The Organizing Committee was approved last night to support the planning and delivery of the 2024 Ontario Winter Games. In April 2022, the Government of Ontario awarded the 2024 Ontario Winter Games to Thunder Bay for the first time since 1974. They will be taking place in two waves over two weekends; February 16 – 19 and 23 – 26.

 Committee members include community volunteers, community organization representatives, City Administration and Government of Ontario (Games Ontario) staff:

 Executive Members:

  • Tracie Smith & Barry Streib, Co-Chairs
  • Councillor Greg Johnson, Representative of Thunder Bay City Council
  • TBA, Representative of Fort William First Nation
  • TBA, Representative of Municipality of Shuniah
  • TBA, Representative of Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC)
  • Matt Lawrence, Ontario Winter Games Coordinator
  • Paul Burke, Sport & Community Development Supervisor, City of Thunder Bay
  • Isaac Blank & Ryan Albright, Games Ontario Representatives

 Sub-Committee Chairs/Co-Chairs:

  • Scott Garner, Accessibility Chair
  • Kathy Ball & Leigh Abthorpe, Accommodations Co-Chairs
  • Matt Villella, Administration Chair
  • Matt Pearson, Finance Chair
  • Bonnie Tittaferante, Food Services Chair
  • Jack Avella, Information Technology Chair
  • Shannon Young & Jeff Hansen, Logistics Co-Chairs
  • Stacey Levanan, Marketing & Communications Chair
  • Dr. Bruce Pynn, Medical Chair
  • Lauri Hoskins, Registration Chair
  • Greg Stephenson & Jim Glena, Security Co-Chairs
  • Karen Bonazzo, Special Events Chair
  • Ally Drombolis, Sponsorship Chair
  • Brian Tsubouchi, Sport Technical Chair
  • Denise Smith & Erin Moir, Sustainability Co- Chairs
  • Todd Kennedy, Transportation Chair
  • Tessa Hettrick & Samantha Stovel, Volunteer Services Co-Chairs

 Organization Representatives:

  • Alyssa Cacciatore, Fort William Historical Park Representative (ex-officio)

Matthew Lawrence has been hired as the Games Coordinator. His role before this was the City’s temporary Sport Development Coordinator, coordinating the City’s support of sport events in the community, managing the City’s public skating/sledge program and implementing several sport development initiatives. He also served as the temporary Co-Chair of the Sport Technical Committee for the upcoming Games.

Matthew spent more than 4 years as the Regional Coordinator of Recreation & Wellness for the Keewatin Patricia District School Board which included sport event planning, grant writing and implementation of grassroots sport programs. He also served as the Athlete Village (Rowing) Manager in Kenora for the 2017 Canada Summer Games, worked on the Scotiabank “Hockey Day in Canada” event and has organized provincial and national wrestling championships. Matt has also worked for Confederation College and Outland Inc. where he gained extensive experience working with indigenous communities. He possesses an MBA and Bachelor of Education in addition to Psychology and Kinesiology degrees.

The Games require an Operating Budget of approximately $2.7 million, with the majority of the expenses anticipated in 2024. The Government of Ontario is providing a hosting grant of $1.3 million as well as a Legacy/Contingency Fund of $100,000 to help cover any deficit. In bidding on the Games, City Council agreed in principle to a municipal financial commitment of $250,000 cash and a maximum of $50,000 of in-kind City services and/or waived rental fees.

The CEDC has committed $200,000 towards this event. The remaining Operating Budget revenues are expected to come from a combination of registration fees, grants, sponsorship and local fundraising.

The Ontario Winter Games is the province’s largest multi-sport event and takes place every two years. Established in 1970, the games are designed to prepare young amateur athletes (ages 12 - 18) for national and international competition. They are expected to attract up to 3,500 athletes, coaches and team managers to Thunder Bay, with an anticipated economic impact exceeding $6 million.


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Contact:          Stacey Levanen, Chair – Marketing & Communications Committee, 2024 Ontario Winter Games, 625-3650