Archery dates back to prehistoric times as a tool for hunting and combat but it is now a popular recreational and competitive sport. Part of the Olympic Games from 1900-1920, the sport was dropped from the program as there were no internationally recognized rules. With the creation of the International Archery Federation (now called World Archery) in the 1930s, the sport gained credibility. However, archery was not reintroduced to the Olympic program until 1972 when the individual competition was contested at the Summer Games. The team event was added 16 years later in 1988.
Archery challenges competitors to make their mark on a target just 40-centimetre in size set 18 metres away using a set number of arrows. Athletes may participate either individually or in the team competition. Archers may use either a compound bow, which features a system of pulleys and cables to bend the string, or a recurve bow. Recurve bows are the more traditional style bows that have a single string attached to the end-tips that curve away from the archer.
In 2003, archery was moved to the Canada Winter Games program as an indoor event after having spent more than 25 years as a Canada Summer Games sport.