BRINGS FORWARD THE FUTURE
Setting The Stage For The Pan-American Games
By Samuel Getachew
With an ambitious goal, Toronto’s 2015 Pan American Games has a mission to help celebrate Toronto’s diversity and leave a great legacy that will outlive the actual games, which are now less than three years away. In a city whose motto is, ‘Diversity is our Strength’, preparations for the games have brought Toronto closer to this goal.
Inside its spacious offices in Toronto’s distillery district, was the venue for the release of TO2015’s first annual report to the community marking how it intends to fulfill its diversity goals in all aspects of what is being described as the “People’s Games”.
According to Ian Troop, TO2015’s Chief Executive Officer, their ultimate goal is, “To develop an organization that reflects the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s diversity in its leadership, staff and volunteers; promote respect, inclusion and non-discrimination; is accessible and transparent; and leaves a positive legacy in the region’s communities.”
The organization’s first-ever progress report on diversity indicates that while much has been achieved, much more is yet to be done by July 2015. “That’s why we’re stepping up our efforts in outreach and employment,” says Troop, adding that, “The People’s Games are a partnership. We also need communities to get involved when we reach out to them.”
In releasing its report in front of an audience that is as diverse as the speakers, the organizers explained how under-represented groups can have access to employment and business opportunities. Toronto 2015 currently has a workforce of 90 people and it’s expected to triple by the time the game arrives in July 2015.
Among its senior leadership team, the organizers noted half are women and that, according to them, even the “International Olympic Committee (IOC) has had difficulty achieving its long-standing goal of women comprising 20 percent of the decision-making roles in sport.”
To visit their offices and observe the people behind the game is to be inspired. In one corner of the room were former partisan political aides on opposite spectrums and now employees of TO2015, namely Peter Donolo and Amir Remtulla, working for one common purpose and facilitating mini discussions with the public.
For Ontario’s Minister responsible for the 2015 Pan American Games, Michael Chan, “Ontario’s diversity and commitment to accessibility and inclusion are among our greatest strengths and a huge competitive advantage in the global economy.” He says that embracing diversity in regards to the project will leave a meaningful legacy for all Ontarians.