Pan Am Torch Relay to be in area all this weekend

June 10, 2015   ·   0 Comments

Last Friday afternoon, the Town of Mono celebrated the unveiling of the Headwaters Parade of Horses for the Pan Am Games, which will pass through Mono both as part of the Torch Relay tomorrow (Friday), as well as for the Equestrian Events to be held  in Mono.

The Headwaters Parade of Horses was an undertaking of the Headwaters Equine Leadership Group, an organization working to position the Headwaters region as a centre of Equine excellence in Ontario.

“The Parade of Horses is a way to highlight Headwaters Horse Country to international visitors during the Pan Am Games, and to showcase the high calibre of artistic talent found in the region,” explained Ross Millar, committee chair of the Headwaters Equine Leadership Group.

The official unveiling featured a 16-year-old local artist who painted one of the more than 25 life-sized horse sculptures for the Headwaters Parade of Horses.

Emily Oaks used history as the muse for her special horse, ‘Some Gave All’, a project which took her two months to paint. The horse was inspired by the sacrifices so many made during the First World War. ‘Some Gave All’ features two silhouettes of battlefield scenes, poppies, barbed wire, the Vimy Ridge Memorial, and the Red Ensign.

The Town of Mono will keep ‘Some Gave All’ as a permanent fixture at the Mono Municipal Office, thanks to the generous support of a group of Mono residents, including Ross Millar, Jim Phillips, Terrance Millar, Jeffery Begg, Frank Tucker, Jorge Bernhard and Graeme Thorn.

On Friday, local high school student Ethan Lawson, who was selected as the Town of Mono’s Community Torchbearer, will be carrying the flame to the Mono Community Centre in Mono Centre as the relay passes through Mono.

The relay, which began on May 30, will see more than 3000 torchbearers carry the torch across the nation (by road in Ontario and air elsewhere). It will conclude in Toronto on July 10 for the official opening of the Games.

The portion of the Torch Relay to pass through Mono will be the most unique, as the torch will be carried for part of the route on horseback by Ross Millar, with other members of the Headwaters Equine Leadership Group accompanying him on horseback as a group.

“Mono is excited to be participating in this very unique opportunity to celebrate the ideals of sport and competition while fostering community pride,” said Mono Mayor Laura Ryan. “Come join us in celebrating the Games and meet Ethan, Ross and the other torchbearers.”

The torch is set to arrive via Shelburne and Alliston at 5:15 p.m. Friday just east of Mono Centre, where Ross will take the handoff and ride the torch into Mono Centre before handing it off to Ethan, who will carry it for the remainder of the route, along Mono Centre Road to the Community Centre. Ethan will then light a cauldron, which will remain on display until 6 p.m. when the relay leaves Mono Centre and makes its way along County Road 8 and Highway 10 to Orangeville.

The Town of Mono will be hosting a celebration of the event at the Community Centre from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday. Along with a live band and barbecue, there will also be children’s activities, including face painting, kite flying and a juggler.

The Town advises those interested in attending the event to arrive before 5 p.m. as Mono Centre Road will be closed between 2nd and 3rd Line EHS as the relay makes its way to the Community Centre.

Parking at Mono Community Centre will be free, and residents are invited to walk the short distance to watch the torch relay.

Ethan Lawson will carry the Pan Am flame to Orangeville, where there will be a lighting of the cauldron at the Tony Rose Memorial Centre. Community Torchbearer and former Olympian Brian Price will carry the torch on to the stage at 7 p.m.

As Orangeville will be one of the selected spots for a stop during the Torch Relay, the Town has pulled together a community event to celebrate, with live entertainment and the arrival of the Pan Am Flame.

Orangeville will have the opportunity to be entertained by Crystal Shawanda, a JUNO Award winning Canadian songstress and country-blues artist of native descent. Ms. Shawanda was born on the Wikwemikong Native Reserve on Manitoulin Island, where she grew up immersed in the music of her heritage. During a trip to Nashville at the age of 12, she discovered and embraced the ‘spirit of the south’.

The Orangeville celebration will open at 5 p.m., with the first live performance set for 5:15 p.m. The entertainment line-up will kick off with local favourites, the Campfire Poets, and will be followed by the Sacred Spirit Dancers, a group with representation from First Nations, Metis and Inuit, who promote cultural awareness through music and dance.

Local performer Leisa Way will take the stage with Nathan Smith, Bobby Prochaska, Fred Smith, Bruce Ley, Sam Cino and the Wayward Wind Bend, to present part of their high-energy show ‘Oh Canada, We Sing For Thee’.

The event will also include a free barbecue provided by the Orangeville Lions Club and Sehrs Orangeville, a community zone with interactive sports activities, a Torch Relay highlights video, and activities provided by the Pan Am Games Torch Relay partners, including virtual simulations, free samples of Loblaws/PC seasonal products and Torch selfies.

The torch will remain in Orangeville overnight, and will leave on Saturday morning (June 13) after an opportunity for photographs of the torch and torchbearer at the Orangeville Famer’s Market at 10 a.m., followed by a brief ceremony. The Torch relay will leave the market at 10:40 a.m. and head east on Broadway towards it’s next destination.

The Torch Relay will finish on July 10, as the official cauldron will be lit at the opening ceremonies, signifying the start of the Pan Am Games.

For more information on the Town of Orangeville’s Pan Am Torch Relay Celebration, visit the Town website at

During the Relay, the torchbearers will have excellent company and safety security on the trip. Thirteen police officers, most of them from the OPP, will run or ride alongside the torchbearers to secure the routes and protect the participants.

Two OPP vehicles will also be equipped with Rescue 7Automated External Defibrillators. The portable heart-starting AEDs greatly increase the chance of survival in cases of cardiac arrest.

“It’s a great honour to be helping the OPP and Pan Am Games organizers provide torchbearers with a peace of mind and high level of safety over the next 40 days,” said John Collie, CEO of Rescue 7, a national safety training and equipment company based in Markham.

“We certainly hope that our AEDs are not needed. But it’s definitely sensible to have these life-saving defibrillators at the ready just in case of an emergency.”

Mr. Collie says about 40,000 Canadians annually suffer cardiac arrest in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, causing blood to stop flowing to the brain and other vital organs. Cardiac arrests are almost always fatal if not treated within minutes. The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada says immediate CPR and the use of an AED can more than double a victim’s chance of survival.

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