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March 3, 2010
Toronto to welcome the Paralympic Flame
  
The program for Toronto’s Community Celebration and the route for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay were announced today. Toronto will host a free community event at Nathan Phillips Square on March 5 to celebrate the arrival of the Flame. This is the first time that a relay for a Paralympic Games has been held in Canada. Toronto is one of three cities outside of British Columbia to host the Paralympic Flame.

"I'm proud Toronto will be part of the 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay," said Mayor David Miller. "We have seen some amazing accomplishments during the Winter Olympics and I'm sure this will continue when the Paralympics begin on March 12. The courage and perseverance to triumph over adversity Paralympians exhibit are inspirational. I look forward to celebrating their success at the Games and encourage all Torontonians to continue to celebrate the spirit of the Olympics by coming out on March 5 to see the Flame on its way to Vancouver."

Toronto’s Community Celebration on March 5 will be held at Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W., starting at 12 noon. The pre-show, beginning at 11 a.m., will include sporting demonstrations by ParaSport Ontario. The main event will showcase performances by local and international musicians and will appeal to all ages.

Highlights of the day will include performances by Simone Soman, a young blind singer and Adrian Anantawan, an internationally renowned violinist who was born with one hand. The rest of the show will feature performances by Grooveyard, Digging Roots, Shiloh, the Loretto Abbey Choir and others, as well as interviews with torchbearers.

The Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay in Toronto will start at 9 a.m. with a lighting ceremony at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT) at 16 Spadina Rd. An Elder from the NCCT will create the Flame at a sacred fire ceremony. The Flame will then be carried in a lantern on foot to Nathan Phillips Square and accompanied by an elder, youth members, dancers and drummers. The Flame is scheduled to arrive at Nathan Phillips Square just after 12 noon. The relay will be taking place on the square in conjunction with the Community Celebrations.

More than 40 torchbearers will be carrying the Paralympic Flame that day, including Toronto’s five Community Torchbearers, Paralympians Jeff Adams and Erika Schmutz, wheelchair basketball player Shanye Smith, Citytv reporter Tara Weber and ParaSport Ontario volunteer Joe Millage. Shayne Smith has been chosen as Toronto’s Final Torchbearer and he will light the cauldron at the end of the celebrations.

As the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay will only be in Toronto for one day, all Torontonians, young and old, are encouraged to come to Nathan Phillips Square to be part of history, join in the celebrations and cheer on the torchbearers as they carry the Paralympic Flame in Toronto.

The Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola and RBC and supported by the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia officially started in Ottawa today, three days after the Olympic Flame was extinguished in Vancouver at the end of the closing ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay will start with a uniquely Canadian lighting ceremony before travelling to several celebration sites. It will involve approximately 600 torchbearers before arriving in Vancouver for the opening for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games on March 12.

To view Toronto’s Community Celebration program and biographies of the performers or for more information about the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay visit http://www.toronto.ca/mie/paralympictorchrelay.

Media contact: Duncan Ross, International Events & Special Projects, 416-397-5395 (office), 416-902-6730 (cell), dhross@toronto.ca















 

 

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