History has been made in multiple ways by Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games.
Not only is your city hosting the Canada Games for the first time, Red Deer is the first host ever to undertake a nationwide Torch Relay. The MNP Canada Games Torch Relay began in Ottawa last fall and the torch visited 48 Canadian communities between Halifax and Victoria, including 22 in Alberta.
While the relay paused after arriving in Ponoka on Feb. 7, you can experience the spirit of the Torch Relay in Red Deer this week in the leadup to the lighting of the Games cauldron during the Opening Ceremonies on Feb. 15 at the Centrium.
Watch for spontaneous torch events
“This final week before the Games start will be exciting,” says Red Deer Canada Games 2019 board chair Lyn Radford. “We’ve planned some pop-up torch stops around the city, so the community members who worked so hard to pull this off can experience this integral piece of the Games.”
The final Torch Relay celebration begins at 4 p.m. Feb. 15 at Hunting Hills High School. This family oriented event runs to 8 p.m. and features live entertainment by ACMA winners Renegade Station, mascots, food and more. Plus, Hal Johnson and Joanne MacLeod warm up with the torchbearers and the crowd before they head off from 4 until 4:15 p.m..
The last torch runners are a cross-section of community builders, individuals who’ve contributed to the Games effort and people who illustrate the diversity of sport and leadership, Radford says.
Not attending the Opening Ceremony? Celebrate in other ways:
- Line the Torch Relay route Cheer on the runners along the final 5K to the Centrium (see map below).
- Watch on the big screen Follow the relay proceedings and Opening Ceremonies on the giant TV at Hunting Hills while enjoying a hot chocolate. The site is accessible and is a community gathering place and sport venue for the Games.
- Enjoy musical tributes The free 52° North Music + Cultural Festival, on Feb. 16-March 1 at the Gary W. Harris Celebration Plaza, features acts from Brett Kissell and Gord Bamford to Alan Doyle, Ashley MacIsaac and the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.
- Cheer on the athletes! Day passes and single sport tickets are available at competition venues throughout the Games starting 15 minutes prior to competition. Find schedules and venue locations at canadagames.ca/2019.
2019 Torch Relay creates a Games legacy
Getting guidance from 2010 Olympic Winter Games torch relay organizers, and seeing how communities across Canada and Alberta celebrated, Radford says a relay template can be made for future Canada Games hosts.
“The MNP Canada Games Torch Relay was a way to connect those communities that may never host the Games, but may have athletes competing whose path may reach right through to the Olympics,” she says. “It’s a way to connect those dots across the nation and a wonderful way to involve the entire community.”
You can follow the Canada Winter Games on Facebook.
at 4 p.m. down at Hunting Hills High School, community celebration for the torch, with a big screen on site where people can watch the openiong ceremonies, family orimeted event with hot cholcolate, accessible to everyone