Gimli Yacht Club owes its beginnings to a unique set of circumstances. In 1967 Winnipeg was chosen as the site for the Pan Am Games and the most suitable location for the yachting competition was Gimli. Even before the Games were held, negotiations were initiated by the Manitoba Sailing Association regarding the acquisition of the site. However, the property was turned over to the Town following the Games.
After two more years of negotiations between MSA and the Town, Gimli Yacht Club became a reality in July, 1969, when its first organizational meeting was held. Unlike most yacht clubs, GYC started out well equipped with a building (donated to the Pan Am Games by Camp Shilo), land (leased from the Town) and a wharf and finger docks (build by the Pan Am Games Society), but only a handful of members. Until the airforce base at the airport closed in 1971, the CFB Sailing Club was an important member of this group in its first few years, providing some of the basic necessities, such as furniture, boats and rescue craft.