The 2023 Canada Winter Games won’t be Wayne Carew’s first rodeo after sitting on the Canada Games national board for 10 years and helping with the 2009 Summer Games on the Island.
Now, Carew is serving as co-chair of the 2023 Games with Summerside councillor Brian McFeely and on Oct. 31 they announced Kyle Dudley as CEO.
The P.E.I.-born Dudley has lived away for over 25 years and joins Edna Flood, COO, and the as-yet-unannounced director of venues, said Carew.
“We did a national search and it was nice to find somebody who wanted to come home.”
Dudley has more going for him than just being an Islander, as he has a strong background in the logistics side of project management, including managing the response and recovery around the Fort McMurray Wildfires.
Dudley is looking forward to bringing his experiences from away back home, he said.
“I’m very happy to have everything aligned. These opportunities are once in a lifetime.”
“I consider myself very fortunate to have this opportunity to return to the Island to lead these Games.”
And there’s plenty he will need to manage, like making sure regulations are met not just for each individual sport, but for the national board’s standards as well, said Carew.
“For example, we have to be capable of producing 1000 meals an hour and we have to be able to have that in the grazing method.”
One of his first responsibilities over the next six to eight weeks will be to put together a list of potential new facilities to be constructed for the Games, said Carew.
“We have to start moving forward on those facilities and that’s something we have to get right the first time because we can’t have any uh-oh moments once we’ve made the commitments.”
While Dudley just started, Carew has been working on the Games for two years, first on the bid committee and then the host committee.
He and McFeely had a specific vision for the games from the beginning, partially mandated from the province.
“We were very mindful we wanted to reflect Prince Edward Island.”
Coincidentally, 2023 will mark the 150 year celebrations of P.E.I. joining Confederation, said Carew.
“It’s going to be quite a way to kick off those celebrations. For three weeks in February we’ll have every hotel room on Prince Edward Island full.”
Details are still up in the air for most aspects of the Games, the Athlete’s village will be in Charlottetown as athletes will be the first tenants in the new UPEI residence announced in September, said Carew.
“You really can’t do this unless you’re attached to some kind of an educational facility that has residences.”
There’s still a long way to go before Feb. 2023 and more than 5,000 volunteers to bring on board, but Carew’s not worried about that.
“Prince Edward Island is phenomenal at volunteering. They did it in 2009 and in ‘91. People just have a sense of pride. They want to make sure the country gets a good view of us.”