Torch relay an all-island event

  • Dec. 3, 2008 1:00 p.m.

With only a few hour stop-over, islanders may have to get creative with the Olympic torch celebration in order to get everyone involved. Queen Charlotte is officially listed as the remote community celebration site says Mayor Carol Kulesha, but that doesn’t mean other communities won’t take part. “This is an all-island event. We’re just starting to put it together,” she said. She is part of the local Olympic torch relay committee, but she wants other people from other communities to get involved. The torch will arrive by air in Sandspit on Nov. 3, 2009 she says, and be carried to Skidegate and Queen Charlotte, before heading off to Whitehorse, Yukon. Then before the day is done, the torch will go to Kwanlin Dun, a First Nations community in Yukon, to the Taku River Tlingit and to Atlin, BC. Although the torch won’t be here for long, “we could start the party at one end [of the islands] and go all day,” she says. As far as she understands, the torch will be arriving and leaving on Air Canada, one of the Torch Relay’s sponsors. Although islanders in other communities have expressed their dismay that the torch will not visit their towns, Mayor Kulesha says the torch will be here for everyone. “It’s coming to the islands, not just to here. This is an all-island event,” she says. The relay route extends over 100 days and the torch will go to 1000 Canadian communities. After being lit in Greece, the torch will arrive in Victoria and then cross the country by air, road, and waterway until the journey circles back to its completion in Vancouver with the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron on Feb. 12, 2010 at BC Place. The stop-over on Haida Gwaii takes place on day five.