The Thunder Bay 2024 Ontario Winter Games, presented by Hydro One, are kicking off today as athletes from across the province begin to arrive in the city and the first of two opening ceremonies begin at 5 pm.

“We are so excited to be kicking off the 2024 Ontario Winter Games here in Thunder Bay,” said Barry Streib, Chair – Organizing Committee. “It’s been 50 years since we’ve had the opportunity to host, and we can’t wait to show the participants and their families the hospitality of our great community!”

He added that there will be 13 sporting events held at 11 different venues across the city split between two weekends: Feb. 16-19, and Feb. 23-26, and everyone is encouraged to attend and help cheer on and support the athletes.

“Our government is proud to support opportunities for Ontario’s athletes to showcase their skills and abilities at a competitive level,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “The 2024 Ontario Winter Games will gather some of Ontario’s most promising young athletes in Thunder Bay to compete against one another in pursuit of athletic excellence. They will also provide a welcomed economic boost for the host city and surrounding communities, benefitting local businesses, growing tourism and showcasing the wealth of opportunities that exist in Northern Ontario.” 

More than 1,350 athletes, coaches and officials are expected to participate in 13 sports ranging from cross country skiing to wrestling. Athletes range in age from 12 to 18 years. Ringette and futsal competitions begin today while badminton, cross-country skiing, diving and wrestling get underway on Saturday. Admission is free at all sport venues.

“I look forward to welcoming the Ontario Winter Games to Thunder Bay over the next two weeks,“ said Kevin Holland, MPP for Thunder Bay – Atikokan.  “It promises to be an exciting venue, showcasing the athleticism of Ontario athletes, while providing them with a valuable competitive experience.  I invite everyone to come out to support and cheer on these young athletes.”

The first of two opening ceremonies will take place this evening at Fort William Historical Park from 5 to 9 pm. Admission is free and members of the public are encouraged to attend and be part of the Athletes Parade, Lighting of the Cauldron, free activities, and a live performance by The Lockyer Boys. An identical opening ceremony will take place Feb. 23 to welcome the next wave of athletes.

“There has been a lot of preparation taking place for this event over the last year,” said Matthew Lawrence, Winter Games Coordinator. “Hundreds of volunteers and dozens of businesses have really stepped up help in all areas of the Games, and without them this would not be possible.” 

He added that for many local amateur sporting groups, this will be a rare opportunity to compete in front of a hometown crowd with their friends and family cheering them on, something that all athletes know can be the extra push to help them achieve success.  

For more information, the complete sports schedule and more, visit the official 2024 Games Website at:


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Contact:       Stacey Levanen, Supervisor – Corporate Communications & Community Engagement, Chair – Games Marketing & Communications Committee, 807-625-3650