Pan Am flame to Arrive at Toronto's Waterfront on May 30 to Begin 41-Day Journey

The Pan Am flame will soon be here, and the Canadian astronaut who ignited our imaginations from space will celebrate with us on May 30, Day 1 of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay.

The Pan Am flame will soon be here, and the Canadian astronaut who ignited our imaginations from space will celebrate with us on May 30, Day 1 of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President’s Choice® and OLG. The Honourable David R. Peterson, chair of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015), told an audience at the Canadian Club of Toronto today about the energy, excitement and sense of pride that will mark the arrival of the Pan Am flame.

"Our great city, region and province has never seen a summer like the one we’re about to have, and the arrival of the Pan Am flame signals that the celebrations and competitions are about to begin," said Peterson. "The Pan Am flame speaks to our inherent and universal need to feel hope, optimism, belonging and acceptance, and it recognizes the power of sport in bringing people together and recognizing our common humanity."

On May 25, the Pan Am flame will be lit during a traditional ceremony hosted by the Mexican Olympic Committee at the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico. The flame will then arrive here in Canada on May 30, travelling by air, water and land as it begins its 41-day journey on home soil. The flame arrival ceremony will take place at Canada Square along Toronto’s waterfront, beginning at 2:30 p.m. The ceremony will feature an exclusive soundtrack produced by local musical director Andrew Craig and a special performance from the Obeah Opera.

The relay’s first torchbearer will depart from Canada Square and will travel through the streets of Toronto towards The Distillery Historical District, where a community celebration will take place to conclude the momentous day. The celebration will begin at 4 p.m. and will feature entertainment, including performances by Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, The Chimera Project, Dance Migration and Jasmine Denham, who will perform the official song of the Games live for the very first time. Colonel Chris Hadfield will arrive at the celebration at 5 p.m. carrying the flame.

"It’s a great honour to carry the Pan Am flame and to be part of this historic event. The torch relay is a wonderful way to connect Canadians with each other and to build our connections within the Americas and Caribbean," said Hadfield. "When you see our hemisphere from space it just reinforces that while the distances seem vast we share a common future."

Day 1 of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay will be a preview of what’s to come and will include a full schedule of entertainment and fun. The Pan Am flame will embark on a 41-day journey here in Canada and will be carried by more than 3,000 torchbearers through more than 130 communities.

Canadians are invited to join this historic journey and celebrate and share the Pan Am spirit leading up to the Games. To learn more about Day 1 of the torch relay and when the flame is visiting a community near you, visit Toronto2015.org/torch-relay.

For more information, contact:

Teddy Katz

Director, media relations and chief spokesperson, TO2015

416.957.2117

teddy.katz@toronto2015.org

20 Years at #1: Your best source of news about the Olympics is www.aroundtherings.com, for subscribers only