By Carolina Di Giulio

The 2019 Canada Games kicked off on Oct. 4 with the first-ever national MNP Torch Relay at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

As part of Canada Games tradition, the Roly McLenahan Torch was lit from the Centennial Flame, with the guest of honour Minister of Sport, Kirsty Duncan. The lighting of the torch has been celebrated in the past by the Canada Games host communities raising their Canada Games flag.

This year, for the first time in the game’s 52-year history, the torch will embark on a relay across Canada before arriving in Red Deer, Alberta for the opening ceremony on February 15, 2019.

The Games, featuring 19 sports, more than 150 events and a major art and cultural festival, will welcome up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches and more than 20,000 visitors. It will provide a stage for Canada’s next generation of national, international and Olympic champions to compete.

Torchbearers will be lighting up more than 40 communities from coast to coast with Canada’s top amateur athletes, with torch relay and celebration stops along the way.

Markham will be hosting their very own celebration stop from 2-4 p.m. on Oct. 12, at the Aaniin Community Centre. The city will be the first to have the opportunity to feel the spirit of the Games and celebrate our nation’s young athletes. Community residents will also have the chance to see the flame before it heads to Toronto.

For more information about the celebration and relay stop locations, visit the official Canada Games website. The Winter Games will be held from Feb. 15 until March 3, 2019 and will be webcasted online and broadcasted on TSN.