Nova Scotia is increasing its support for the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Antigonish, Premier Stephen McNeil announced today, Oct. 20. Additional funding of $500,000 will benefit Special Olympians at these games, and help with the training and development of future athletes. “The Government of Nova Scotia is proud to support the games,” said Premier McNeil. “They will showcase the accomplishments of our athletes, promote inclusive communities and give the province an economic boost. “I am also pleased the funding includes a legacy piece that invests in future athletes through training and development initiatives. When we invest in our communities and our people, we are building a stronger Nova Scotia.” The funding will benefit Special Olympians with new uniforms and equipment, help with transportation and accommodation costs, and support future development of athletes, including outreach to First Nations. “We simply could not deliver this amazing event without support from the province,” said Mike Greek, president and CEO of Special Olympics Nova Scotia. “The benefits are direct to our athletes, and significant to their families and our communities.” In March, government announced a $1-million investment for seating improvements at the University’s Oland Centre which will host many of games’ events. The games are also receiving support from the university, the county and town of Antigonish, Michelin, Special Olympics Canada and the Government of Canada. The games will be held from July 31 through Aug. 4. Organizers estimate the economic impact of the games will be more than $5 million. Investment in community and cultural organizations, and promoting a more inclusive and accessible province are vital parts of the province’s culture strategy, Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan. The full plan is online at novascotia.ca/culture/.