TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay Route Announced, Including More Than 180 Celebrations

To learn what's happening in your community, visit TORONTO2015.org/torch-relay

TORONTO, Feb. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - More than 180 celebrations are set to take place during the 41-day journey of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President's Choice® and OLG.

Canadians can now learn about the torch relay celebrations taking place in their community and mark the date in their calendar. More than 130 Ontario communities and five communities outside of Ontario will have the honour of hosting the Pan Am flame during community celebrations.

As it makes its way to the Opening Ceremony of the Pan Am Games, the torch relay will visit six Canadian Forces Bases, a national and provincial park as well as five First Nations communities, including the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the official Host First Nation of the Games. The torch relay will also visit five national historic sites, including Fort Henry in Kingston and the Halifax Citadel.

A detailed map is now available online highlighting each community, with the date and location for all of the community celebrations.

"The Games are all about bringing people together, and the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay will unite Ontarians, Canadians and communities," said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015). "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people to experience the emotion, excitement and significance of the Pan Am flame."

The torch relay begins its journey when the Pan Am flame is lit during a traditional Aztec lighting ceremony at the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico, before landing in Canada on May 30, 2015.  From Toronto, the flame heads to Thunder Bay on May 31 where it will visit the Terry Fox Monument before arriving in Nipigon, the most northern town on the Ontario leg of the journey. The smallest towns the torch will pass through on its journey are Bruce Mines (population 566) and White River (population 607).

On July 1, the torch will take part in Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill in the nation's capital - Ottawa - providing a chance to celebrate and share the Pan Am spirit during Canada's biggest birthday party. 

Three-thousand torchbearers will carry the flame through communities across Ontario as well as Richmond, BC, Calgary, AB, Winnipeg, MB, Montreal, QC and Halifax, NS. The torch will see more than 60 modes of transportation while touring through Canada and exceed 5,000 kilometres on the road and 15,000 kilometres by air. The torch relay will finish in Toronto on July 10, 2015, to light the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.

TO2015 is proud to bring the relay to Canadian 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.

Specific timing for the more than 180 community celebrations will be confirmed beginning in May. The street-level route will also be confirmed in May.

A separate TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games Torch Relay will take place prior to the start of the Parapan Am Games on August 7, 2015. Details on the route and torchbearer application process will be released in April.

About the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay   
The TORONTO 2015 Pan 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 Canadians to celebrate and share the Pan Am spirit throughout its 41-day journey towards Toronto, the Host City of the Games.

The torch relay starts May 30, 2015, and concludes July 10, 2015, with the dramatic lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony in downtown 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):

"The torch relay will be highlighted by a mosaic of artistic and cultural community celebrations, which our Government is excited to support. Through these celebrations, the relay will showcase our accomplishments, cultural diversity, vast geography and proud history. We encourage Canadians to take part in the celebration in their community and let the flame ignite our spirit for the Games."

Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games:

"The Torch Relay will travel from community to community across our great province, providing an incredible opportunity for thousands of Ontarians to participate in the excitement as we host the largest multi-sport Games ever held in Canada. Our government is proud to support these Games and the benefits they bring to our province."

Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto:

"We're thrilled and honoured to welcome the Pan Am flame when the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Torch Relay comes to Toronto, leading up to the Games.  The relay will pass through communities across our great city, highlighting our diverse and vibrant neighbourhoods. I encourage all Torontonians to come out and be part of the excitement. "

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

"President's Choice is a proud supporter of the Pan Am Games, feeding the thousands of athletes and volunteers as they bring the Games to life this summer. As a presenting sponsor of the torch relay, we understand the importance of making great things accessible to Canadians — from amazing food products, to one-of-a-kind experiences. We are delighted to help bring the torch relay to our customers and colleagues in communities across the country, and to share the spirit of the 2015 Games."

Stephen Rigby, President and CEO, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG):

"Supporting the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay is a natural fit for OLG. We have a proud history of championing amateur athletics in Ontario through Quest for Gold. Hosting the nightly celebrations in the many communities in which the torch will visit reflects OLG's long standing tradition of community involvement and sponsorship of local events and festivals."

Stephen Forbes, Executive Vice-President, CIBC, the Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games:                       

"CIBC is thrilled to be a Community Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, helping ignite pride in our nation through community celebrations.  As the torch passes through CIBC branches along its journey, our employees will help celebrate and capture the spirit and energy of the Games, enabling Canadians to experience something extraordinary."

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

"As Host First Nation for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games it is with great pride and enthusiasm that we, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation (MNCFN) welcome the Flame to our traditional Territory. We embrace our role of Host and look forward to making many new friendships with visitors, athletes and organizers. We are eager to share the story of our connection to these lands that have sustained us since time immemorial."

SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2015/02/24/20150224_C6053_PDF_EN_12481.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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