Wayne Trask, driving force behind 1999 Canada Winter Games, dies

Gary Kean
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J. Wayne Trask

CORNER BROOK  J. Wayne Trask, one of the driving forces behind Corner Brook hosting the 1999 Canada Winter Games and getting a new regional civic centre in the process has died.

Mr. Trask died in his hometown of St. John's Tuesday morning at the age of 65.

Trask served as the president of the '99 Games Host Society when the national sporting event came to western Newfoundland. In order to clinch the "99 Games bid, the regional civic centre in Corner Brook - formerly named the Canada Games Centre - needed to be constructed and Trask was a pivotal character in making that become a reality.

In his honour, the new walking track around the concourse of what is now known as the Pepsi Centre was unveiled as the J. Wayne Trask Walking Track in 2007.

“His ability to lead, inspire and empower the volunteers who worked with him was legendary,” said Corner Brook Mayor Neville Greeley in a prepared statement in offering condolences to the Trask family and friends.

“It was Wayne’s innovative ideas and his ability to secure corporate sponsorships that ensured the financial success of the Games,” added the mayor. “His ability to motivate and inspire volunteers to accomplish his vision for the Canada Games also contributed greatly to the success of the event. He was a mentor to me and played a large role in making me who I am today.”

Mr. Trask continued to be an active member of the Canada Games Council and chaired the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Canada Games in 2007.

“It is certainly sad to hear of the passing of someone who had such an impact on our community,” said Greeley. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

A funeral mass will be held for Mr. Trask in St. John's on Saturday morning.


From the website of Mr. Trask's daughter, Jennifer:



Geographic location: Canada

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Recent comments

  • Suzanne Mason
    August 26, 2013 - 09:48

    I offer my deepest condolences to the Trask family. The Canada Games family has lost a "gentle giant". It was a pleasure to work with Wayne and share his pride in hosting the 1999 Canada Winter Games. May God bless you and comfort you in the days ahead.

  • Patrick Kenny
    August 20, 2013 - 18:18

    The Canada Games has lost a great mentor, supporter and friend. Our thoughts are with Wayne's closest family and friends.

    August 20, 2013 - 17:01

    Our deepest sympathy to Gloria and the family. Wayne was a great family man as well as a fine community leader. Our family will remember him as one of the Regina Knights Basketball team best fan.He will be missed.

  • Bill Othmer - Team Northwest Territories
    August 20, 2013 - 16:45

    To the Trask Family: Wayne made us little guys from the North feel welcomed & accepted leading up to and during the 1999 Canada Winter Games. May the peace that comes from the memories of love shared comfort you now and in the days ahead. Bill Othmer Team Northwest Territories

  • Charles Pender
    August 20, 2013 - 16:21

    A sad day for Corner Brook and the Canada Games family. Mr. Trask was a great community leader and a true gentleman who helped put Corner Brook on the map. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

  • ruth
    August 20, 2013 - 16:01

    Wayne Trask was one of those rare people who really understood what it meant to be a community activist. He was a visionary, a hard worker and was one of the rare people who worked hard for the sake of the betterment of the community he worked and lived in. He was from a generation who knew how to serve selflessly...a dying breed of people. Where are those kind of people now? He will be sadly missed, but always remembered for the contributions he made to this city. There would be no Pepsi Center without him. I wonder what he would think, Mr. Greely, of the way the legacy has been neglected and mismanaged. If he mentored you, you must feel a deep sadness for how you let him, and others who worked beside him that fought so hard for the Canada Games Center, down. Sincere condolences to the family. He was a genuine person who really cared.

  • Paul Northcott
    August 20, 2013 - 15:59

    I'm very sad to hear this news and my sympathies go out to the Trask Family. As a Star reporter in the runup to the ’99 Games I think Mr. Trask spoke to the media daily. Although he may not have enjoyed answering questions, his passion for the Games and Corner Brook was always evident. And of course he was very patient and accommodating – a real gentleman. Again my condolenses. Paul Northcott

  • Lone wolf
    August 20, 2013 - 15:42

    Seems only fitting to name the Pepsi Centre after the founding father wouldn't you think. Wayne Trask Memorial Civic Centre sounds good to me. My condolences to the family of a very fine and honourable man.

  • Henry
    August 20, 2013 - 15:09

    My Condolenses to the Trask Family. Wayne was well known to the citizens and had accomplished his dream for a centre... Mayor Greely you may have been mentored by Mr. Trask but I can assure you that you are no Wayne Trask. Not even close.