Alberta is a pioneer in the area of sport, recreation and fitness development for people 55 years and older. In 1976, a group of active mature adults, operating as the Calgary Recreation and Culture Association, introduced a 55 plus games program called “60+ Ol’lympyx” for Calgary active older adults. This project was the seed of the idea from which the Provincial Association and the subsequent Games developed.
During these formative years, in 1979 and 1980, with the inclusion of 60+ categories in the Alberta Games, key members traveled the province at their own expense to promote the concept to existing 55 plus clubs and drops-in centres. These dedicated adults talked to anyone who would listen, including senior members of the Alberta government.
In January 1980, the Alberta 55 plus Association was formed. The first Alberta 55 plus Provincial Games followed the same year in Camrose as a 75th anniversary project. The first Games were held with more than 800 participants. These Games were so successful and so impressed the Premier and his Ministers, that the Minister of Recreation and Parks authorized the holding of regular 55 plus Games every second year.
The Summer Games have been held every second year since 1980, and in 2005 a Winter Games was added. Now we have both Summer and Winter Games in all odd numbered years: Winter in February and Summer in July. We have 15 activities in the Winter Games and 15 activities in the Summer Games.