Royal Roads lunchtime panel discussion touches on Games legacy

University profs to debate the effect of hosting Commonwealth Games 20 years ago

A panel of four Royal Roads University professors will tackle the topic of the legacy of the 1994 Commonwealth Games, 20 years after they were hosted in Greater Victoria.

Next Tuesday’s free public discussion, set for noon to 12:30 in the university’s Centre for Dialogue, Learning and Innovation is titled Communication Matters: the Commonwealth Games. The panelists will debate the cultural and economic legacy of the event as it relates to the local area as well as from a global perspective.

Jennifer Walinga, director of the university’s School of Communication and Culture and one of the panelists, is excited to talk about this topic with the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow being the 20th Games ever and Greater Victoria looking back 20 years at its own Games.

“I think we always want to highlight the role of communication in culture in any event,” she said. “The role that it plays, the leverage it offers and what kind of values are being communicated throughout the event.”

Another question up for debate is whether the Commonwealth Games enacted social change on a local or global perspective, she said. Sporting events can have a real impact, Walinga added, especially in the areas of supporting people who are pursuing healthy activities.

The 2010 Olympics, in which Canada won the most gold medals seemed to give our country greater confidence, she said. “And that’s the kind of social change you’re looking for from an event like this.”

The most prominent physical legacy from the Games is Saanich Commonwealth Place, while a legacy fund established at the time is helping to operate the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence.

Other panelists include the School of Communication and Culture professor Michael Real, a media and sports expert; and associate professor Julia Jahansoozi, whose doctorate is in public relations, as well as School of Tourism and Hospitality Management associate professor Eugene Thomlinson, who has more than 15 years’ experience in the tourism industry.

Those unable to attend the event can watch it online at  livestream.com/royalroads.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

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