The Canada Games torch to pass through the “Gateway of the North”


On Monday, July 10, the Manitoba Hydro Torch Relay for the Canada Summer Games will pass through The Pas/Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN).

Located 634 kilometres North of Winnipeg (just under a 7-hour drive), The Pas/OCN is rich with history, and has been labelled the “Gateway of the North.” Before the construction of a new highway bridge, travellers to the north had to cross the aptly named “Gateway to the North,” an old railway bridge for the Hudson Bay Railway.

The Pas and OCN has gorgeous natural attractions to take your breath away. The Northern Lights are visible in all year round, and Clearwater Lake is the clearest lake in Canada, and second clearest in the world.

Thirteen local torch relay runners will carry the torch on a three-kilometre journey through The Pas and Opaskwayak Cree Nation. Starting at the Arbour Site in OCN, they will cross the bridge into The Pas, and finish at the Manitoba Hydro office for a celebration BBQ and local entertainment.

Patti Marin, torchbearer and registered nurse in The Pas, has been involved in sport her entire adult life through volunteering, coaching, participating and through her former job as a swimming instructor and lifeguard. She has run in marathons, half marathons, triathlons and fun runs for the past 35 years.

In 2002, her daughter participated in the Sport Manitoba Winter Games, hosted in The Pas/OCN and Marin volunteered as a coach.

Marin believes that volunteers keep culture alive through their influence on youth. “Youth are our future and sport helps them be the best they can be physically and mentally. Without volunteers, much of youth sport would not be possible,” she said.

She’s honored to carry the torch for the next generation, “who will inspire generations to come with their excellence in sports and recreation.”

Marin is most excited to feel the spirit that spreads through the whole country during the Games. She said, “We all come together to celebrate the achievements of the young athletes.”

Her daughter, who is also an avid runner, will be there to cheer her on with her husband who Marin says is her dedicated cheerleader.

The opening ceremony for the Torch Relay will kick off at 10:15 a.m. with guest speakers and opening remarks from representatives from Chief and Council. An opening honour song will be performed and local Elders will say a prayer.

The relay starts at 10:30 a.m. at Arbour Site in The Pas and will end at the Manitoba Hydro office. After the relay, join us for a community celebration BBQ at 12:30. This event is open to all, so come cheer on our torchbearers and feel the excitement of the Canada Summer Games in The Pas and Opaskwayak Cree Nation!