Canadians Invited to be Torchbearers in the Largest Parapan Am Games Torch Relay Ever

Two flames, 12 communities and 250 torchbearers will be featured in this five-day inspirational journey
Enter to be a torchbearer today at TORONTO2015.org/torch-relay

TORONTO, April 7, 2015 /CNW/ - Paralympic champion Chelsey Gotell helps kick off the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games torchbearer contest, which invites Canadians to be Parapan Am torchbearers in the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President's Choice® and OLG.

As a first in torch relay history, two separate flames will be lit in special ceremonies on August 3 — one in Ottawa (east flame) and the other in Niagara Falls (west flame). The Parapan Am flames will then travel simultaneously towards Toronto and unite on August 6 before completing the final segment of the journey as one flame.

The flame is a symbol of unity, hope and promise that will light the way to the Opening Ceremony of the Parapan Am Games on August 7.

A detailed map is now available online highlighting each of the 12 communities, including the date and location for the community celebrations.

"The Parapan Am Games Torch Relay is a unique opportunity for Canadians to be a part of something that has never been done before," said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015). "This is an invitation to participate in the largest Parapan Am Games Torch Relay ever held, leading into the largest-ever Parapan Am Games."

"Anyone aged 13 and up by August 3, 2015, can enter to be a torchbearer. All they need is a sense of pride, an abundance of community spirit and an ability to inspire us with their joy."

Enter to be a torchbearer today at TORONTO2015.org/torch-relay.

Along with the public application process, which opened today and closes April 19, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. (ET), torchbearers will also be chosen by torch relay route communities and other Games stakeholders.

Gotell was announced as the first Parapan Am torchbearer and is encouraging Canadians to join this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  

"It's an amazing feeling to be a torchbearer and feel the sense of pride as you carry the flame towards the Opening Ceremony.  The entire nation rallies behind you and there is a feeling of community, a chance to celebrate and share together," said  Chelsey Gotell. "This will be a memorable experience for each and every one of the torchbearers, who are coming together to create history as the largest Parapan Am Games Torch Relay ever held."

TO2015 is proud to bring the relay to Ontario communities with the help of presenting partners President's Choice and OLG, community partner CIBC and signature supporters Ontario Trillium Foundation, Porter Airlines and Star Media Group and Metroland Media to ensure a memorable experience for everyone.

Each torchbearer must be a Canadian citizen or legal resident of Canada and 13 years of age or older (as of August 3, 2015). For a complete list of criteria, visit TORONTO2015.org/torch-relay.

Specific timing for the 12 community celebrations will be confirmed at the end of July. The street-level route will also be confirmed in July.

About the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games Torch Relay       
The TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President's Choice® and OLG, and supported by community partner CIBC and signature supporters Ontario Trillium Foundation, Porter Airlines and Star Media Group and Metroland Media. The torch relay will invite communities to celebrate and share the Parapan Am spirit throughout its five-day journey towards Toronto, the Host City of the Games.

The torch relay starts August 3, 2015, and concludes August 7, 2015, with the dramatic lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony in Toronto.

The TORONTO 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as Lead Partner CIBC and other partners and sponsors.

For more information, visit TORONTO2015.org/torch-relay

Quote Sheet:

The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport):

"Our Government is supporting community celebrations that showcase Canadian values, culture and identity and promote pan-Canadian involvement in the 2015 Games.  The celebrations for the Parapan Am Games Torch Relay will ensure it is an opportunity to bring people and communities together and a chance to inspire, engage and unite us all."

Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario:

"As Premier of Ontario, I encourage everyone in the province to get involved with the upcoming Parapan Am Games and take part in the Parapan Am Games Torch Relay.  Whether you apply to become a torchbearer in your community or cheer on torchbearers as they participate in the ceremony, you have a chance to become part of the Parapan Am legacy. Parapan Am torchbearers will represent their communities, show off their provincial pride and feel the support of thousands of Parapan Am fans. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for everyone in Ontario, so let's make it the best Games ever."

Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto:

"I'm proud our great city has been named as one of the communities to host the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games Torch Relay.  The courage and dedication that Parapan Am athletes' exhibit is truly inspirational and I am looking forward to cheering them on as they compete in the Games in August. I encourage residents to come out and support the torchbearers when the relay is in Toronto and celebrate the spirit of the Parapan Am Games."

Uwe Stueckmann, Senior Vice-President, Marketing, Loblaw Companies Limited:

"At Loblaw, we are committed to advancing and celebrating diversity, and to making great things accessible to all Canadians. Through our President's Choice brand, we are a proud supporter of the Parapan Am Games, and excited to be the Presenting Partner of the torch relay."

Greg McKenzie, Senior Vice-President, Lottery, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG):

"The TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games Torch Relay will shine a light on the strength and diversity of all those involved in the Games. OLG is proud to support the torch relay and to continue to champion amateur athletics across Ontario through Quest for Gold."      

Laura Dottori-Attanasio, Chief Risk Officer and Diversity & Inclusion Executive Champion, CIBC:

"As Community Partner of the Parapan Am Games Torch Relay and Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, we are thrilled to help bring this iconic symbol of the Games to Canadians. The 250 torchbearers, including members of our CIBC team and CIBC Team Next athletes, will reflect Canada's inclusive culture and inspire us all."‎

Chief Bryan LaForme, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation:

"As Host First Nation, the Mississaugas of the New Credit are very excited to be a part of the Parapan Am Games Torch Relay and share the spirit of the Parapan Am flame as it travels to Toronto. We welcome the opportunity to showcase and share our unique traditions and culture with the world.  This is a historic opportunity to build new, better relationships globally, marked by recognition and respect. The flame will unite and inspire us all."

SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

Image with caption: "TO2015 unveils the Parapan Am Games Torch Relay route - detailing the largest ever torch relay in Parapan Am Games history. (CNW Group/Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150407_C7692_PHOTO_EN_14066.jpg

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2015/04/07/20150407_C7692_PDF_EN_13956.pdf

For further information: Carlene Siopis, Manager, Marketing and Communications, 647.206.0259, relaymedia@toronto2015.org

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Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

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TORONTO 2015 Torch Relay

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