Ontario Supporting Athletes in their Quest for Gold

Thursday, September 10, 2020

News Release

Ontario Supporting Athletes in their Quest for Gold

Funding will help offset training and living expenses as athletes and coaches prepare to compete

September 10, 2020

Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing more than $21 million to help athletes and their coaches train in Ontario and continue their quest for gold. Funding will be provided to the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, Coaches Association of Ontario, and Quest for Gold Program.

The announcement was made today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, while visiting BMO Field. 

“This has been a challenging and unprecedented time for Ontario’s amateur athletes and sport sector, but today marks an important step in their recovery,” said Minister MacLeod. “Helping out high-performance athletes return to the podium is part of our government’s commitment to supporting a double bottom line, that drives our economy and strengthens our cultural fabric.”

Through the Quest for Gold program, the Ontario government is providing $6.36 million in direct financial assistance to 1,438 high-performance athletes to ensure they can pursue their dreams of excellence at home in Ontario. Quest for Gold athletes receive funding that helps offset costs of training and living expenses, which could include rent, costs to attend a training camp, equipment and tuition/education-related expenses.

The government is also providing up to $12.3 million to Canadian Sports Institute Ontario over three years, and up to $3.21 million to the Coaches Association of Ontario over three years to support high-performance athletes and their coaches as they go for gold.

“As we gradually reopen the province safely, we are looking forward to the 2021 Tokyo Summer Games and other competitions, as 2021 is shaping up to be a marquee year for amateur sports in Ontario and around the world,” said Minister MacLeod.

The Quest for Gold program allows amateur athletes to focus on becoming the best in their sport, and improving Ontario’s and Canada’s standing at international competitions. Supporting athletes from playground to podium is important part of making Ontario one of the best places to train, compete and play sports.

Quick Facts

  • Quest for Gold athletes receive funding that helps offset costs of training and living expenses. This could include rent, costs to attend a training camp, equipment and tuition/education-related expenses.
  • The Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario provides top-quality training and development to emerging or existing Canadian Olympic or Paralympic Team members and many of Ontario’s provincial sport organizations.
  • The Coaches Association of Ontario delivers programs, including the National Coaching Certification Program, and supports the development of top-quality coaches who support the training and development of high-performance athletes.
  • Past Olympic medallists Penny Oleksiak, Andre De Grasse, and Gabrielle Daleman have received Quest for Gold funding. Of the 43 Ontario athletes who medaled at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics and Paralympics, 34 were Quest for Gold athletes.


“The Canadian Olympic Committee is grateful for the continued commitment from the Government of Ontario and Minister Lisa MacLeod, particularly during this critical and challenging time. This funding will help maintain a best-in-class amateur sport system in the province and support Ontario’s high-performance athletes on their journey to the Olympic podium as we navigate the complexities of a return to sport in the COVID environment.”

- David Shoemaker
Chief Executive Officer and Secretary General of the Canadian Olympic Committee


“Quest for Gold has played a major part in my success as a high-performance athlete. Without the support of Quest for Gold, I would not be where I am today.”

- Melanie Hawtin
QFG-funded Wheelchair Basketball athlete, member of the Senior Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team, 2016 Paralympic athlete


“On behalf of the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO), I would like to thank Minister Lisa MacLeod and the Government of Ontario for this 3-year funding commitment of $4.1 million per year to help support Ontario’s high-performance athletes achieve Olympic and Paralympic podium success. This funding will ensure stability and sustainability in the sport sector by supporting high performance coach and technical leader positions, as well as supporting Sport Science and Sport Medicine practitioners to ensure the health and well-being of Ontario’s best athletes. Despite the delay in this year’s Games, we are confident that this impact will be reflected in the performances of Ontario’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Games, and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. We are grateful that the Ministry’s support will continue to assist CSIO in developing a successful and sustainable high-performance sport system in Ontario elevating athlete performances at future Games.”

- Debbie Low
Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario


“On behalf of the Coaches Association of Ontario and the Board of Directors, we would like to thank the Government of Ontario for their ongoing support of CAO and sport in Ontario. Today’s funding announcement, a strategic investment in coaches and coaching in Ontario, will be a critical part of the success of Ontario athletes in their pursuit of excellence and growth for years to come. Coaches are vital in ensuring that sport is a safe and a thriving part of our society. The social and economic fabric of our province is very reliant on sport and we know that it cannot be as powerful without quality coaching and high-quality programs to support the needs of the frontline leader, the coach. The financial support provided by the Government of Ontario directly funds the education, development, employment and recognition of coaches. CAO values the partnership and relationship with the MHSTCI and appreciates the investment in supporting the backbone of the sport system and the frontline leaders who will be getting Ontario back to sport safely. We are proud of the significant role coaches play in the development of athletes across the province.”

- Jeremy Cross
Executive Director of the Coaches Association of Ontario




Media Contact:

Annie Goncin, Coordinator, Communications & Events

Canadian Sport Institute Ontario


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