A group of Winnipeggers received a red-carpet welcome this morning as the 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society and Co-Hosts announced the torchbearers for the Manitoba Hydro Torch Relay leading up to the Games.
Applicants selected for the Winnipeg leg of the Relay were greeted by dignitaries at a ceremony held at Manitoba Hydro Place where they received a special commemorative pin and were treated to a red-carpet pancake breakfast. Each one of the 10 rural communities participating in the Relay invited their selected torchbearers to receive their commemorative pins in events held across the province as well as Kenora.
“We were overwhelmed by the response to our call for torchbearers,” said Jeff Hnatiuk, President and CEO of the 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society. “Over 650 applicants from every corner of Manitoba, as well as Kenora, described how they embody the Canada Games spirit. Each one of them has an inspiring story to tell.”
Selection committees made up of volunteers from each community hosting the Relay poured over each application, looking for people who’ve shown a commitment to youth, sport, community and culture. Selection criteria included: volunteerism, past Canada Games experience, community involvement, passion for sport and/or the Canada Games. The committee also gave consideration to representing diverse aspects of Manitoba’s population.
Over 200 applications were selected, with 67 in Winnipeg and 10-20 torchbearers for each of the 10 rural community torch relay celebrations.
The presence of several elected officials at the event underscored the special role the torchbearers will be playing in the Games.
“Torchbearers are an important tradition of any major multisport games. They help celebrate the games, rally fans, and inspire communities to support and participate in sport,” said the Hon.
Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. “I truly believe that those selected to carry the torch will remain a part of Canada’s history long after the Games. Our government is proud to support the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg and the many activities that will make the Games shine brightly during our year-long Canada 150 celebrations.”
This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.
PASSING THE SPIRIT OF THE GAMES ACROSS THE PROVINCE
When selected torchbearers carry the Roly McLenahan Torch as part of the Relay they will also carry the excitement of the 2017 Canada Summer Games to different locations.
“The torch relay provides a unique opportunity for Manitobans outside the host city to get involved in the Canada Summer Games, said the Hon. Rochelle Squires, the Minister for Sport, Culture and Heritage. “Participation will undoubtedly be an honour for the torchbearers selected, but also an exciting chance for all of us to line the relay route and cheer loudly and proudly to give this premiere sporting event a warm welcome to friendly Manitoba.”
Each one of the chosen torchbearers will have their moment in the sun at one of 11 community celebrations to be held from June 23 to July 26 in what promises to be The Hottest Summer in Half a Century.
THE COUNTDOWN TO THE GAMES CONTINUES
Today’s ceremony is yet another milestone on the road to the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.
“With the 2017 Canada Summer Games under three months away, you can really feel the heat building in preparation for the hottest summer in half a century,” said Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman. “There are few images that invoke a sense of emotion for the Games like the image of the torchbearers, and today’s announcement is sure to get Canada ready for the summer!”