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Canada Games Council

Building a streamlined, comprehensive digital program to create immersive and participatory experiences for fans and athletes alike.

Held once every two years, alternating between winter and summer, the Canada Games are the nation’s largest, multi-sport event for young, emerging Canadian athletes. A different Host Society (host city or town) mounts each Canada Games.

Overview

www.canadagames.ca - The Canada Games Council is the private, non-profit governing body responsible for the ongoing management and administration of the Canada Games.

Before OPIN’s engagement with the Games Council in 2015, each Host Society took responsibility for their own digital properties and infrastructure – resulting in duplication of efforts and unnecessary added costs. The Council was ready to streamline the digital efforts and, create a single platform for more immersive and informative experiences for Host Societies, participants, sponsors and fans.

Objectives

The Games Council was already familiar with Drupal. The Council as well as previous Host Societies had been using it to build their websites. They valued its ability to handle a variety of applications, as well as its reputation for managing online security.

When OPIN began discussions with the Games Council, Host Society websites were built from the ground up every two years, creating disjointed user and site management experiences and, resulting in unnecessary and redundant development costs.

The challenge was to create a consistent user experience that leveraged the Games’ legacy digital assets, used a common infrastructure and, that could be utilized today and in years to come for the Council and Host Society websites.

Goals

  • Create a Drupal 7 platform that can be used by the Council and Hosts (current and future)
  • Use existing infrastructure, architecture and the theming framework that the Council and Host Societies had invested in during previous generations of their websites
  • Share existing data and content such as images, results and athlete information between the websites
  • Utilize third party branding and design elements while addressing outstanding accessibility (WCAG) issues for the visually and physically challenged
  • Create a responsive site that works effortlessly on all desktop and mobile devices
  • Build to support the official Canadian languages (English, French)
  • Support custom metadata tactics for improved search engine optimization
  • Add user engagement tools
  • Plan for additional future digital initiatives

Solution

Host Societies are now able to use the custom Drupal 7, responsive theme and platform. Its shared infrastructure incorporates content and materials from previous Canada Games, has a consistent architecture and a “look and feel” that is accessible to all, including the visually impaired.

Host Societies can apply their unique branding elements to the custom Canada Games theme while respecting the “look and feel” of a Canada Games web property. The Hosts are able to use and share content with the Council and other Host Societies.

The design incorporates a fluidly mobile approach, configuring for all screen and device sizes without breaking its format, no matter the type of content or device used.

The scalable program approach gives the Council the ability to create new functionality and applications, provide a consistent user experience, while keeping costs in check.

Additional user engagement tools have been added and consideration has been made for future websites, apps and online tools.

Results

The Chairman of the Canada Games Council, Tom Quinn, has said “They [Opin] have developed a dynamic website that features great content for the entire Canada Games network. OPIN’s modern approach to software development ensured the website’s look, feel and functionality would be state of the art and user-friendly.”

Our work with the Canada Games continues as we work towards the summer games in Winnipeg in 2017, prepare for the 2019 games in Red Deer and, have been officially recognized as a National Partner.

The cost savings from eliminating the frequent rebuilds allows the Games Council to redirect their efforts into rolling out other worthwhile digital initiatives, including other custom apps, to improve and update the Games experience. To date, this has included the “Illuminate the North” app, a free download for mobile users that was used during the 2015 Winter Games’ opening ceremonies

We are thrilled to announce OPIN as our newest National Partner. They have developed a dynamic website that features great content for the entire Canada Games network. OPIN’s modern approach to software development ensured the website’s look, feel and functionality would be state of the art and user-friendly.
Tom Quinn Chairman of the Canada Games Council

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