The 2019 Canada Winter Games is officially 500 days away.
At a celebration held tonight, officials also unveiled the mascot for the event – Waskasoo the deer.
Mackenzie Van Damme, 12, of Lacombe designed Waskasoo as part of the 2019 Canada Winter Games’ Mascot Challenge. Van Damme’s design was selected from over 300 challenge entries to be the mascot of the 2019 Games.
“We are proud to congratulate Mackenzie for creating the perfect ambassador for the 2019 Games - Waskasoo,” said Lyn Radford, board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
“Over the next 17 months, Waskasoo will help to share the magic of the 2019 Games with adults and youth alike in Central Alberta through his enthusiasm, encouragement and kindness.”
As the winner of the Mascot Challenge, Van Damme wins a Canada Games prize pack and a pizza lunch for her class. She will also be a torchbearer during the 2019 Games Torch Relay.
“The unveiling of the mascot Waskasoo designed by Mackenzie reminds us of all the ways the Canada Winter Games positively impacts our City and region,” said Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer.
“In less than 500 days Red Deer will be profiled on the national stage when we welcome more than 20,000 Canadians to our City during the 2019 Canada Winter Games, with athletes competing in our national level facilities, visitors taking part in the festivities and Red Deerians benefiting from the economic spin-off from the Games. Thank you to Mackenzie on behalf of the City for her creative submission.”
Radford added the excitement in the community continues to build.
“You can feel the excitement now in the City. We notice it with the corporate sector, they are realizing they need to start to get on with this now. We’re noticing it with the school kids and the really neat part of it is as soon as you say 2019 in the community, it’s a recognition piece with our citizens,” she said.
She added the planning is also ramping up.
“Now we’re really getting into the details. Now there will be more information coming out about the festivals that will be happening out at the Celebration Plaza, more information about the opening and closing ceremonies,” said Radford.
She added volunteers are already in place but next spring will be the big call out to volunteers. “We’ll be looking at 4,000 to 5,000 volunteers.”
For more details on the 2019 Canada Winter Games and Waskasoo, please visit canadagames.ca/2019.