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.

Just Posted

Abbotsford considering raising education fee on new developments

Fee, which funds property acquisition for new schools, hasn’t budged since 2007

Abbotsford Photo Arts Club holds show in Mission

Exhibit runs June 18 to July 6 at The Rock Family Gallery

Abbotsford hopes to restrict new marijuana grow applications

After provincial rule change this spring, city left looking to craft its own rules

Abbotsford to boost transit faster than first planned

City to get 12 new buses, expand service by 40 per cent, by end of 2022

No student left behind by prohibitive fees, Abbotsford officials say

Approved 2019/20 fees include non-mandatory cost of school supplies

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read