Torch relay attracts thousands of dollars

  • Sep. 16, 2009 10:00 a.m.

It’s going to be one helluva party! Islands communities are set to receive more than $50,000 to celebrate the 2010 Olympic torch relay in November. The province recently announced over $2.86 million in community grants for the torch relay and Queen Charlotte was given $30,000 as a celebration community, Sandspit $3,000 as a route community and Skidegate $7,000 as an aboriginal community. Another $13,000 will be provided by Gwaii Trust. Of the 50 celebration communities, Queen Charlotte will be the first remote community to host the torch run, says mayor Carol Kulesha. A celebration is planned for mid-day on Nov. 3 and the torch will head to Whitehorse for a second celebration that afternoon. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she said. She doesn’t have many details about what will happen on the actual day, as the province is supposed to release that information, but fireworks, food and entertainment will be part of the party. “I’m not supposed to talk about who lights the torch or even the route,” she said. Ms Kulesha says the event will be an all-islands affair and former MIEDS executive director Anneli Rosteski has been hired to organize things. Ms Kulesha said events will also take place before the torch relay day, including a made-on-the-islands relay up the islands and contests for the best Olympic costumes at Halloween events in all communities. Money will also be spent on bringing school kids to the celebration in Queen Charlotte. Ms Kulesha said it may seem like a lot of cash for a half-day event, but we should take the opportunity to showcase the islands and enjoy the celebration. This way funds will be available to pay islands entertainers, caterers, equipment rentals and rental facilities. “The arts, entertainment.. These are usually what is not funded when budgets are tight,” she said. That said, the torch relay committee still needs a lot of help to pull things off. “We still need volunteers. we welcome people putting their names forward for the morning, the event, the evening celebration and clean up,” she said.

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