Home of world's largest dinosaur among communities showing Canadians how to
wear their hearts on their hands

    Drumheller, Mississauga and Windsor, NS, celebrate Vancouver 2010
    Red Mittens
<p><location>VANCOUVER</location>, <chron>Sept. 30</chron> /CNW/ - The world's largest dinosaur is the first landmark in <location>Canada</location> to sport <location>Vancouver</location> 2010 Red Mittens - the "it" souvenir of the Games - as the Alberta town of Drumheller steps up to show the country that they know how to wear their hearts on their hands to support Canadian athletes.</p>
<p>Drumheller residents joined their red-mittened hands together today with other communities across the country, including a street hockey team in Windsor, NS, and young Olympic Torchbearers at a school in Mississauga, ON, to show their support of the <location>Vancouver</location> 2010 Red Mittens initiative.</p>
<p>The official Red Mittens, which retail for <money>$10</money> a pair, are one of the must-have mementos of the <location>Vancouver</location> 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and match those that will be worn by the 12,000 torchbearers who will carry the flame to more than 1,000 communities, including Drumheller, Windsor and Mississauga, during the <location>Vancouver</location> 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, starting in just one month in Victoria, BC.</p>
<p>Red Mittens go on sale tomorrow, <chron>Thursday, October 1</chron>, and net proceeds from every pair sold will help complete the funding of the five-year Own the Podium 2010 initiative, which provides Canadian athletes with top equipment and training for the 2010 Games. Any additional funds raised through the Red Mittens campaign will support a variety of athlete- and sport-based initiatives.</p>
<p>Earlier today, Tara Semchuk of the Drumheller Downtown Merchants Association climbed aboard the tower ladder of a local fire truck with the giant homemade drawstring fleece mittens, each three metres long and 1.8 metres wide, and placed them on the town's most famous resident - a giant female Tyrannosaurus rex that towers over downtown Drumheller at 26 metres high and weighs a whopping 65,250 kilograms.</p>
<p>"It was amazing to be up so high and see everyone down below cheering as I helped our T. Rex get her giant mittens on," said Semchuk, owner of a local quilting shop who came up with the idea to create the mitts. "This is Drumheller's way of showing our excitement about Canada's Games. Today, we're issuing a challenge to other communities across the country to find unique ways to use these Red Mittens to welcome the Olympic Flame and support our athletes as they go for gold!"</p>
<p>The official <location>Vancouver</location> 2010 Red Mittens feature a white <person>Maple Leaf</person> in the heart of each palm (perfect for cheering and waving!) and the Olympic Rings and <location>Vancouver</location> 2010 stitched on the outside. The Red Mittens are a unifying element to knit together Olympic Torchbearers, Canadian athletes, Canadian fans, and Olympic supporters around the world.</p>
<p>At Tomken Road Middle School in Mississauga, a balloon drop and countdown created a hero's entrance for the school's 18 student torchbearers chosen for the historic task by RBC, a presenting partner of the <location>Vancouver</location> 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. The <location>Vancouver</location> 2010 Mascots presented the young torchbearers with their Red Mittens, a part of their official torchbearer uniform. The students and their teachers were awarded their coveted team torchbearer spot through RBC's partnership with the Canadian Olympic School Program, which brings the Olympic values into classrooms across the country. The event also marked the first time the students carried the white curved torch in front of their friends and teachers at a school assembly.</p>
<p>The Red Mittens were also spotted in action on Water Street in downtown Windsor, NS, as local minor hockey teams enjoyed a game of pickup street hockey. <person>Mayor Paul Beazley</person> presented the young players with their Red Mittens and then conducted the ceremonial puck drop. Coach Danny Dill's family owns the farmland where <person>Long Pond</person> is located, considered by some sport historians to be the birthplace of hockey in <location>Canada</location> over 200 years ago.</p>
<p>"Hockey is incredibly important to our town," said <person>Mayor Beazley</person>. "We'll all be cheering until we're hoarse for <location>Canada</location> to take hockey gold on home ice in 2010. If we can help them out just by wearing these Red Mittens then we'll do it."</p>
<p>The <location>Vancouver</location> 2010 Red Mittens are available at <a href="http://www.vancouver2010.com/redmittens">www.vancouver2010.com/redmittens</a> and at Olympic Stores at the <location>Vancouver</location> International Airport and in Whistler, BC. The Hudson's Bay Company, Canada's largest retailer and General Retail Merchant of the 2010 Winter Games, is playing a vital role in manufacturing and retailing the mittens at its Zellers, the Bay and Home Outfitters locations across the country. Red Mittens will also be available for purchase while supplies last in a selection of the almost 200 celebration communities along the <location>Vancouver</location> 2010 Olympic Torch Relay route.</p>
<p>The sale of Red Mittens is supported by VANOC's television and print media partners. CTV, Canada's Olympic Network, will support the campaign with its on-air talent and stars from hit network series to raise awareness and generate excitement. Tune in today, when CTV kicks off National Red Mittens day. CTV and /A\ hosts across <location>Canada</location> will don Red Mittens including local weather personalities, anchors and talent from eTalk, <location>Canada</location> AM and CP24.</p>
<p>In addition, a 30-second promotional spot created by the award-winning CTV Creative Agency will air on the main network, CTV Specialty channels, radio stations, and online with strategic on-air placement in Olympic-themed programming. Online, a custom landing page will live at <a href="http://www.CTVOlympics.ca">www.CTVOlympics.ca</a> and <a href="http://www.RDSolympiques.ca">www.RDSolympiques.ca</a> to direct site visitors on where to order Red Mittens and find out more about the campaign, while The Globe and Mail and <a href="http://www.globeandmail.com">www.globeandmail.com</a> will feature advertisements in support of the Red Mittens initiative.</p>
<p>Canwest Publishing Inc.'s regional daily publications and their online sites will also feature "Wear Your Heart on Your Hands" Red Mittens advertising. Gesca Ltee will also feature online and print advertising for les mitaines rouges.</p>
<p>For more information, visit <a href="http://www.vancouver2010.com/redmittens">www.vancouver2010.com/redmittens</a>.</p>
<p>Note to Photo Editors:</p>
<p>Images of the Drumheller red-mittened dinosaur, torchbearers at Tomken Road Middle School in Mississauga and Windsor's pickup hockey game are available as high resolution downloads from the media centre image gallery at <a href="http://www.vancouver2010.com">www.vancouver2010.com</a>. Images of the "Wear Your Heart on Your Hands" Red Mitten campaign artwork, as well as the <location>Vancouver</location> 2010 mascots wearing the mittens are also available on the site.</p>
<p>About VANOC</p>
<p>VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in <location>Vancouver</location> and Whistler from <chron>February 12</chron> to 28, 2010. <location>Vancouver</location> and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from <chron>March 12</chron> to 21, 2010. Visit <a href="http://www.vancouver2010.com">www.vancouver2010.com</a>.</p>
    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at
    http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Darlene Small, VANOC Communications, (604) 403-3535, darlene_small@vancouver2010.com

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