NATIONAL TORCH RELAY - Many came out to a press conference announcing that the Winter Games Torch Relay will be national this year. From left Serge Gingras, co-chair of Official Languages Committee; MLA Kim Schreiner; David Patterson, Game council president/CEO; Randy Mowat, MNP, Doug Stroh, MNP; Lyn Radford, Games board chair; Mayor Tara Veer and Scott Robinson, Games CEO, celebrated the news. Michelle Falk/Red Deer Express

WATCH: Canada Winter Games Torch Relay going national for the first time

Officials announce MNP as new sponsor making coast to coast event possible

The Red Deer 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society announced that for the first time the Canada Games Torch Relay will travel across the country, thanks to their national partner, diamond sponsor MNP.

“For the first time in over 50 years, the Canada Games Torch Relay will be a national event,” said Lyn Radford, board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

The torch will begin its journey across the country in Ottawa in October, being lit from the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill. Then it will go to Halifax and make its way across the country travelling as far west as Victoria before arriving in Red Deer for the commencement of the Games on Feb. 15th.

“The opportunity to support the Games is an honour and an event that allows us as a firm that was truly made in Canada to celebrate our 60th anniversary in a very big way by presenting the biggest Torch Relay in the history of the Games,” said Randy Mowat, senior vice-president of marketing at MNP

He said, as sponsors, MNP, which has been in Red Deer since 1988, will cover a lot of the logistical expenses of transporting the torch across the country.

“Today’s announcement isn’t just about bringing our fellow Canadians to Red Deer, it’s about bringing Red Deer to the rest of Canada,” said Mayor Tara Veer.

A sentiment echoed by David Patterson, president and CEO of the Canada Winter Games Council, who said, the relay will light up Red Deer for the nation.

The Torch Relay will visit over 40 communities across Canada, including 20 previous host cities.

“This is a great way to further ignite interest across the entire country—as the torch makes its way through communities from coast to coast it will help fan the flames of excitement,” said MLA North Kim Schreiner.

This will be the biggest Torch Relay in the history of the Canada Games.

Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games will take place from Feb. 15th to March 3rd featuring 150 events in 19 sports. An estimated 3,600 athletes will participate in the competition.

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