After 10 months of planning, the Western Canada Summer Games has finally announced the route for the Torch Relay. The Torch will begin its journey at the Kamloops Airport on opening day, Aug. 5 at 2:45 p.m. where local dignitaries Mayor Peter Milobar, MLA Kevin Krueger and MLA and Minister of Environment Terry Lake will start it on its way through the city.
It will be passed along to a total of 40 torch bearers before it finally reaches its destination at Interior Savings Centre. Here it will become part of the Opening Ceremonies when it is carried into the stadium by the final torch bearer who will light the cauldron. Who that final torch bearer is remains a mystery even to the organizing committee.
The 40 torch bearers were selected from over 75 applications received. Jo Berry and David Dewhirst are the co-chairs for the Torch Relay Committee. Berry states, “Our selection committee did an outstanding job on selecting the Torch Bearers. They include all the demographics of a great city and our goal was equality of all people. Yes there will be local celebrities, but equally important will be all ages, abilities and all with a very special story that led them to carry the WCSG Torch. We can’t wait to support each of them in their experience. The uniforms are bright, the smiles will be abundant and we will be right alongside them making it a fun, positive and memorable experience”
Berry had the privilege to carry the Olympic Torch in 2010 and Dewhirst the Paralympics Torch. Their personal experiences with such an event have definitely brought an emotional element of excitement to the Western Canada Summer Games Torch Relay.
The route was designed with the safety of the torch bearers in mind while also hitting points of interest throughout the city, which provide easy viewing for the public. Places like McArthur Island Park and the Tk’emlups PowWow Grounds where Chief Shane Gottfriedson will paddle the torch down the river to Riverside Park.
Berry and Dewhirst encourage the community to come out, line the streets and cheer on the torch bearers on Friday, Aug. 5 starting at the Kamloops Airport. The full route map can be found on the WCSG website at www.2011wcsg.ca and in the media.