The 2011 Canada Winter Games goes to Halifax Regional Municipality. The announcement was made today, Feb. 2, by Premier Rodney MacDonald at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame. Four years from now, Nova Scotia will welcome the country’s best young athletes to Halifax. More than 3,600 athletes, mangers and coaches will come to compete in 20 selected sports. “On behalf of all Nova Scotians, I congratulate everyone involved in Halifax’s bid. All the Nova Scotia communities that competed to host these games showed great spirit and professionalism,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. “We’re excited to host what will be the best Canada Winter Games possible, and to build on this success toward the 2014 Commonwealth Games.” The Canada Games Council policy allowed Nova Scotia to submit a maximum of three bids for consideration as a Canada Games host for the 2011 Games. The three Nova Scotia bid communities included the Highland Region (Antigonish), Hub Central Nova (Truro) and Halifax Regional Municipality. The province of Nova Scotia selected the three bids from among four regional contenders based on an internal process that included the evaluation and recommendations of a panel of experts. The three bid committees submitted their bids to the Canada Games Council in December. Then in January, the council’s bid evaluation committee spent a day with each of the three bid communities to tour venues and evaluate presentations. After approval by the council’s board of directors this past Wednesday, a formal recommendation was made and accepted by the province. “From the time that the bid books were received in the fall of 2006 we knew that the 2011 Games were in good hands in the province of Nova Scotia,” said Sue Hylland, president and CEO of the Canada Games Council. “Halifax’s unique approach, commitment to athlete care and comfort, as well as their impressive history of hosting world class events impressed bid evaluation members and ultimately drove the final decision.” The Canada Games Bid Evaluation Committee scored each community’s bid book and site visit on core areas, such as games village, revenue generation, sports/venues, volunteers, legacy and preliminary plans and frameworks. In the end it was Halifax that had the highest overall score among committee members. Health Promotion and Protection Minister Barry Barnet oversaw the provincial selection process and accepted the recommendation of the Canada Games Council on behalf of the province. “It is with great pride that Nova Scotia accepts the recommendation of the Canada Games Council and welcomes the 2011 Games to Halifax,” said Mr. Barnet. “It has been a long journey for our three bid committees and I want to thank everyone involved for their hard work and dedication. Their passion and support demonstrates that amateur sport is alive and well in Nova Scotia.” This will be the second time that Halifax has hosted the Canada Games. Halifax and Dartmouth hosted the 1969 Summer Games but it is the first time Halifax has hosted the Winter Games. “On behalf of the Halifax Regional Council and residents of the Halifax Regional Municipality I would like to thank the Canada Games Council and the province of Nova Scotia for selecting Halifax as the host for the 2011 Canada Winter Games,” said Peter Kelly, mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality. “I would also like to congratulate the HRM bid committee for its hard work to bring this wonderful opportunity to our municipality, our athletes, and Nova Scotia. I am proud of our track record as a host of large scale sporting events and look forward to welcoming Canada’s best in 2011.” The Halifax bid will now choose individuals to act as representatives to attend the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse, Feb. 23 to March 10 to participate in the mentoring program offered by the Canada Games Council. These representatives will begin planning for the 2011 Winter Games.