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From Dream to reality – The Journey to hosting the 2019 3D World Championships in Canada

December 13, 2019
From Dream to reality – The Journey to hosting the 2019 3D World Championships in Canada

By Kelly Taylor

In September, more than 300 archers from 25 countries descended on Lac la Biche, Alta., for the World Archery 3D Championships, marking Canada’s first time hosting the event. By all accounts — on social media and by word of mouth — the tournament was a roaring success.

“The vice-president of World Archery told me that by Day 2 of an event, they’re receiving complaints,” said Rene Schaub, chairman of the organizing committee. “After seven days, there wasn’t a single complaint.
“We’re more than thrilled about how it turned out.”

Schaub said it was an event nearly four years in the making. The small town of 9,000 learned in late 2015 it had won the bid, and Schaub kicked into gear. Archery Canada had supported the bid and were available to support Rene and his organizing committee and ensure we had a great team in attendance

He said the first couple of years were spent “doing what I know” organizing the competition venue and preparing the targets. When it came time to start organizing arrivals, registration, departures, dinners, extracurricular entertainment and transportation, Schaub, at Archery Canada’s recommendation, turned to a Calgary-based event planner who has worked on a number of World Archery events.

“She did an incredible job. She assembled a team of eight people on the ground who took care of everything.”

If there’s a lesson in all this, it’s delegating responsibilities.

“For anything I needed, I found someone with that expertise and told them ‘Go.’ ”

When not shooting, archers were treated to a cultural extravaganza every night, including different presenations on the history of Canada, from its Indigenous roots to the fur-trapping days to modern times.

The town rescheduled its annual Culture Days to coincide with the championship, offering archers a taste of cuisines and traditions from around the world. “It was all free for the archers. Everything.”

Schaub said that while it might appear difficult to put on such a massive undertaking in a small town, the size of Lac la Biche and its surrounding county was a major advantage. “Including the county, we have about 9,000 people here,” he said. In a big city, such an event would get lost in the noise.

When organizing a meeting of townspeople willing to act as volunteers — the majority were not archers —more than 140 people attended. Many of those who couldn’t attend the volunteer organizing meeting still showed up a the tournament.“They said, ‘I couldn’t make the meeting, but I’m here, what can I do?’ The response was incredible,” Schaub said.