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

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

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.

 

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

Team British Columbia watches the Opening Ceremony after the Parade of Athletes. Robin Grant/Red Deer Express

Just Posted

Town to sign five-year policing agreement with Ponoka Stampede

The Town of Ponoka will go ahead with a five-year renewable agreement… Continue reading

UPDATED: Ponoka RCMP arrest male on Canada wide warrant

UPDATE for Immediate Release: Collin James Courteoreille was wanted on a Canada… Continue reading

Town passes 2019 budgets and tax bylaw with 2.2 per cent increase

Ponoka town council passed a $25.5 million 2019 capital and operating budget… Continue reading

CFO proposal will not impact future use of nearby land

Ponoka County objection nullified by notice land is outside setback area

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

WATCH: Lacombe Generals celebrate Allan Cup victory with street festival

Hundreds come out to celebrate Generals fourth Allan Cup

First ever FanFest slated for Ponoka

Canadian sci-fi actor to be guest speaker at library club’s festival

CFO proposal will not impact future use of nearby land

Ponoka County objection nullified by notice land is outside setback area

Contentious property back in Ponoka County spotlight

Community complaints bring recycling business back to council to discuss allegations

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

Most Read