The final torchbearers of the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay hit the pavement on February 15 in Red Deer. Contributed photo

2019 Canada Winter Games: The first group of Red Deer torchbearers

After four months and tens of thousands of kilometres travelled, the final torchbearers raise the torch and take the final steps of the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay in Red Deer.

The final torchbearers are individuals who are community focused and deeply involved in making our community better for everyone. These individuals are the ones to carry the torch through Red Deer on February 15 en route to the Opening Ceremony where the torch lights the Canada Games Cauldron.

In total, 17 Red Deer torchbearers carry the torch on Feb. 15: Craig Curtis, Erika Driesen, Tanner Fandrey, Morris Flewwelling, Shelley Gagnon, Gary W. Harris, Theresa “Corky” Larsen Jonasson, Chief Wilton Littlechild, Tim McLenahan, Barb Miller, Don Moore, Kalian Odongo, Kentice Odongo, Kim Schreiner, Rick Van Hemmen, Mayor Tara Veer and Mayor Jim Wood.

Craig Curtis is City Manager for the City of Red Deer. He has been involved in planning of recreation, parks and sport facilities in Red Deer, including the Waskasoo Park and trail system. As City Manager, he has overseen the City’s role in planning and facility development for the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

Morris Flewwelling is the current Chairman of the Board of Governors for Red Deer College and is the former Mayor of the City of Red Deer. He has lived in Red Deer for six decades and worked as a teacher and served as Director of the Red Deer Museum. He has been active in arts and volunteer leadership.

Gary W. Harris is a central Alberta businessman with a long-standing history of giving back to his community through volunteer and philanthropic activities. In 2015, Gary made a significant donation which was essential for the development of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. His volunteer experience and passion lead him to making a contribution to the creation of the Gary W. Harris Celebration Plaza.

Theresa “Corky” Larsen Jonasson is a Cree and Métis woman and lifelong resident of Red Deer. She is an Elder in her community and a member of the Alberta Justice Elders Circle. Her work with many local community groups plays a role in encouraging individuals to reclaim identity, reconcile and be proud of who they are.

Chief Wilton Littlechild has promoted the “celebration of life through traditional games and sports.” He is the founder of World Indigenous Nations Games. He has also been awarded the Alberta Order of Excellence, the Order of Canada and inducted into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame.

As the MLA for Red Deer-South, Barb Miller has advocated for university status at Red Deer College, the Gaetz Avenue interchange, the Red Deer Justice Centre, RDRH improvements and expansion, bringing CFR to Red Deer and worked with the CACAC as both an advocate and volunteer.

Kim Schreiner embodied community citizenship within her healthcare career, as well as her volunteerism in the local school system. This has fully manifested as an elected official. She is an individual that is deeply involved in her community as the MLA for Red Deer-North.

Rick Van Hemmen proudly works for NOVA Chemicals in a senior leadership role. He is an active member of the Central Alberta community for the past 11 years, having served on several boards and currently co-chairs the 2019 Canada Games’ sustainability committee. Rick has a strong passion for sports.

Tara Veer was first elected as Mayor of Red Deer in 2013. Tara is an active supporter of many local charities in both her private and public life. Over the past Council term she has personally volunteered to help raise funds for various causes throughout the community.

Mayor Jim Wood operates a cattle and grain farm east of Elnora on a century-old family farm. Mayor Wood is a strong voice for all County of Red Deer residents, promoting common sense decisions.

Help send off the final torchbearers and celebrate the start of the 2019 Games on Feb. 15 from 4 until 8 p.m. at Hunting Hills High School. Stay tuned for more information next week on the remaining Red Deer torchbearers.

Kaitlynn Rice

2019 Canada Winter Games

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