On June 24, the Roly McLenahan torch will bring the excitement of the 2017 Canada Summer Games to Kenora, the small city situated on the picturesque Lake of the Woods in Northwestern Ontario.
The Manitoba Hydro Torch Relay will wind its way along Lakeview Drive from the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre to the Whitecap Pavilion. Torchbearers will then take the same route back to the Discovery Centre for a community celebration breakfast.
Kenora, located about 200 kilometres east of Winnipeg, was once part of Manitoba. Originally known as Rat Portage, the town was part of an Ontario-Manitoba boundary dispute. Rat Portage was incorporated as a Manitoban municipality in 1882, however a ruling in 1889 officially made the town a part of Ontario.
With over 14,000 islands located on Lake of the Woods, it’s a perfect destination for those looking to explore and spend time outdoors, and the vast lake network makes Kenora an ideal place to host rowing for the 2017 Canada Summer Games. The competition will take place at the Kenora Rowing Club on Rabbit Lake.
Katie Lockhart, one of Kenora’s 42 torchbearers, has been on the Carleton University’s varsity rowing team for the past two years and hopes to continue. She trains for rowing out of the Kenora Rowing Club and was recently hired as an assistant coach.
In 2015, she was on the Manitoba Team for Biathlon and attended the Canada Winter Games in Prince George. “It was an amazing experience and I can't wait to be a part of this Summer Games at a different perspective,” said Lockhart.
Her favourite Games moment was when she finished her last round of shooting for her sprint race, “I hit nine out of ten targets altogether and as I skied out of the shooting range I could hear both of my parents cheering me on from the sidelines.”
Lockhart said that Kenora may be a small community but they are big in support and community involvement.
The town of Kenora is excited to welcome visitors and participants during the Games and showcase its beautiful lakes and exciting outdoor activities. This however is not the first time Kenora has welcomed a nationally recognized sporting event. The Kenora Thistles were winners of the Challenge Cup in 1907, which was awarded to the best hockey team, an award that is now known as the Stanley Cup.
The relay starts at 9:00 a.m. at the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre (931 Lakeview Dr.) and the community celebration breakfast will follow the end of the relay at 12:00 p.m. This event is open to all, so come feel the excitement when the Canada Summer Games come to Kenora!