In June of 1990, members of the B.C. Summer Games Society travelled to Prince George, where they attended an exchange workshop in order to put to good use the lessons learned by the previous year’s B.C. Summer Games hosts. When planning a large-scale event like the B.C. Summer Games, there are many things to consider, from the major— such as the sporting events themselves and their venues— to the smaller but still important details, such as designing and producing merchandise and ensuring that all the participants are adequately fed.
The planning took a year of hard work, with long hours dedicated to applying for grants, securing or improving venues, organizing medical support and accommodation for athletes and recruiting thousands of volunteers.
On Thursday, July 25, 1991 the B.C. Summer Games officially opened with a ceremony at what was the ‘new’ Town Centre Stadium. The event was opened by Canada’s first female Premier, Rita Johnson.
The opening ceremonies included many different events, including choreographed performances starring 800 volunteer performers.
The games included an array of over 29 sports and attracted athletes aged 13 to 80. The sporting events ranged from the more traditional volleyball, swimming, tennis, rugby and waterskiing to low-key events such as lawn bowling, cricket and black powder shooting — an event in which participants wore authentic, historic garb and fired guns loaded with black powder. In total, the B.C. Summer Games included over 4,200 participants.
The games were not only a major event for Coquitlam, but for all of the Tri-Cities with events taking place at 32 venues across Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and beyond. The opening and closing ceremonies were held at the newly built Town Centre Stadium (now Percy Perry Stadium), and the events packed into the four-day schedule were widespread from sailing in Rocky Point Park, canoeing along the Pitt River, cricket at Eagle Ridge Park, baseball in Blue Mountain Park and basketball at Como Lake School.