Wheat City, Here We Come! The Torch Is On Its Way to Brandon


The excitement of the 2017 Canada Summer Games will heat up Brandon on July 20 when the Manitoba Hydro Torch Relay and the Roly McLenahan Torch pass through the city.

Brandon, the little city with the big heart, is a few hours drive west of Winnipeg and it’s nicknamed the “Wheat City” for its rich agricultural history. It’s the second largest city in Manitoba and was voted as one of the top ten cities to live in by Chatelaine - twice!

Visit one of many museums including the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, a World War II Royal Canadian Air Force Training Site that showcases aircraft, artifacts and memorabilia, the Daly House Museum, home of Brandon’s first mayor, Thomas Mayne Daly, and the Carousels and Dolls Doll Museum which offers the largest collection of modern and reproduction dolls in the prairies.

Stretch your legs and take an architectural walking tour and uncover one of many historic sites, or put your brain to the test at Escape The Final Countdown, Brandon’s escape room. If snakes and gators are your thing, the Westman Reptile Gardens houses over 300 reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.

Brandon’s hockey team, the Western Hockey League’s Wheat Kings, holds the Canadian Hockey League record for most points (125) in a single season and many of its players have gone on to professional hockey careers.

Kennedy Charles is a competitive speed skater, a member of the Westman Speed Skating Club of Brandon, a member of the Manitoba Provincial Speed Skating Team and one of fifteen torchbearers for the torch relay.

“It means a lot to be chosen because I get to represent my sport and my community,” she said. “Community is important to me because they are always supporting me in my sport.”

For Charles, holding the torch and being surrounded by the people who make the Games happen is the most exciting.

Charles hopes to participate as an athlete at the Canada Winter Games one day.

Malcolm MacKinney was an official in the 1993 Canada Summer Games in Kamloops, British Columbia and chaired the swimming competition during the 1997 Canada Summer Games in Brandon. He was honored to be chosen as a torchbearer and said he’s excited to be apart of the Games again.

“For some [the Games] will be the peak of their competitive career and for others it will be a step in the journey to high performance competition,” said MacKinney.

He continues to volunteer as an official and swimming coach. MacKinney said, “It gives me the opportunity to contribute to the development of youth.”

MacKinney’s recalls his most memorable moment from the 1997 Canada Summer Games, “taking the Oath of Officials, standing at the center of the Sportsplex track on national TV, my microphone quit working!”

The relay starts at 11:00 a.m. at the Brandon Community Sportsplex (30 Knowlton Drive) and will end where it begins. After the relay, join us for a community celebration BBQ at 12:30 p.m. The event is open to all, so come cheer on our torchbearers and feel the excitement of the Canada Summer Games in Brandon!