Toronto and other Games communities celebrating with live music,
fireworks and sport activities
Full schedule of events available at TORONTO2015.org/one-year
TORONTO, July 10, 2014 /CNW/ - In just 365 days, Toronto and 15 other
municipalities across southern Ontario will welcome athletes, artists,
visitors and dignitaries from 41 countries and territories as they come
here to compete in the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.
To help every one count down the remaining year to the Games, free community celebrations are taking place over the next four days across
the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, including a two-day festival in
the heart of downtown Toronto on Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 12.
The festivities in Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square will start at 11:45
a.m. on Friday with the unveiling of the Cisco TORONTO 2015 Countdown Clock. This state-of-the-art clock will connect the Games to the world unlike
any countdown clock before — and it will be thrillingly revealed in an
appearance by Cirque du Soleil, Creative Partner for the Pan Am Games Opening Ceremony.
The spectacular clock unveiling will be followed over the next 48 hours
by top local and international musical acts such as Walk Off The Earth from Burlington, ON, Trinidad and Tobago soca superstar Machel Montano and Cuban salsa giants Los Van Van.
More than 30 top athletes will also be on hand to play sports with the
public and pose for photographs, including Toronto Raptors star Greivis Vasquez; legendary Olympic cyclist and Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the
TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Curt Harnett; CIBC Team Next mentors triathlete Simon Whitfield and boxer Mary Spencer; and para-swimmer Benoît Huot.
The musical acts and cultural activities at Toronto's Nathan Phillips
Square will be a preview of what is come next summer as part of
PANAMANIA, presented by CIBC — the five-week arts and culture festival
for the Games.
All of the community celebrations, stretching from Welland to Caledon to Oshawa, fuse sport
and culture unlike anything else in Ontario — that is, until the Games
arrive next summer.
Outside Toronto, one-year countdown festivities will take place in 10
municipalities starting today, with carnival games, sport activities,
live music and more in Mississauga, Burlington and Ajax. Other unique
family-friendly celebrations are planned in Caledon, Hamilton, Markham,
Milton, Oshawa and Welland. St. Catharines — home of rowing at the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games — will
also light the world-famous Niagara Falls in the colours of the Pan Am
Games on Friday and Saturday.
For more details on the one-year countdown festivities in Toronto and
other locations, please visit TORONTO2015.org/one-year,
Facebook.com/Toronto2015 or Twitter at @TO2015, #TO2015 and
Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am
Games Organizing Committee (TO2015):
"In just one year from today, Toronto and Ontario will host the biggest
international multi-sport event ever held in Canada. It's a massive
undertaking, unlike anything we've ever done before, and our
communities are ramping up their preparations and excitement with a
host of fun and family-friendly festivities that will give everyone a
chance to experience right now what the Games will bring to our region next summer. I invite everyone
to come out and help celebrate!"
The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance:
"Hosting the 2015 Games will create tremendous economic, cultural and
community development opportunities in Toronto, and the Greater Golden
Horseshoe area and will have a positive impact on current and future
athletes. As well, the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games
will give us an opportunity to demonstrate Canada's sport excellence,
our rich culture and the beauty of our country."
The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport):
"In less than one year, Canada will welcome athletes and visitors from
throughout the Americas and the Caribbean to our country's largest city
and the surrounding Greater Golden Horseshoe area. Our Government is
proud to support the Pan American and Parapan American Games, including
the Games' Celebration Venue. Our significant investment in the
region's sports facilities will result in a lasting legacy of these
Games for our high-performance athletes and for all Canadians, for many
years to come."
Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario:
"I am so excited to mark the one-year countdown to the 2015 Pan Am
Games. The Games will be Ontario's moment to shine and PANAMANIA Live
at Nathan Phillips Square will be its centre stage — a place where
people can celebrate the spirit of the Games through programming that
showcases our diverse communities and honours our incredible talent.
Together, I know we will make these Games a tremendous success."
Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American
"Countdown festivities at Nathan Phillips Square and across the Greater
Golden Horseshoe are an exciting preview of what residents and visitors
can expect to experience in communities all across the province as we
prepare to welcome the world to Ontario in 2015."
Councillor Mark Grimes, Pan Am Champion, City of Toronto:
"Toronto is very proud to be the Host City of the 2015 Pan American and
Parapan American Games. Joining the one-year countdown celebration at
Nathan Phillips Square is just one way for Toronto residents to benefit
from the rich experience and legacy that the Games offer. I encourage
all Torontonians to get involved by volunteering, joining a Pan Am
Games celebration, buying a ticket when they go on sale later this
year, and inviting friends and family to visit Toronto in July and
August 2015 to be part of this great event."
Richard Nesbitt, chief operating officer, CIBC:
"CIBC is proud to help celebrate what the Games are all about — an
incredible celebration of sport and culture — during the one-year
countdown festivities. As the Lead Partner of the 2015 Pan Am and
Parapan Am Games, CIBC is excited to mark the countdown with a
$1-million commitment to KidSport so more kids can play organized
sport. This investment builds on our promise to create a lasting sports
legacy in Canada and comes a year after we launched CIBC Team Next — a
first-of-its kind program to help 67 of Canada's rising athletes reach
their podium dreams."
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015)
is tasked with managing and delivering the Games. It is working to
bring some of the world's best athletes and artists to the Greater
Golden Horseshoe region, giving Ontarians a unique chance to be part of
the action, and making the region a hub for sport.
The TORONTO 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the
Province of Ontario, as well as Lead Partner CIBC and other partners
The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10-26 and the
Parapan American Games August 7-15.
For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.
SOURCE: Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information:
Director, media relations and chief spokesperson, TO2015