Canada Winter Games torch relay hits Ponoka

The torch relay will close in Red Deer and help kick off the 2019 Canada Winter Games

It was a historic day for Ponoka as the longest and largest Canada Winter Games torch relay neared its conclusion.

On Thursday, Ponoka became the last stop on the nationwide event before the torch makes its way to the host city of Red Deer for a tour and opening ceremonies on Feb. 15. The national youth sporting event, which features 21 different sports, runs until March 3.

Ten torch bearers — Nolan Lee, Jayden Crane, Tegan Poitras, Calvin David, Shawna Pearman, Maddison Pearman, Chad Harden, Ponoka Mayor Rick Bonnett, Kaeleigh Boston and Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ronald Orr — carried the torch.

RELATED: Official torchbearers for 2019 Canada Winter Games announced

Runners were greeted by residents, friends and family at various points along the route — with many of the torch bearers choosing to join the convoy of people gathered behind until the relay’s conclusion.

For Ponoka speedskater Maddison Pearman, the opportunity to participate in such a memorable event at home was significant.

“Being a part of the relay, in Ponoka and with the Games in Red Deer where my home club is, makes it a really special opportunity to be part of something that’s never happened before,” said Pearman, who competed in short-track speedskating at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax.

“I was around when the torch relay for the (2010) Vancouver Winter Olympics came around, and even though I didn’t get to be in it, that helped ignite a flame.”

VIDEO: Red Deer is fired up for the 2019 Canada Winter Games

With the relay soon to come to a close, 2019 Canada Winter Games host society CEO Scott Robinson praised the many central Alberta communities that have provided their support for not only the relay, but for the games itself.

“The response we received has been phenomenal for both the relay tour through central Alberta and also the games. The reality is that we couldn’t host this event without that support, as about 85 per cent of our games volunteers are from central Alberta,” he said.

Scott added the relay, along with the Catch the Spirit events held at schools throughout the region the past few months, are ways to help engage the entire region and make it their games.

“While we would have liked to bring some of the events to these communities, it just isn’t possible. So, through events like the relay and others, it’s a great chance to involve them, and that way, they are more likely to come witness some sports and take in other events going on.”

Scott also noted the final touches are being placed on the various venues and volunteers are ready for the Games to kick off.

Visit to find our more information on tickets and the free community events going on.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

1,200 runners came out to Woody’s RV Marathon in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Matthew Hope ran in the Woody’s RV World Marathon for… Continue reading

Two men steal 16 year old’s car at gunpoint in Alberta

RCMP are looking for two men who allegedly produced a handgun and… Continue reading

Mother of five who died in hit and run in central Alberta a huge loss to family, police say

Rocky Mountain House RCMP continue to investigate hit and killed case on… Continue reading

‘Rope-a-dope’: Environmentalists say Alberta war room threat won’t distract them

EDMONTON — Environmental groups targeted by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney are shrugging… Continue reading

Speed, alcohol considered factors in deadly Calgary crash: police

CALGARY — The Calgary Police Service says two people are dead after… Continue reading

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of 2019

The event is held every Saturday in the Servus Arena parking lot

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Speaker stuns Morehouse grads, to pay off $40M student debt

A billionaire technology investor stunned the entire graduating class at Morehouse College… Continue reading

Unions increasingly at odds over replacing troubled Phoenix pay system

OTTAWA — The federal team charged with finding a replacement for the… Continue reading

Sisters of Ste-Anne hold unique garage sale before giving up Montreal convent

MONTREAL — The Montreal-area Sisters of Ste-Anne are hosting a unique garage… Continue reading

Canadian pilot Patrick Forseth killed in Honduras plane crash: sister

TRUJILLO, Honduras — A British Columbia woman says her pilot brother was… Continue reading

As states pass restrictive abortion laws, questions surface

ATLANTA — As multiple states pass laws banning many abortions, questions have… Continue reading

Pelosi being honoured with JFK Profile in Courage Award

BOSTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is being honoured with the 2019… Continue reading

India’s marathon national election reaches the finish line

KOLKATA, India — Voting in India’s mammoth national election ended Sunday with… Continue reading

Most Read