Luc Fournier, the regional chief executive officer of the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ (COJEM), met with the regional press on March 22nd to provide an update on the organizing committee’s activities less than two and half years before the Games will be held.
Fournier is no stranger to major events, having spearheaded the Sherbrooke Canada Games from 2010 to 2013, the 1997 Quebec Winter Games, the Quebec Winter Carnival from 1997 to 2002, the Major International Events Network (MIEN) from 2002 to 2010, and the Canadian Festivals Coalition from 2006 to 2010. The Canada Games received all available awards for achieving sustainable development targets in 2013.
He compared organizing the World Equestrian Games to a city welcoming a new professional sports team or building a house. “It starts with a dream, followed by organization,” he said. “This is what we are doing at the moment. We are setting everything in motion. We have made our application – all levels of government are aware that time is of the essence. We are performing follow-ups, and we are conscious of the stakes. We have a small team that is very efficient and effective, and is growing every day.”
Fournier emphasized that he has just received the memorandum of understanding signed with Tourisme Montréal and that an executive operations committee has been jointly established by the SACS (Société d’Agriculture du Comté de Shefford) and the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ (COJEM). “We are in constant contact with the City of Bromont at all levels, redeveloping the plans for the Olympic Equestrian Park and the Athletes’ Village to ensure the community’s satisfaction,” he noted.
Fournier noted that the architect Pierre Thibault had been hired, and that the plans had been redesigned to ensure that the arena becomes a part of Bromont’s heritage that residents will be proud of. We have hired new permanent resources. We have a solid team at all levels and we are hard at work.”
Fournier was accompanied by Andrée Corriveau, vice-president, marketing, communications and corporate services; Yvon Carrier, vice-president, operations; and Yves Simard, chief financial officer.
“In 2018, Bromont will host the best international showcase for our athletes and for equestrian competitors from the 65 countries invited; shining the spotlight on Quebec and the rest of Canada,” said Fournier. “The whole team is working tirelessly planning the World Equestrian Games that will be held in 874 days.”
The official activities program will be available next October when the FEITM adopts it at its Annual General Meeting in Japan.