By David F. Rooney
There are just 13 days and counting until the Olympic Torch arrives in Revelstoke and the City’s local Olympic Torch Relay Committee has devised a full schedule of activities for this once-in-a-lifetime event.
“We’re going to begin about 4 pm,” said Community Economic Development Director Alan Mason. “What always works for us is having kids involved so we will have lots of kid-friendly activities.”
Those “kid-friendly activities” will include snow sculptures, music, interactive activities sponsored by Parks Canada at the bandstand in Grizzly Plaza and a special Lantern Parade involving about 220 students, he said.
In addition, local filmmaker Francois Desrosier will be erecting a giant inflatable screen above Jus Juiced and will be projecting scenes from past winter sporting events such as the ski jumping competitions on it, Mason said.
The schedule was finalized today (Wednesday, Jan. 13), as was a satellite image that shows the location of the major venues as well as where the barricades will be erected at 1 am on Jan. 26 to prevent parking in the downtown core of the city until after the event. (You can see both the schedule [click on the schedule image to access a larger PDF of it] and the satellite-based map below.)
The pre-ceremony activities will run from 4 pm until 6 pm when the official ceremony will begin at a stage to be built at the intersection of Third Street and MacKenzie Avenue.
Fanfare will announce the beginning of the program, which will include both local performers and entertainers brought by the official relay sponsors: the Royal Bank of Canada and Coca-Cola. The Revelstoke Secondary School Band and a parade of children carrying handmade lanterns illuminated by colour-changing glow sticks will precede the arrival of the torch.
Mason said he does not know who will be carrying the torch to Revelstoke. However, he said both Carl Rankin and Lyn Welock will be carrying it at some point. Eventually it will be handed over to Lachlan Hicks, the local student and athlete who was selected late last year to carry the torch for the last 300 metres of its journey here. He will carry it off Victoria Road, turn onto MacKenzie and run the length of Grizzly Plaza to the stage at the Second Street intersection where he will light a facsimile of the Olympic cauldron.
Afterwards there will be some very brief remarks by MP Jim Abbott, MLA Norm Macdonald and Mayor David Raven followed by the Community Choir’s performance of There’s A Light. (Click here if you’d like to hear the song now: http://www.vancouver2010.com/olympic-news/tal_187678LP.html)
The local band Sister Girl will perform from 7:42 until 8 pm when the ceremonies will begin to wind down. However, Revelstokians will be treated to a rarely-seen extravaganza — a six-minute fireworks show.
Whatever you may think of the Olympics and the provincial government’s commitment to them, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a symbol that still managed to inspire millions of young people — the Olympic Torch. Don’t miss it.