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Remains hopeful for the 2020-2021 Youth National Competition Season

CALGARY, October 15, 2020 – Given the dynamic nature of the coronavirus pandemic, Climbing Escalade Canada (CEC) has been continually reviewing the feasibility of a 2020-2021 National Competition Season. In the past month, CEC has conducted a thorough consultation process, and the Board of Directors has met on multiple occasions to discuss the ongoing situation. The CEC has determined it is not feasible to safely hold the 2020-2021 Open Competition Series however the CEC remains hopeful that a modified 2020-2021 Youth Competition Series can be held; more details regarding these decisions are set out below.

The CEC’s mandate is to be a leader in the promotion and development of competition climbing in Canada. As such, these decisions were very difficult and not taken lightly. In addition to many other factors and considerations, athlete safety and the safety of all those involved in staging a competitive season were paramount in the decision-making process.

CEC has worked closely with the Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs) to define the best way forward. All climbing organizations in Canada are aligned with the goal of providing a safe and positive sport experience for our community. PSOs are currently defining their specific approach to the provincial events in accordance with this National plan. Please look to your PSOs website for more details.

  • Sport Climbing Association of BC website and Facebook page


  • Alberta Climbing Association (ACA)
  • Ontario Climbing Federation (OCF)

Fédération québécoise de la montagne et de l’escalade (FQME)

Given the fluid nature of the pandemic, CEC will be continuously monitoring the situation, reviewing our response and adjusting as required.

As always, please direct questions or comments to Christiane Marceau, the CEC Executive Director, at

2020-2021 Open National Competition Season – CANCELLED
To adapt to the pandemic and the first year of the 2021-2024 Olympic Cycle, CEC had been planning for a modified 2020-2021 Open Competition Series comprised of an Open Boulder and Lead National Championship in February 2021, and a Speed stand-alone event in March 2021. However, with the current state of the pandemic, the various and differing restrictions in place nationally, and the uncertainty of how the situation will evolve, the CEC concluded that it will not be able to hold the 2020-2021 Open Competition Series safely and in a way that is also practical for athletes and other stakeholders. We regret to officially announce the cancellation of the 2020-2021 Open Series.

2021 High Performance Program – Open Athletes Selection – BEING FINALIZED

CEC is committed to selecting athletes for the High-Performance Program in a fair and equitable manner. Despite not being able to safely host National Competitions for open athletes, CEC will work toward hosting a transparent and objective selection process for Open athletes, which will likely include a virtual application process and/or Selection Camps. Further details of the process will be announced by January 1, 2021.

2021 International Events – UNDER REVIEW

The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) announced its 2021 Event Calendar. CEC is committed to sending athletes to World Cups and World Championship events, provided it is safe to do so. Criteria for making the decision to send athletes will include, among other things, travel regulations set by the Government of Canada, and the capacity for the athletes to purchase international travel insurance. Our approach for making these safety determinations, along with any related logistical considerations, will be provided by January 1, 2021.

2020-2021 Youth National Competition Season – UNDER REVIEW

To adapt to the pandemic and the first year of the 2021-2024 Olympic Cycle, CEC had been planning for a modified 2020-2021 Youth Competition Series comprised of a Speed stand-alone event in March 2021, and a Youth Boulder and Lead National Championship in May 2021. At this time, CEC remains hopeful that the May event will be feasible under the safety guidelines provided by Provincial and Federal Health Agencies and can be organized in a way that is practical while still meeting the needs of athletes and other CEC stakeholders. The CEC will continue to review the evolution of the pandemic, and make a decision on this event by February 1, 2021.

Other Priorities

At this time of year, the vast majority of the CEC staffs’ effort would normally be consumed by planning for and running Regional and National events. Given that will not be the case this year, CEC staff plan to use this time to further develop sport climbing in Canada. The CEC employees will focus their time over the next months to create and implement various development programs, including but not limited to National Coach Certification Programs (NCCP), Athlete Development Matrix (ADM), and the Gold Medal Profile (GMP). CEC is excited to share further details regarding these programs and other community value and initiatives through an Executive Report, which will be published on the CEC website by November 1, 2020.

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About Climbing Escalade Canada

Climbing Escalade Canada (CEC) is the National Sport Organization (NSO) for the sport of competitive climbing. The purpose of CEC is to be a leader in the promotion and development of competition climbing in Canada for athletes and the extended climbing community. We strive to enable athletes to achieve their high-performance potential in an ethical, equitable and equal competition environment.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Christiane Marceau
CEC Executive Director

2020-10-15 CEC Press Release – Climbing Escalade Canada cancels the 2020-2021 Open National Competition Season(1)