• News
  • March 09, 2018

Ontario Supports 2018 Ski Nationals in Thunder Bay

Province Investing in Amateur Sport and Growing Local Economies


Ontario is supporting the 2018 Ski Nationals in Thunder Bay to grow the local economy and promote Ontario as a world-class sport hosting destination.

The 2018 Ski Nationals will run from March 10 - 17, 2018, and will welcome 550 athletes, 110 coaches and more than 100 volunteers. Competing this year are world class skiers Angus Foster from Thunder Bay, Lisle Compton from Kenora and Graham Ritchie from Parry Sound.

Funding is provided through Ontario’s Sport Hosting Program, which has created lasting legacies of hosting the 2018 Ski Nationals with technical and infrastructure upgrades to the Lappe Nordic Centre.  Local girls aged 9 to 14 years will also get a chance to attend a Fast and Female Champ Chat where they will be inspired by sport ambassadors to stay active in sports and have fun.

The Sport Hosting Program is designed to help bring major sport events to the province by funding a variety of winter and summer sports and supporting national and international competitions.

By supporting sport events across Ontario, the province is providing opportunities for Ontario's athletes competing in amateur sport to gain the elite competition experience they need to excel on the world stage. The Sport Hosting Program also promotes tourism and provides a boost to local economies by attracting major sport events to communities.

Investing in the development of amateur sport is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.


“Hosting national and international sport events gives Ontario athletes the opportunity to develop their skills and compete at a higher level.  Off the field of play, these events welcome visitors and have a positive impact on local businesses.  Through Ontario’s Sport Hosting Program, we continue to support amateur sport events, so communities can experience the thrill of national and international competitions and create a legacy of sport across the province.”

— Daiene Vernile, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“Thank you to everyone involved in the organizing of the Cross Country Canada National Ski Championships. I am particularly pleased that that this event includes ParaNordic races. Events like this that are inclusive in nature are extremely important for the athletes, organizers and spectators. They provide not only a unique learning environment but also an opportunity to showcase what makes Canada great while demonstrating the true spirit of sport.”

— Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan

“Hosting the 2018 Ski Nationals is an important event for our region. Supporting athletes and competitions like the 2018 Ski Nationals through the Ontario Sport Hosting Program is an effective method at promoting sport and culture in Northwestern Ontario, while also supporting our local economy through increased tourism.”

— Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North

“The Lakehead Superior Nordic Association is extremely excited and proud to host the 2018 Ski Nationals at the Lappe Nordic Ski Centre and welcome athletes from all over Canada to our little corner of northwestern Ontario. We are thankful for the support of our many partners such as the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, who have helped to provide funding for technical and infrastructure updates that were required at the facility to be able to host a national caliber event. Without this support an event such as this would not be possible.”

Werner Schwar, Co-chair 2018 Ski Nationals


  • Ontario is supporting the 2018 Ski Nationals with a $13,860 investment through its Sport Hosting Program.
  • This national event is projected to contribute close to $556,932 to the local economy.
  • Since 2013, Ontario has supported 81 events through the Sport Hosting Program.  The program provides funding to help applicants deliver national and international amateur single-sport events.
  • Ontario’s Sport Hosting Program is part of Game ON – The Ontario Government’s Sport Plan to help more Ontarians participate and excel in sport. Game ON recognizes the many ways organized sport can be good for people and communities, including the health and economic benefits of hosting major sport events.
  • In 2017-18, events supported by the Ontario Sport Hosting Program  are expected to contribute $25.6 million to Ontario’s Gross Domestic Product.


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