South Peace Receives $53,000 for Northern 2010 Torch Relay Events

DAWSON CREEK ? Dawson Creek and surrounding communities have received 2010 Olympic Torch Relay Community Grants totalling $53,000. The grants will help support community spirit festivals for the running of the torch relay across the province including through northeast British Columbia.

?Hosting the world in 2010 is a province-wide affair that begins with celebrating the running of the Olympic torch through communities all across British Columbia including the northeast,? says Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom. ?We are already seeing the lasting legacies for all parts of B.C. and we look forward to celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime event that very few people in the world get to experience.?

The list of local grants include: City of Dawson Creek: $30,000 for a Torch Relay Celebration on January 31, 2010, that will include public performers of jiggers, hoop dancers, a community band, a community theatre group show; art displays from local schools; a community breakfast; and First Nations dancers.

Saulteau First Nations: $7,000 for a Torch Relay Aboriginal festival of traditional drummers and games; a community feast; and Metis celebrations on January 31, 2010.

Tumbler Ridge: $8,000 for a Torch Relay Welcoming Festival that will include a ?Swim Laps to Whistler? contest; community breakfast; local musicians; art displays; and a hockey tournament on January 31, 2010.

District of Chetwynd: $8,000 for a Torch Relay Welcoming Festival including local live entertainment; bonfire; sleigh rides; tobogganing; and face painting on January 31, 2010.

Provincial funding, through the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay Community Grants Program, will be used to support approved cultural celebrations and performances featuring local and regional talent in three categories throughout B.C.:

* Celebration Communities: There are 50 Celebration Communities. Celebrations will be held in two communities each day ? the first at mid-day, and the second in the evening.

* Route Communities: There are 218 Route Communities/Places of Interest. The flame will pass through these communities along the relay route but will not stop for a formal celebration.

* Aboriginal Communities: Of the 218 Route Communities, 50 are Aboriginal Communities. The flame will stop in each Aboriginal Community for a gathering known as the Honorary Elder Fire Keeper Program. This will allow for each Aboriginal Community to host a welcome/ blessing ceremony for the torch.

The 2010 Olympic Flame will be lit on Oct. 22, 2009 and handed over to a representative of Canada in Athens, Greece on Oct. 29 before making its trans-Atlantic flight. The flame will visit every province and territory in the country and will be carried by approximately 12,000 torchbearers. For a map of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay Route and a list of Celebration, Route or Aboriginal Communities, please visit: vancouver2010.com.

For more information on the Olympic Torch Relay Community Grant Program, please contact communities2010@gov.bc.ca