Col. Chris Hadfield and Rosie MacLennan carry the Pan Am flame to help mark historic day
TORONTO, May 30, 2015 /CNW/ - Col. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, and Rosie MacLennan, world champion and Olympic and Pan Am trampoline gold medallist, helped kick off Day 1 of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President's Choice® and OLG. To mark the historic day, both Col. Hadfield and MacLennan proudly carried the Pan Am flame through the streets of Toronto to begin the relay's 41-day journey.
"As a proud Canadian who has worn our flag on my shoulder out alone into the vastness of space, I am honoured to support our athletes and communities by carrying the Pan Am flame!" said Chris Hadfield.
The Pan Am flame arrived at Toronto's waterfront by float plane and was paddled to shore by the original keepers of the land, represented by the four key Aboriginal partners of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games — the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Six Nations, Métis Nation of Ontario and Huron-Wendat First Nation.
Representatives from the Government of Canada, Province of Ontario and City of Toronto also participated in the historic ceremony. Canada Square, the waterside location at Harbourfront Centre, was filled with crowds who helped welcome the flame and took in a special performance by Obeah Opera and an exclusive soundscape produced by local musical director Andrew Craig.
As the first torchbearer of the relay, Rosie MacLennan departed the ceremony carrying the Pan Am flame onto the streets of Toronto, towards the community celebration at The Distillery Historic District.
Col. Hadfield arrived on stage at the community celebration carrying the flame and lit the community cauldron. The celebration also featured high-energy performances by the Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, The Chimera Project and Dance Migration. Canadian music star Jasmine Denham also made a special appearance, performing "Together We Are One," the official song for the TORONTO 2015 Games, for the very first time.
The celebrating and sharing continues as more than 3,000 torchbearers will proudly carry the Pan Am flame in over 130 communities. Several community celebrations will feature exciting entertainment, including the Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, Francesco Yates, Crystal Shawanda, Conjunto Lacalú and Quique Escamilla.
Canadians can follow the flame tomorrow, on Day 2 of its journey, when it visits several communities in northern Ontario, including Fort William First Nation, Thunder Bay, Nipigon, Terrace Bay, Marathon, White River and Wawa.
The following torch relay items are available at TORONTO2015.org/torch-relay: relay route map, full list of communities and dates, daily highlight summaries and media vehicle registration information.
All torch relay media advisories and news releases are available on CNW. Day 1 highlight images and videos are available on Flickr by copying and pasting this URL into a web browser: https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/x95cxd
The torch relay can also be followed on Twitter.
About the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President's Choice® and OLG, is supported by community partner CIBC, signature supporters Star Media Group and Metroland Media, Ontario Trillium Foundation and Porter Airlines, and funding parties the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario. 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.
To learn more about the torch relay and when the Pan Am flame will visit a community near you, visit TORONTO2015.org/torch-relay or download the official TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games app, presented by CIBC.
About the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games ticket program
Great tickets to the Pan Am Games are still available, but gold-medal sessions are selling quickly!
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games ticket program is designed to be affordable and accessible for everyone by offering:
Integrated tickets: Every event ticket will allow the holder to access transit on the day of the event.
Affordable pricing: Tickets start at just $20, with 75 per cent of tickets priced $45 and under.
Half-price tickets for persons under 16 years of age, or 65 and over: Tickets will be offered at a 50 per cent discount — some will start at $10. The number of discounted tickets is limited, so buy early.
Tickets for Parapan Am sporting events will range from $20 to $35 for adults, with a youth (under 16) and senior (65+) discount from $10 to $12.50 available, depending on the event. The number of discounted tickets is limited, so don't delay.
Easy options for buying: Tickets can be purchased online at TORONTO2015.org/tickets or at 1.855.726.2015 and internationally at 1.949.333.4824.
The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport):
"Jasmine Denham used her beautiful voice today to express what the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games Torch Relay represents for Canada: Together we are one. The relay will forge ties between participants, while showcasing our accomplishments, cultural diversity, vast geography and proud history. It will feature memorable community celebrations like today's and artistic and cultural expressions that will remain part of Canada's cultural mosaic long after the Games. I encourage everyone to get involved."
Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario:
"As Premier of Ontario, I encourage everyone in Ontario to take part in the Pan Am Torch Relay as it travels across our province," said Premier Kathleen Wynne. "The torch relay will build up anticipation throughout Ontario and ignite people's passion for the Games in each community it visits. The torch represents the spirit and history of the Pan Am Games and the incredible perseverance of the athletes who have dedicated their lives to their sport. Whether you are a torchbearer in your community or cheer on torchbearers as they participate in the ceremony, everyone has the chance to become part of the Pan Am legacy. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for Ontario, so let's make it the best Games ever."
Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto:
"Today marks a historic moment for our city as the Pan Am flame arrives to begin the 41-day TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay," said City of Toronto Mayor John Tory. "The flame will travel across Toronto, uniting our neighbourhoods in the spirit of friendship and sport. Come out and cheer our torchbearers on!"
Uwe Stueckmann, Senior Vice-President, Marketing, Loblaw Companies Limited:
"President's Choice is a Proud Premier Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am and Parapan 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."
Jeff Corcoran, Executive Director of Corporate Marketing, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG):
"With the flame now burning brightly for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, it will shine a positive light on the strength and diversity of Ontario. OLG is proud to support the torch relay and to continue to champion amateur athletics across Ontario through Quest for Gold."
Stephen Forbes, Executive Vice-President, CIBC, Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, and Community Partner of the Torch Relay:
"As Community Partner of the Torch Relay, we are proud to help bring such a key symbol of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games to life. Sport has always had the power to unite Canadian communities and Team CIBC is thrilled to support the Torch Relay as it ignites passion and excitement for the largest multi-sport event to ever be held in this country."
SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information: Melissa Iafrate, Coordinator, marketing and communications, TO2015, 647.225.4002, [email protected]