Bowls Canada Announces Cancellation of 2021 National Championships

Ottawa (ON) | March 4th, 2021

In consideration of the impact of the COVID-19 virus and in line with advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Bowls Canada Board has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 National Championships. This decision aligns with World Bowls’ decision to cancel the 2021 World Championships and Champion of Champions events.

Our priority remains the health and safety of our athletes, coaches, officials, employees, volunteers, fans, partners and all associated with the Bowls Canada family.  We have been closely following the situation as it unfolds, following the advice of our federal and various provincial governments, health authorities and the Canadian Sport Medicine Advisory Council. 

In advance of this decision, BCB sent a survey out to over 500 participants from the past four championships and every province was represented in the responses. An overwhelming majority of responses indicated that their willingness to attend the event would depend on the numbers of COVID cases and vaccine administration. There was a clear desire for competition but also a prominent fear of the virus. We recognize that many of our members fall into the most at risk demographic and decisions were made with a duty of care to protect all members.

“This was an extremely disappointing decision to have to make,” said Bowls Canada President Kathryn MacGregor.  “However, at the end of the day, we value the safety and well-being of our members above all else and the information at this time simply does not point to all of the required factors being in place in time to host a meaningful national championship program.”

Until we are safely on the other side of this pandemic, the provincial presidents have offered their profuse endorsement of focusing on the “stay local play local” strategy to ensure that lawn bowls is able to relaunch itself out of this pandemic. Covid-19 is forcing clubs to be creative about how to invite their community to come play bowls. In line with facilitating a localized relaunching of the sport, Bowls Canada will be implementing a new flat rate membership fee directly to each provincial association.  Recognizing the financial constraints caused by the pandemic, this flat fee will represent 50% of what was paid in total in 2019 by each association. With the support of the provincial association presidents, BCB is committed to working with each association on how best to implement this concept within their province for the 2021 season. 

“We believe that this flat rate approach will provide the flexibility within each provincial association to encourage clubs to implement the stay local play local strategy that is needed to relaunch the sport as we continue to weather the impacts of this pandemic,” said Bowls Canada CEO Anna Mees.

In the meantime, BCB will continue their efforts to support bowlers across the country and stay on top of a situation that is ever changing through initiatives such as updated return to play protocols, sharing of best practices and a national marketing campaign that will be released in the spring.

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About Bowls Canada
Bowls Canada Boulingrin (BCB) is the governing body responsible for lawn bowls in Canada.
The BCB mission is to advance the sport of bowls in Canada.
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