 55+ Winter Games in 2013. The Huntsville 2019 Games will include competition in badminton, 10-pin bowling, curling, duplicate bridge, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, ice hockey, prediction skating, table tennis and volleyball.

Learn more about the Games and how you can be involved at huntsville2019.ca, and follow @Huntsville2019 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.

Huntsville began its one-year countdown to the Ontario 55+ Winter Games.

Last night, March 7, Huntsville began its one-year countdown to the Ontario 55+ Winter Games.

The Games Organizing Committee (GOC) gathered at the Active Living Centre with community members, volunteers, dignitaries and Town of Huntsville staff to celebrate. The Town of Huntsville will host the 2019 Games from March 5 to 7, 2019, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Huntsville last hosted the Ontario 55+ Winter Games in 2013.

“Here we are at the Summit Centre to ignite and kick-off the spirit and the spark for the Ontario 55+ Winter Games for next year,” said GOC Chair Fran Coleman. “We’ve had a long history of sports and tourism in our community and this adds another layer to what we have successfully done.”

Coleman thanked the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Ontario Senior Games Association for their partnership and support of the Games, and introduced GOC General Manager Sheri Renaud and the volunteer committee chairs.

The one-year-out celebration also launched the Huntsville 2019 volunteer recruitment campaign. As with many local events, local volunteers will be critical to the success of the Games and more than 400 will be needed to support the event.

Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison gave a shout out to all of the volunteers who will be involved in the Games. “Having been involved in a few of these games now, it’s a lot of work but it’s rewarding… I appreciate your service to our community,” he said. “This is a community of volunteers and you’ve shown us once again that that’s the case.

“We are no strangers to these events. We are good at it and we like doing it and we’re always happy to welcome people from all over the province and all over the world.”

Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement agreed, “We’ve got such a great history of volunteerism in this community. It’s just fantastic… I look forward to this already. I think it’s fantastic that we get to welcome the province again and show our traditional hospitality and show off our great community, both the people and the surroundings.”

Greetings and well wishes were also extended by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) and the Ministry of Seniors Affairs.

Russell Zavitz, Manager, Games Unit for the MTCS shared a message from Minister Daiene Vernile: “I am thrilled that the Town of Huntsville was selected to host these Games for a second time and I am certain that your vibrant community will deliver an exceptional experience for the athletes and their coaches, friends and families. Our government is pleased to support this event through the Games Ontario program, part of our commitment to helping more people participate and excel in sport.”

Minister of Seniors Affairs, Dipika Damerla, wasn’t able to attend the celebration, but sent the following message: “Supporting an active lifestyle for seniors is part of the government’s new Action Plan for Seniors. I commend the OSGA for their efforts in ensuring that seniors remain physically and mentally active, and have the opportunity to participate in fun and stimulating social pursuits with their peers.”

Huntsville 2019 General Manager, Sheri Renaud, unveiled the sports to be included in next year’s Ontario 55+ Winter Games: badminton, 10-pin bowling, curling, duplicate bridge, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, ice hockey, prediction skating, table tennis and volleyball.

She encouraged the community to follow the Games on its social media channels – facebook.com/Huntsville2019 and on both Twitter and Instagram @Huntsville2019 – and watch for the launch of the new Huntsville 2019 website soon.

Community members and local businesses are invited to get involved with Huntsville 2019 as volunteers or sponsors. Email sheri.renaud@huntsville.ca for details.

Games Ontario

The Huntsville 2019 Ontario 55+ Winter Games is supported by the Ontario Government through its Games Ontario program. This program delivers or supports multi-sport events, including the Ontario Winter and Summer Games for youth, the Ontario 55+ Summer and Winter Games, and the Ontario ParaSport Games.

Town of Huntsville

The Town of Huntsville is a town of 20,000 people in north Muskoka. Visit Huntsville.ca for more information.