Ottawa, Ontario (October 17, 2022) — Today, at the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill, the PEI 2023 Host Society, Canada Games Council, and Cavendish Farms proudly lit the Roly McLenahan Torch. This officially kick-starts the Cavendish Farms Torch Relay that will light the path to the upcoming PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games, from February 18 to March 5, 2023.
The flame was lit by 2023 Host Society Board Member and 12-time Paralympic medallist, Mark Arendz, alongside Team PEI’s 18-year-old wrestler Vanessa Keefe, who brought home PEI’s only gold medal at the 2022 Canada Summer Games in Niagara this past August.
“Today was a special milestone and pivotal moment in our journey leading up to the 2023 Canada Games, and we couldn’t be more excited to share the Canada Games spirit through the Torch Relay,” said Karolyn Godfrey, Volunteer VP of Vision, Volunteers & Community Relations, 2023 Canada Games Host Society.
“We are proud to partner with Cavendish Farms to bring the Torch Relay to life, and celebrate the power of sport while shining light on the cultures and communities across PEI,” said Wayne Carew, Chair of the 2023 Canada Games Host Society.
From now until the Opening Ceremony of the 2023 Canada Winter Games, the Torch Relay will visit over 20 communities across PEI in addition to competition venues in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and will engage with local residents through a series of events and community celebrations. In total, there will be over 250 torchbearers who will have the opportunity to carry the torch in their respective communities.
“The Torch Relay symbolizes the dedication of our talented Canadian athletes and the years of hard work they’ve put in to get where they are. It is a beautiful tradition that celebrates the power of sport by bringing communities together,” said the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. “Throughout its route, the relay will unite Canadians and build excitement for Canada’s largest multisport event! I am looking forward to joining the country in cheering on the athletes at the upcoming 2023 Canada Winter Games in PEI.”
“The lighting of the flame and the upcoming Cavendish Farms Torch Relay are important parts of the Canada Games legacy. As a symbol of friendship and hope, the torch flame brings everyone together to build on the excitement of athletes, coaches, managers and community, that the 2023 Games are only 120 days out," said PEI Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, Natalie Jameson. "With hundreds of people behind the scenes at the Games and thousands more in our Island communities, PEI is counting down the days until we open our doors and welcome Canadian sporting families from coast to coast to coast to our province."
“Today from the Centennial Flame, the Roly McLenahan torch will be sparked - symbolizing how the Canada Games spark greatness in the next generation of athletes and leaders on and off the field of play,” said Canada Games Board Chair Evan Johnston. “The lighting of the torch from the Centennial Flame, which represents every province and territory, is a fitting reminder of how the Canada Games inspires and unites communities from coast to coast to coast.”
“Cavendish Farms understands that developing our young athletes not only helps them compete in their sport, events like the Canada Games also allows them to grow as people,” said Robert K. Irving, President of Cavendish Farms. “Cavendish Farms’ roots are in PEI and we’re thrilled to support Island communities where our employees live and work. Cavendish Farms is proud to bring the torch to communities across the province and support this national event that will leave a lasting legacy on PEI.”
“Today, we ignite not just a flame but spark countless dreams, goals, and possibilities. Whether the goal is to attend the Canada Games as an athlete, coach, official, staff or spectator, or perhaps its the first step in a greater Olympic, Paralympic or Special Olympics dream,” said Mark Arendz, Paralympic Athlete and 2023 Canada Games Board Member. “For me, the beginning of the Torch Relay signifies that regardless of which community, province or territory, once the dream comes alive, all we can do is pass it on and watch how far it can go.”
For images and videos of the Canada Games Torch Lighting Ceremony and its Torch Relay events, please visit the 2023 Canada Winter Games’ photo gallery.
To learn more about the Canada Games Torch Relay route and community celebrations, visit 2023canadagames.ca/torch-relay.
About the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island:
As a province known for its hospitality, we’re excited to welcome the 2023 Canada Winter Games to Prince Edward Island. From February 18 – March 5, 2023, the Games will bring together 3,600 athletes, managers, and coaches, across 20 different sports, for the largest multi-sport event in the country. With a forecasted economic impact of over $100 million, the 29th edition of the Canada Games will be the largest event hosted in Prince Edward Island’s history.
Our offices are located in Charlottetown and Summerside, PEI on the traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq People.
Together, we’ll spark greatness and celebrate the power of sport and share the warmth, community, and spirit of PEI with every corner of the country. From athletes and coaches to volunteers and fans, the 2023 Games will make every Canadian an Islander.
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About the Canada Games Council:
The Canada Games Council, a private, non-profit organization, is the governing body for the Canada Games. Held once every two years, alternating between winter and summer, the Canada Games represent the highest level of national competition for up-and-coming Canadian athletes. The Games have been hosted in every province at least once since their inception in Quebec City during Canada’s Centennial in 1967. The Games are proud of their contribution to Canada’s sport development system, in addition to their lasting legacy of sport facilities, community pride and national unity. The organization of the Canada Games is made possible through the tireless dedication of local Host Societies and the contribution and support of the federal, provincial/territorial and host municipal governments.
The office is located in Ottawa, Ontario, on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabek People.
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2023 Canada Winter Games Host Society
Senior Advisor, Communications & Digital Media
Canada Games Council