Twelve years ago, Estevan made a bid for the 2004 Saskatchewan Summer Games.
The Energy City was an underdog against Weyburn. Estevan had hosted the Games in 1980; Weyburn hadn't hosted the Games previously. Weyburn was a little further ahead with its facilities; Estevan didn't have a track and field venue, and its soccer and tennis facilities were lacking.
So few were surprised when Weyburn was selected. It was disheartening when Estevan wasn't the winning community, but those who were involved with the process had many reasons to be proud.
There was tremendous support from the public for Estevan's 2004 bid. People in the community recognized the lasting impact of the Games.
One of the strongest memories of Estevan's bid 12 years ago was a sign near the Estevan Court House at the intersection of Fourth Street and Souris Avenue South that greeted the selection committee. It said, in big capital letters, "Welcome to Estevan: Home of the 2004 Saskatchewan Summer Games."
It wasn't prophetic. But there were all sorts of signs around the community that indicated Estevan's desire to host the Games, regardless of whether those signs were placed on business windows or residential front yard.
A lot has changed in Estevan during the past 12 years. Now we're gunning for the 2016 Games, and our bid promises to be much stronger this time. Our soccer fields are better. We have more ball diamonds. We have Spectra Place, which would be the site of the basketball games.
But if we're going to secure the Games, it's going to take a community-wide effort, with people telling the selection committee that Estevan is the ideal community.
The selection committee will be here for a tour on Thursday, November 7. That gives us three weeks to construct and design our signs. We have time to find creative ways to express our support for the bid.
It can be as simple as a sign in the window of a house, an apartment or a senior citizens' home that says "We want the 2016 Saskatchewan Summer Games." Or it can be much more colourful, eye-catching and elaborate.
Estevan hasn't hosted the Summer Games since 1980. To a certain extent, it's our turn, although our rivals in Swift Current haven't hosted the event since 1976. The last few Summer and Winter Games have been in communities north of Highway 1. So it's time for a team in the south to be the host.
Those might be factors. But there are other variables that are much more important. The community with the strongest bid, the best overall venues for sporting events and other activities, and the best community support, will host the Games.
The latter point is something that we can all control. So let's make sure the selection committee realizes that we know that the Games are a great event, and in turn, they'll know that Estevan will be a great host site.