Ontario Youth to Meet in Toronto to Build Leadership Skills; Create Legacy of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games

Over 300 delegates to participate in two-day Youth Summit to learn, inspire and build stronger communities across province

TORONTO, March 18, 2015 /CNW/ - Over 300 youth aged 16 to 24 from across Ontario will meet in Toronto this weekend for a unique opportunity to learn about the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am and their impact.  

The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee's (TO2015) Youth Advisory Council is hosting a Youth Summit on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22. Delegates will travel to 13 Toronto neighbourhoods to participate in unique visual demonstrations that will teach them about the value of the Games and their legacy.

The community activations will take place on Saturday, March 21 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and will include:

  • We Belong (An initiative with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada) — Delegates will learn the choreography to "We Belong," a song written by youth about unity through diversity, and then perform an eye-catching choreographed dance, flash mob-style, in the middle of Yonge-Dundas Square.
  • The Amazing Race (In partnership with PrideHouseTO) — Participants will navigate a challenging scavenger hunt, testing their leadership skills. They will learn to work together and support one another through mental and physical challenges, and will also learn more about the Games and the PrideHouseTO Charter of Rights and Inclusion in sport.
  • Take the Stage (In partnership with Théâtre Français de Toronto) — Youth will take part in a number of improvisation exercises that will teach them how to think fast and make decisions on the go.
  • The U in Community (An initiative with United Way Toronto) — Attendees will engage in conversation with Toronto citizens at three TTC subway stations to find out what they love about their communities and how they can be strengthened through sport and recreation.

Participants will also be able to meet athletes, community leaders and entertainers — including Toronto Raptors player Greivis Vasquez, Canadian Paralympian Stephanie Dixon, former Toronto Argonauts coach Michael "Pinball" Clemons and Canadian Paralympian Rick Hansen — who will be sharing stories of triumph and activism.

By engaging youth in TORONTO 2015, the Games' impact will extend far beyond sport, and make a positive difference in communities across Canada for years to come.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

8:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Eaton Chelsea Hotel 

33 Gerrard Street West 

Toronto, ON

Guest Speakers:


Alexandre Despatie, Olympian, diving  

Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer, TO2015

Mitzie Hunter, MPP Scarborough-Guildwood    

Greivis Vasquez, Toronto Raptors 

Stephanie Dixon, Paralympian, swimming and assistant chef de mission for the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games 

Waneek Horn-Miller, Pan Am Games champion, water polo, assistant Chef de Mission for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games 

JRDN, Juno Award winning recording artist


Michael "Pinball" Clemons, official quarterback of the TO2015 volunteer team, former Toronto Argonauts coach

Councillor Joe Mihevc, City of Toronto 

Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport)

Rick Hansen, chief executive officer, Rick Hansen Foundation, Paralympian

The Summit's three sessions will be streamed live using Cisco's WebEx technology on the following dates and times:

Saturday, March 21, 8:45 a.m. (ET)


Saturday, March 21, 7:45 p.m. (ET)


Sunday, March 22, 11:45 a.m. (ET)


Quotes Page

"On behalf of the Government of Ontario, I am pleased to welcome all the young delegates attending the Youth Summit hosted by the TO2015 Youth Advisory Council. Over the course of two days, 300 young people from across Ontario will take part in visual demonstrations throughout Toronto, hear from inspiring community leaders and athletes, and become part of the Pan Am legacy. Delegates will learn how sports, art and culture build up our communities across Ontario, and they will share what they have learned when they return home.  These bright, talented young people serve as an inspirational to us all."

—Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

"Over the next two days, delegates will have the opportunity to share, learn and be inspired by other like-minded leaders from communities across Ontario. We have been planning this Summit for over two years; the moment has arrived and we now are going to finally meet the delegates who are going to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Delegates will have the opportunity to hear incredible keynote speakers, interact with top community leaders and gain the skills to make a difference in their community. The Summit will motivate and inspire them to lead healthy, active lives rich in sport, arts and culture."

—Alexander Levy, Youth Advisory Council member

"Sport helps build communities, and this gathering — hosted by TO2015's Youth Advisory Council — will help create a lasting legacy for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games thanks to the youth delegates and the people they impact in their communities when they return home. During this Year of Sport in Canada, all Canadians have a role in fostering the love of sport at an early age. It is my hope the young people at this summit will use their leadership and enthusiasm to be an inspiration for us all."

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

"The Youth Summit provides young people from Toronto and across the province, as well as Nunavut, the Caribbean and South America, with opportunities for personal growth and development. By coming together to learn and share ideas about healthy lifestyles, sports, and arts and culture they can use this knowledge to help build stronger communities across our city, the province and the entire Pan Am Games family."

—Councillor Mark Grimes, Pan Am Champion, City of Toronto

 "As a Premier Partner and Official Information and Communications Technology Provider for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, Cisco Canada is delighted to provide Cisco WebEx to the TORONTO 2015 Youth Summit. WebEx allows us to bring together young minds from around the world, give real-time access to the compelling speakers and facilitate participation in TO2015's Building Legacies youth engagement program, regardless of location. "

—Mark Collins, VP, Marketing, Cisco Canada

SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

For further information: Dayo Kefentse, Manager, media relations, TO2015, 416.957.2528, dayo.kefentse@toronto2015.org

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Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

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