Lac La Biche On Target

Photo: Lakeland Archers/Walt Malone

2019 World Archery 3D Championships

By Sarah B. Hood

There were some doubts when Lac La Biche, Alta., a hamlet of 2,520 people, bid to host the 2019 World Archery 3D Championships, but “this 3D World’s is going down as the best ever, and that’s because of our community,” says Rene Schaub, president of the local Lakeland Archers and the event organizing committee. “I always say it’s not the number of hearts that you have; it’s the size of hearts.”

The Event — September 2-7, 2019
The biennial outdoor competition simulates forest bow hunting aimed at life-size, three-dimensional shaped targets (e.g., deer, bear, fowl, sheep, goats, etc.). Men and women compete separately in Single Compound, Single Recurve, Single Barebow and Team categories. After two qualifying days on the Herb Erickson shooting range, named for a legendary local archer, the top 22 competitors entered final eliminations at the Lac La Biche Mission, a historical site. The Bold Center, a multiplex athletic facility, was used for evening meals and entertainment.

The Legacy
The event has left the town with a significant legacy. “Lac La Biche County built us an 80- by 200-foot building to host this. The cost of the whole thing was $1.3 million for the building, $650,000 for water and sewage, and they also paved the road two kilometres, [costing] about $450,000,” says Schaub.

The new indoor archery facility features a viewing area, full kitchen, office space and storage. With seating for over 1,000 people, it can be rented for a variety of functions.

Community Strength
As the first host outside Europe, Lac La Biche had little prior data for an international bid. However, they did have strong recommendations from Archery Canada after hosting the 2014 Canadian National Archery Championships and the 2017 3D Indoor Canadian National Archery Championships.

“It was really, really good for our community. People got so excited they just couldn’t do enough. We had thousands of people in the streets… people are still talking about it,” says Schaub. “I’ve already started working on a bid for the World Field Archery Competition. It’s a little bit bigger; you could get up to 40 countries.” 

Total Population Lac La Biche County: 9,000
Attendance at Finals: 2,000—3,000
Volunteers: 150—200
Competitors: 318 archers, 50 coaches, managers from 25 countries
Sponsorship from Alberta Tourism and Gaming: $125,000
Sponsorship from local businesses: $45,000

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