Winter Games light up the night

To mark just over 100 days to go until the Penticton 2016 BC Winter Games, a symbolic flame will be lit on Nov. 12

President Bill Bidlake of the Penticton 2016 Winter Games committee stands in front of the torch which will officially be lit the evening of Nov. 12 at a special ceremony on the plaza outside of the South Okanagan Events Centre.

To mark just over 100 days to go until the Penticton 2016 BC Winter Games, a symbolic flame will be lit, welcoming up to 2,000 participants to the community.

As Penticton counts down the days, organizers have invited the community to join in a celebration on Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. in front of the South Okanagan Events Centre as the torch is lit.

Spectators will be treated to a variety of local entertainment, including Gypsy and the Rose Band, Beamer Wigley, Outma Sqilx’W Cultural School Children’s Choir, Queen’s Park Choir, Keremeos Drummers, Fiddlekids with Blakey Irish Dancers, Black Widow Rope Spinners and more.

Participants are asked to bring their smart phones or flashlights to become part of the torch lighting event.

“The Torch Lighting Ceremony is a major milestone in the lead-up to Penticton’s event, marking just over 100 days until the 2016 BC Winter Games officially begin,” said president Bill Bidlake. “Come join the excitement as we light the official cauldron that will welcome and inspire athletes from all over the province.”

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton said he’s enthusiastic to join Penticton residents in their excitement about the Games, which he said will be a great, unifying force for the city and a showcase for B.C.’s top young athletes.

The BC Winter Games provide a unique opportunity for athletes to experience provincial competition in a multi-sport games setting, taking the first step towards the national and international stage.

Competition will take place over four days in 17 sports such as badminton, biathlon, basketball, curling, diving, figure skating, gymnastics, judo, karate, skiing and speed skating, plus more.

The Torch Lighting Ceremony will be held in the southwest parking lot of the SOEC (the lot between the flag poles and Alberni Street). Vehicles are asked to enter the site from the Vees Drive roundabout. A barbecue will be held starting at 5:30 p.m., with the official program start at 6:30 p.m.

About 2,000 volunteers will be involved with the Games, and a variety of roles are available. Positions are available in all 14 directorates: accommodation, administration, ceremonies, communications, food services, friends of the games, medical, promotions, protocol, registration and results, security, special events, sport and transportation.

Volunteers can sign up in a number of ways: online at www.bcgames.org and click on the volunteer now” button. You can select the directorate that best fits your skills.

You can also register by phone by calling the B.C. Winter Games office at 250-492-2026 or drop by the Winter Games office at 90-246 Martin St. to register on site.

Be a Friend of the Games

Does your business have Game? This is huge undertaking will bring over 2,000 young athletes, coaches, officials and families to the South Okanagan, resulting in significant economic impact for local businesses.

Sponsorship with cash and in-kind donations will leave an important legacy to your community. Contact Edgar Yost, Co-Chair of Friends of The Games, 250-809-4764, edgar@mydvw.com or Tim Broesch, Co-Chair Friends of the Games, 250-490-5487, or Tony Acland at tacland@weberstephen.com 250-486-5518.

About the Games

This will be the fourth time Penticton has hosted the BC Games. The city was the host of the inaugural BC Summer Games in 1978, the 1990 BC Winter Games and the 1995 BC Summer Games.

Penticton has first-class sport facilities and a wealth of volunteer experience – including hosting the inaugural BC Summer Games in 1978. The Penticton 2016 BC Winter Games will prove to be a memorable event for BC’s best developing athletes, coaches, and officials from Feb. 25 to 28, 2016.

For more information, visit www.bcgames.org.