VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Team Alberta athletes make their entrance during the Parade of Athletes at the Opening Ceremony Friday night. Robin Grant/Red Deer Express
Team British Columbia watches the Opening Ceremony after the Parade of Athletes. Robin Grant/Red Deer Express
Entrance of the torch. Robin Grant/Red Deer Express
Entertaining displays of talent took place throughout the night. Robin Grant/Red Deer Express Entertaining displays of talent took place throughout the night. Robin Grant/Red Deer Express

Young athletes from across Canada paraded into the Centrium Friday night for the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

With the theme of celebrating dynamic and memorable moments, Red Deer’s historic night welcomed thousands of Canadian athletes competing at the Games.

Among the many well-known community members speaking during the Ceremony was Mayor Tara Veer.

“The Canada Winter Games is about the commitment of this village of 37 million people strong to believe in and support Canada’s youth in your sports development, in your aspirations and in the fact that you are our nation’s promise as the next generation of history makers.

“To the people of our Red Deer, who are honoured to welcome our fellow Canadians, can be incredibly proud of what you have accomplished. We are here my community because you courageously said, ‘Yes.’ We are here because you said, ‘We will find a way.’ We are here because you said, ‘We’ll do it together.’”

As an event celebrating Red Deer and Central Alberta, the Ceremony featured 500 participants and performers.

More than 20 community groups were involved, including cultural groups, choirs, a gymnastic club, scouts, a senior centre, colleges, elementary schools, cadets and RCMP members.

Governor General of Canada Julie Payette addressed the audience in both English and French.

“The hottest place to be in Canada tonight is here in Red Deer, Alberta. It takes a huge effort to put on such an enormous national event together and you did it Red Deer! Way to go! It’s going to be an extraordinary two weeks. Enjoy every minute of it.

“To you athletes. I would say you’ve worked really hard. You are here because you are best representing your province and your territories. You’re here to demonstrate what you can do so you I say, give it all. Compete fairly. Make new friends and you will gain experiences that will last with you for your lifetime and will maybe take you even higher.”

Among many cultural performances, the Opening Ceremony featured Dallas Archand, a world champion hoop dancer — a form of indigenous storytelling dating back to the 1400s.

The Ihana Youth Choir, the Soliloquy Choir and the Iron Ridge Elementary Sign Language Choir performed the national anthem.

A highlight of the night was when Alberta speed skater Maddison Pearman and Red Deer gymnast Mark Armstrong lit the rope fuse that was connected from the floor to the Canada Winter Games cauldron high above the audience, igniting the flame.

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

Just Posted

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

Confusion surrounds terms of RCMP withdrawal from pipeline construction area

B.C. Deputy Commissioner clarifies terms of agreement following minister’s statements

Stop checks, searches of Wet’suwet’en pipeline opposers unlawful: Watchdog

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs file complaint

Wet’suwet’en pipeline supporters speak up

“Protesters get one side of the story and they stand up with their fists in the air.”

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

Donations pour in for family who lost father, son in fatal crash on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

B.C. man who pulled a gun on off-duty cop gets two years in prison

Encounter also led police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

‘It’s like he just vanished’: Quesnel man still missing, last seen two months ago

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

COLUMN: Forestry no longer close to top of B.C.’s economy

Our reactions to a forestry downturn reflect the past, not the present

Caught on camera: Police release video of man who allegedly stole seaplane in Vancouver

Police say the man broke into the Harbour Air terminal and then got into one of the seaplanes in the harbour

51 health professionals send letter to Trudeau, Horgan panning northern B.C. pipeline

They point to studies about the health and climate change risks from pipeline

Most Read