Can’t make it to the Canada Winter Games torch relay in Red Deer Friday? No worries.
The torch might just make its way to you instead.
Pop-up torch stops have been planned around the city this week – a first in the Canada Winter Games history. The torch hit the first stop Monday afternoon at Extendicare Michener Hill.
Kaitlynn Rice, coordinator marketing and revenue for 2019 Canada Winter Games Society, said the goal for the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay Pop-up is to get the community involved.
“A lot of the pop-ups we’re choosing, these people might not have the chance to come out and watch the actual relay on Friday – so we’re bringing the torch to them,” said Rice.
The torch will go to the Ronald McDonald House Central Alberta, City of Red Deer Civic Yards and RCMP detachment in Red Deer, among other stops.
Former Red Deer city councillor and a resident at Extendicare Michener Hill, Bev Hughes was so excited about the torch coming to the senior centre, he wasn’t able to sleep for three nights.
Melissa D’Souza, recreation therapist at Extendicare Michener Hill and co-organizer at the event, said Hughes was excited about what to wear, where to pose for a photo, and how to hold the torch.
“He even practiced the route twice,” said D’Souza about Hughes.
After the relay was over, Hughes chuckled about the weight of the torch.
Hughes, and two other seniors: Ida Hawkings and Horace Archer participated in a mini torch relay going around the senior centre’s premises Monday. The facility’s family advisory council members accompanied the trio in their walkers while other seniors, their families and staff cheered them on.
The three qualified after the senior facility hosted its own games last week: curling, hockey and snowball toss.
D’Souza said some of the residents at the facility are in their 90’s.
“For them to hold the torch is fantastic — for that opportunity,” she said.