THUNDER BAY, ON - December 18, 2009 - The spirit of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games touched the Legislative Assembly of Ontario this morning as Day 50 of the Olympic Torch Relay began with a special Aboriginal Sunrise Ceremony.
Many guests were on hand before dawn to cheer on the day's first torchbearer, community fundraiser Richard Graves.
The Ontario Government, a proud partner in "Canada's Games," has provided support to the 42 local torch relay celebration events and 20 Aboriginal Flame Blessings that are being held during the 21 days that the relay travels across the province. Communities are using the torch relay celebrations to showcase local attractions and talent and promote tourism and investment in their local economies.
"It is an honour to have the Olympic Flame here on the steps of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The torch relay is an exciting opportunity to celebrate Ontario torchbearers like Richard Graves, who embody the essence of the Olympic spirit every day by giving back to their communities and promoting healthy, active living. "
– Margarett Best
Minister of Health Promotion
"As the Olympic Torch Relay makes its way across the province, Ontarians are catching the 2010 Winter Games spirit. Communities in every corner of Ontario are excited to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime event, cheer on our athletes, celebrate the torchbearers and show the world what a great province we live in."
– Monique Smith
Minister of Tourism
The Olympic Flame entered Ontario on December 11 at Hawkesbury and will be carried by more than 2,900 people, through 232 communities, before leaving the province on January 5, 2010.
The Olympic Torch Relay will pass within less than a one hour drive of 92 per cent of the Ontario population, ensuring that almost all Ontarians can easily witness the historic event. The province is also supporting four special evening celebrations, to include performances by singer Justin Hines. The first two of those celebrations took pace in Kingston on Dec. 14 and in Toronto last night. The final two are scheduled for Windsor on Dec. 23 and Thunder Bay on Jan. 3.
Follow the Torch Relay in Ontario at the Ontario 2010 Winter Games web site
Visit the official Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay web site