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- Alecia, Anjel, Bong, Clifton, Cora, Dandre, Hamish, Kortez, Olivia, Robby, Teifion, Usman
Parliament Hill lit up with the spirit of the Canada Games today, May 3, when the Halifax 2011 Canada Games torch made its debut at the official torch lighting ceremony in Ottawa. The 2011 torch was lit from the flame of the Canada Games Roly McLenahan torch which had been lit from the centennial flame monument. The event included a morning of Canada Games sport activities for local school children and performances by Jimmy Rankin and members of The Sacred Heart Concert Choir. Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay, director of sport, Nova Scotia Health Promotion and Protection Stephen Gallant and Mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality Peter Kelly, joined in the lighting of the torch along with four-time Olympic medalist and Canada Games alumna Jennifer Botterill and three-time Olympic medalist Isabelle Charest, who emceed the ceremony. In addition to her four Olympic medals, three gold and one silver, Ms. Botterill’s career highlights include winning five World Championship gold medals in women’s hockey and a gold medal for ringette at the Canada Games. Ms. Charest represented Canada at the Olympics three times in short-track speed skating, winning one silver and two bronze medals. She held the world record from 1995 to 1998 in the 500 metre event and was a five-time medalist at the World Championships. “As we saw this past year in Vancouver, the torch relay represents Canadian pride, physical and mental strength, striving for excellence and inspirational dreams,” said Sue Hylland, president and CEO for the Canada Games Council. “As the flame makes its way across Nova Scotia, it is our hope that every resident of that province is touched by its significance and their role in welcoming the country to compete.” “The torch lighting ceremony symbolizes a link from the past to the future as the 2011 torch is lit by the same flame that lit the torches of Games gone by,” said Jean-Paul Deveau, chair of the 2011 Games. “Between now and February 2011 the torch will ignite the spirit of the Games in youth and communities across Nova Scotia.” The official lighting marked the beginning of the Games torch program. The torch will return to Nova Scotia for community kick-off celebrations in Lunenburg on May 10, Yarmouth on May 12, Cheticamp on May 13 and Amherst on May 14.The 2011 torch will appear at festivals and events around Nova Scotia leading up to the Games. Details on the torch program, the torch design, and the torchbearer contest can be found at www.canadagames2011.ca/torch. Fans of the 2011 torch can follow its path on Facebook, or via Twitter by using #torchflambeau. Building on the Canada Games tradition, the 2011 Games torch program celebrates the unique culture of Nova Scotia in the communities that help shape and define it, generating awareness and excitement in each region leading up to the Games. The 2011 Canada Winter Games will be the largest multi-sport event held in Nova Scotia and Halifax’s first Canada Winter Games. From Feb. 11 to 27, 2011, more than 2,700 athletes will compete in more than 20 sports, attracting thousands of visitors, VIPs, officials and media. Held every two years, alternating between summer and winter, the Canada Games are a key event in the development of Canada’s young athletes, producing the next generation of national, international and Olympic champions.