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

Kelowna Memorial Cup committee visits 2019 tournament in Halifax

The committee wants to get a first-hand look at how the tournament is organzied

Boil water notice in effect for Lake Country

A broken water main leads to boil water notice in the District of Lake Country

Popular Peachland park reopens

Hardy Falls Regional Park has been closed from flood damage since 2017

UPDATE: Water main break floods Lake Country roads

Glenmore Road and Highway 97 are affected by the water main break

BrainTrust launches annual helmet program in Kelowna

Three students received free helmets at the May 22 launch at Belgo Elementary School

Federal tourism minister announces new national strategy in Armstrong

Mélanie Joly announced funding available for rural communities and other parts of the new strategy

Okangan MP welcomes plan to fight human trafficking

Mel Arnold applauds Conservative plan for A Safer Canada

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

VIDEO: Suspected arson sends five to Abbotsford hospital with smoke inhalation

Man seen throwing flammable substance in van, lighting it on fire next to home

Okanagan elementary schools help Chinook salmon

Kingfisher is hosting a series of field trips to release the school-raised salmon

Summerlanders urged to travel by bike

Bike to Work Week and Bike to School Week run May 27 to June 2

Update: South Okanagan dangerous offender to redo court process

Administrative error results in do-over for trial against Ronald Arthur Teneycke

Summerland Giant’s Head Run features Retro ’80s theme

Event will be held Saturday, June 1 at 6 p.m.

Music and comedy event benefit Okanagan woman’s cancer battle

Fundraiser for Sue Folliott Sunday, May 26 at The Kal

Most Read