The opening ceremony for the 2019 Canada Winter Games will be a “celebration of moments,” says CEO Scott Robinson.
Friday, the games will officially begin with the two-hour opening ceremony at the Centrium in Red Deer.
An opening ceremony “is about creating moments that are impactful and mean something to the community, mean something to the athletes and mean something to the broader audience,” said Robinson.
The event, which features 500 performers, will also showcase what “Red Deer and central Alberta are all about and will be true to our roots,” he added.
“There’s sort of a 10- to 15-second moment in an opening ceremony that people remember and … the idea is to create many of these moments within the show where people say, ‘Wow I remember that,’” he said.
The ceremony will include a parade of athletes from across the country and the lighting of the games cauldron. The final leg of the torch relay will make its way through Red Deer earlier in the day.
Patrick Roberge Productions is staging the opening and closing ceremonies. The company has been behind the Grey Cup halftime show since 2010 and has produced other major event celebrations, such as the Invictus Games, the 2010 Paralympic Games and the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.
Preparations for the show began a long time ago, said Robinson.
“The overall vision and direction for it started over a year ago, where we did a lot of consultations with community groups and stakeholders about what we’d like to see,” he said.
Performers will have a busy week ahead of them, Robinson added.
“It’s a challenge to pull it all together because of the nature of it, the size of it and how it comes together quickly. We’ll have some big rehearsals this week and then it will all come together on Friday,” he said.
More information on the opening ceremony’s performers will be revealed Tuesday.
The closing ceremony, where the Canada Games flag will be handed off to representatives from the Niagara Region, which hosts the 2021 Canada Summer Games, takes place March 2 at the Centrium.
Visit www.canadagames.ca/2019 for ticket information.