Winnipeg is dropping out as the host city for the 2020 North American Continental OutGames as the result of controversy over this year’s event in Miami.
Pride Winnipeg president Jonathan Niemczak, who is also chairman of the planning committee, says they can no longer support the games after most of the Miami events were cancelled just 24 hours before they were set to start.
Organizers became the focus of a subsequent fraud investigation due to an alleged misappropriation of funds.
Niemczak says they were “disappointed” by how the situation in Florida in late May was handled.
He says Pride Winnipeg is instead working on organizing its own Canadian multi-sport event for members of the LGBTQ community.
He says he hopes the new event will be part of the 2020 Canada Pride celebrations, set to be hosted in Winnipeg.
“We were very excited to be hosting the North American OutGames here in Winnipeg,” he says. “We had tons of excitement from companies and organizations and all levels of government, so it was a hard decision.”
The Winnipeg organizing committee’s website described the OutGames as a “sport-tourism” event that was expected to attract about 850 participants and generate a $4.3 million economic impact for Manitoba.
The event was to feature more than a dozen sports, a three-day conference focusing on LGBTQ rights and culture showcase.
The Canadian Press