MP Blaine Calkins, Mayor Grant Creasey, Reid Wilson, Larry Michielsen, Patricia Nelson, Mackenzie Van Damme and Tyler Graham were the torchbearers for the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay in Lacombe on Feb. 2nd, 2019. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

WATCH: Canada Games Torch Relay lights spark in Lacombe

100s brave blistering cold to support local torchbearers

The general consensus during the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay in Lacombe was that Central Albertans are a hearty bunch.

This consensus was reached after hundreds braved -23 degrees Celsius temperatures (over -30 C with the wind chill) to cheer on torchbearers MP Blaine Calkins, Mayor Grant Creasey, Reid Wilson, Larry Michielsen, Patricia Nelson, Mackenzie Van Damme and Tyler Graham on 4.64 km relay that took them through many of the sites throughout the community.

“It was amazing,” Lacombe student Wilson said. “It was really cold outside so I’m glad everyone came out instead of staying in bed.

“It was probably the best thing I have ever done in my entire life. It is neat. Everyone in Lacombe was supporting us.”

Wilson added he was looking forward to the relay since his mom let him know he was selected earlier in 2018.

Calkins, who finished off the Lacombe leg of the relay at the Lacombe Memorial Centre, said it was great to see so many people brave the cold and he expects big things at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.

“We are 13 sleeps away from the Canada Games starting up, so it is a big thing for Central Alberta. They say it is biggest thing that Central Alberta has ever hosted,” he said. “We are going to put on a really great show and my congratulations goes to the Canada Games Committee.”

Calkins remembers the excitement of Red Deer’s bid over five years ago.

“It was all about getting everyone in the community on the same page, whether they are on the corporate side, political side — the whole thing,” he said. “It takes everyone with a common goal and none of it could have been possible without that leadership and dedication from Lyn (Radford) and the people driving it from the get-go.

“We had a great bid, we won and it has been a flurry of activity since then.”

Calkins didn’t want to comment on the announcement earlier this week that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would be unable to attend the Game’s Opening Ceremonies on Feb. 15th but did say that MP Earl Dreeshen and himself would be present throughout the two weeks.

“This is about the athletes and showcasing Central Alberta — showing the rest of Canada that Alberta is ready to host these games,” he said. “We have a lot to be proud of here and I am thrilled for the opportunity this will give to so many people.”

Games Board Chair Lyn Radford said she has noticed that the Games are a big conversation in the region now.

“That was the goal. We wanted to inform the community so everyone would engage as much as they can,” she said. “The neat thing that I find is that we have an opportunity to celebrate each community.

“Today it was Lacombe’s day and we got to celebrate their community builders and who is special. That is the uniqueness of this event and that is the piece I really enjoy.”

Radford was appreciative to all the Central Alberta communities that have offered support to the Games and hopes to see the economic benefit of the event spread throughout the region.

“Rooms are starting to get booked in some of these outside areas because Red Deer is booking up,” she said. “That was one of our goals. It wasn’t just for Red Deer to enjoy the economic benefit — we wanted the whole region to enjoy it.”



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

A look back – marking the opening of the new Town Office on the corner of Main Street and 49th Ave. in 1966

The opening was attended by deputy premiere A. J. Hooke, who acted as the main speaker at the ceremony

COVID-19: Central zone at four active

Alberta confirms 130 cases Monday

Calgary singer Erin Ross to be featured at ‘Entertainment in the Park’ July 15th

Roots/blues musician can hardly recall a time when she wasn’t passionate about performing

Albertans get an extra free order of COVID-19 masks

Packages will be available July 13 at fast food restaurants

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Bears trying to live with people, but it still isn’t enough: study

Bears in populated areas have changed how they hunt

Alberta to streamline approvals for new private clinics to boost surgeries

“Our proposed changes will provide more voice and choice to Albertans and physicians”

Alberta justice minister cleared in ethics case tied to oil funding inquiry

“They were simply acquaintances in Calgary who occasionally communicated”

Turbulence in Canadian opinion on airlines COVID-19 response: poll

22 per cent comfortable with no in-flight physical distancing

Most Read