TORCH RELAY

United through the power of sport.

Prior to each Canada Games, a Torch Relay unites the country with a common purpose. Ceremoniously lit from the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill, the Roly McLenahan Canada Games Torch is used to begin each Canada Games Torch Relay and ignites the official Games flame during the Opening Ceremony.

The 2023 Canada Winter Games will begin its Torch Relay in Ottawa on October 17th with an official lighting ceremony from Parliament Hill, before traveling through the Maritimes and across PEI, showcasing the unique culture, history, and pride of over 20 communities.

This symbolic tradition will build excitement and connect PEI to the 13 provinces and territories that will send 3,600 athletes, managers, and coaches, across 20 different sports, for the largest multi-sport event in the country.

Torch Relay Map

The Torch Relay will visit over 20 communities across PEI and engage with local residents through a series of Torch Relay events and community celebrations, with various Torchbearers carrying the torch.

After arriving in PEI and traveling from tip-to-tip, the torch will make its way to Eastlink Centre on February 18, 2023 for the Opening Ceremony of the 2023 Canada Winter Games, where it will light the cauldron and officially ignite the competition.

2023 Canada Winter Games Torch Relay FAQ
How are Torchbearers selected?

Nomination forms are collected and reviewed by the hosting community in conjunction with the 2023 Canada Winter Games Torch Relay Steering Committee. This review process will establish a screening selection list to be approved by our internal approvals procedure.

Once the official Torchbearer list has been approved it is not to be changed. Should a Torchbearer not show up for their shift, a local community staff person will be asked to fill that spot.

As part of 2023 Canada Winter Games Sponsorship/Partner agreements, sponsors and partners that have contributed over a pre-established amount are eligible for one Torchbearer spot. These spots will be evenly distributed across the province and ensure that relevant target audiences are considered when determining their Torchbearer spot.

How many Torchbearers will be selected?

Torch Relay communities should have 10-15 torchbearers from the community or surrounding communities. They can be current or past residents.

When will successful candidates be notified?

Successful torchbearer nominees will be notified in advance of the public announcement in October. There will also be an official press announcement made to recognize all selected Torchbearers.

What Torch will be used?

The Roly McLenahan Canada Games Torch is used to commence each Canada Games Torch Relay and must be used to ignite the official Games flame during the Opening Ceremony of each Canada Games.

What does a Torchbearer do?

Each Torchbearer walks a leg of the relay, which should be between 160 to 500 meters long

depending on the route, carrying the Roly McLenahan Canada Games Torch. The Torchbearer will carry the Torch for their leg of a community’s Torch Relay and take part in events, photo-ops and community recognition opportunities.

How/When is the Torch lit?

To ensure the safety of all individuals interacting with the Torches they should be handled with utmost care to ensure damage is not incurred. The Roly McLenahan Torch will be lit on October 17, 2022 during the official ceremony at the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill and will be followed by an official reception. The lighting of the Torch signifies the beginning of the Torch Relay. The Torch will then make its way to all Torch Relay Event host communities on its way to the Opening Ceremony in Charlottetown on February 18, 2023.

How many communities will the Torch visit?

There will be 18 Torch Relay stops for the 2023 Canada Winter Games Torch Relay. There will also be six (6) additional community visits for celebrations, photo ops, and the official Torch Lighting Ceremony in Ottawa, ON.

What does a Torch Relay stop look like?

All of the Torch Relay stops will be held to the same standard, with Torchbearers from each community igniting the way. This is followed by a community celebration to engage the entire community and celebrate its role in the Games. Each celebration will be unique to the community that is hosting, and offer food and a musical performance for those in attendance. We will also encourage communities to incorporate their local schools, sport organizations, and arts and culture groups.

What do the additional community stops look like?

Two additional community celebration stops will be coordinated by the 2023 Canada Winter Games Host Society. One will be held at the Halifax Oval to build excitement for the long track speedskating events. The other will be held at Crabbe Mountain in New Brunswick to build excitement for select downhill ski events taking place there during the 2023 Games. These events will not include a relay component.

Photo Ops will be an opportunity for select individuals to represent their area of the island. This is also an opportunity to showcase that our Games are tip-to-tip across PEI. These events will not include a relay component.

Will there be an admission fee for community celebrations?

Each community event at a Torch Relap stop will be free of charge to attend. By having open access to these events it will encourage people within these communities to be a part of the Games movement and the Torch Relay. This will be the same for the community celebration events hosted at the Halifax Oval and Crabbe Mountain.

What are the criteria to be a Torchbearer?
  • Be at least 12 years of age on or before October 1, 2022;
  • Be a Canadian citizen or lawfully entitled to reside in Canada for the duration of the relay (October 17, 2022, until February 18, 2023);
  • Be able to complete (run, walk or wheel) the assigned segment (160 to 500 metres) on the assigned day;
  • Must be able to complete assigned Torch Relay segment while holding the torch (3 to 6 lbs) in an upright position at eye level, or use an adaptable torch bracket and/or assistant;
  • Be able to participate in the 1-2 hour Torch Community Celebration in your community;
  • Be willing to travel at your own expense to the assigned community meeting point and then from the finish point of the relay;
  • Wear the provided Torchbearer uniform for the duration of your Torchbearer experience;
  • Consent to undertake and successfully complete a criminal record security background check;
  • Sign the participation waiver before your assigned relay;
  • Agree to have your photo, profile and story published by the 2023 Canada Winter Games, Games sponsors or media for the purpose of promoting the 2023 Canada Winter Games Torch Relay events.
What does a Torch Relay run look like?

Depending on the community and its needs, they will decide on how the Torch is run. Either as a kilometer loop that will be broken into 100-metre sections with 5 to 10 Torchbearers running/walking one section; or a 2-5 km route that spans throughout different areas of the community. Each Torchbearer will be set at their hand-off location prior to the relay starting. Hand-offs will happen until the last Torchbearer has the Torch. The last Torchbearer will run the Torch onto the stage and place it into the stand to signify the beginning of the community celebration.

What will the Torchbearer’s uniforms look like?

Identifying what uniforms Torchbearers wear is crucial - it identifies them with the Games and the Torch Relay.  Comfort is also a main consideration.  Given the time of year the relay will be happening, a tracksuit with an option for layering underneath made the most sense, along with mittens and a toque.  All of which will be branded with the 2023 Canada Winter Games Torch Relay logo.

What is the application/nomination deadline for torchbearers?

Nominations can be submitted until 5 PM ADT on July 15, 2022.

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