In just one week the city will prepare to welcome a special guest. On January 5th, the MNP Canada Games Torch is set to pass through Grande Prairie on its way to Red Deer. MNP Regional Marketing Manager Lindsey McNeil says the torch will begin its journey at Centre 2000 at 1 pm and end at Revolution Place.
“It will travel from Centre 2000, past Muskoseepi to 214 Place and then into Revolution Place. In Revolution Place we will have a big community celebration. There’s a free family skate from 2 to 4 pm… It’ll have games and face painting and all kinds of things for the family to do.”
The torch was lit in Ottawa on October 4th. Overall, it will make it to 26 different cities and towns across Canada and be carried by over 100 people. Three of those people are from Grande Prairie.
It was announced on September 4th that Mayor Bill Given, 13-year-old Riley Larue as well as former GPRC Professor Leigh Goldie would get the honour. Goldie said previously that he is looking forward to being a part of the Canada Games.
“It was sort of neat for myself because I also was a torchbearer for the Vancouver games in 2010. This is going to be really cool to also do the torch for our Canada Games which for Canada is our biggest domestic sporting event… It’s really, really great to be part of that.”
Grande Prairie hosted the games in 1995. McNeil says she’s excited to bring an event like this back to the area.
“I think it’s really, really cool because Grande Prairie has such a great history of sport. We just had the summer games, we are bidding the 2022 Arctics, we’ve previously hosted the Canada Games. It’s just a really great opportunity to get out and celebrate the really awesome community and sporting community that we have here.”
The Canada Games is the largest multi-sport and cultural event for youth in Canada. It will also be the largest event hosted in Red Deer’s history, featuring 150 events in 19 sports. The games will be held from February 15 to March 3, 2019.