Winter Games set for countdown

Flickering flames will ignite community spirit as the B.C. Winter Games countdown begins.

  • Nov. 6, 2011 11:00 a.m.

Flickering flames will ignite community spirit as the B.C. Winter Games countdown begins.

The public is invited to attend the torch lighting ceremony for the Greater Vernon Winter Games Nov. 18 at Spirit Square, next to city hall.

“It signifies that we’re 100 days away from the Games beginning,” said Akbal Mund, Games president.

“It’s pretty significant when you consider there’s been planning underway for the last two years.”

The Games, which will attract 1,400 athletes and 500 coaches and officials, run from Feb. 23 to 26 at 15 venues in Vernon, Coldstream, Silver Star and Armstrong.

The Nov. 18 event begins with a block party from 5 to 6:30 p.m. It will include a free barbecue, face painting, a bonfire and entertainment.

The actual torch lighting will take place at 6:30 p.m.

Mund believes interest in the Games is growing and he hopes the torch lighting ceremony will increase community spirit.

“It’s time for Greater Vernon and the North Okanagan to put on the best Games we can,” he said.

Along with creating a legacy for sports excellence in the community, Mund says restaurants, hotels and merchants will benefit from visitors coming to the area.

As part of the torch lighting event, a table will be set up so people can volunteer for the Games.

A goal of 2,000 volunteers has been set and about 850 have registered to date.

“We are very enthusiastic with the number of volunteers we have already and we will keep asking people to get involved,” said Mund, adding that a number of positions are still open and all skills are needed.

Anybody wishing to volunteer can go to 2012bcwintergames.ca or call 250-550-2012.