Nationwide search launched for kids using teamwork to create friendly, cuddly face of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games
Contest closes March 8, 2013; Top six designs to be featured in online voting contest
TORONTO, Jan. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Grab your coloured pencils and start drawing, Canada! The TORONTO 2015 Games is searching from Toronto to Twillingate, Tofino to Tuktoyaktuk and all points in between for a mascot that captures the spirit and excitement of the "People's Games."
But in a twist— rather than relying on professional illustrators—the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tapping the unbridled enthusiasm and creativity of the country's greatest resource: its young people. Entry forms, mascot creation tips and contest rules are available now at toronto2015mascot.ca.
Today, schoolchildren at First Nations Public School of Toronto, along with Olympian, world champion and Pan Am Games medallist Perdita Felicien, renowned sports artist David Arrigo and acclaimed author and storyteller Itah Sadu, helped to officially open the TORONTO 2015 Mascot Creation Challenge.
"This is a great opportunity for kids to dream up a truly one-of-a-kind mascot that will help us tell the unique story of our Games," said Ian Troop, Chief Executive Officer of TO2015.
"We're looking for entries made by teams of young people working and collaborating together," he explained. "The idea is for kids to play together and let their imaginations run wild. We can hardly wait to see what they come up with!"
The contest is open to teams of children and youth aged 16 and under. Teams can range in size from two to six people, including budding artists, storytellers, mascot researchers and colouring experts—you name it! To be considered, all hand-drawn entries and 250-word mascot life stories must be mailed to TO2015 by March 8, 2013.
As the official ambassador of the Games, the mascot will visit communities and schools throughout Ontario and Canada, welcome athletes and visitors from 41 countries in 2015 and appear on signage and merchandise, including the always popular collectible pins and plush toys.
The mascot could be an animal, an inanimate object or even a space oddity that captures the excitement of the Games and the imagination of the public. Think fun, colourful and community spirit!
All participants in the TORONTO 2015 Mascot Creation Challenge will receive a special certificate. The teams behind the top six designs, as chosen by a special TO2015 panel after the contest closes in March, will also have the chance to work with a professional illustrator to bring their creations to life. These six designs will then be featured in a nationwide online voting contest this spring.
On August 7, 2013, the winning mascot design and its story will be revealed in time for the two-year countdown to the 2015 Parapan Am Games.
"These are the 'People's Games'—that's why we wanted to reach out to young Canadians to create something that captures their excitement and vision of what that means to them," said Steve Wallace, TO2015's Vice-President of Brand Activation.
"One of the core TO2015 values is collaboration. It takes a tremendous amount of teamwork to make a Games successful," he added. "Our challenge is designed to nurture these values in our young mascot design teams. After all, we all have different skills and talents. Working together brings out the best in all of us."
The TORONTO 2015 Games mascot will join the small but memorable ranks of other Games mascots in Canada, including: Miga (spirit bear), Quatchi (sasquatch) and Sumi (animal guardian spirit) from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games; Pato (duck) and Lorita (parrot) from the Winnipeg 1999 Pan Am Games; Howdy and Hidy (twin polar bears who wore cowboy hats) from the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games; and Amik (beaver) from the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games.
About the TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games
The Pan American and Parapan American Games are one of the world's largest international multi-sport events, held every four years for athletes of the 41 member nations of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) and 26 member nations of the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC). The Pan American Games are comprised of all Olympic Summer Games sports, as well as traditional Pan American sports, while the Parapan American Games are comprised of the majority of Paralympic Summer Games sports. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games will draw more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and team officials and feature 51 sports in municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10−26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14. For more information about the Games, please visit toronto2015.org.
SOURCE: Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information:
Communications Advisor, TO2015