2011 Games Mascots Come to Kamloops!

Julie Dormer – Mascot Chair

Kamloops, BC– The new 2011 Western Canada Summer Games Mascots will be arriving in Kamloops at the “One Year to Go” countdown celebration on August 10! The milestone event starts at 11:00 am at Hillside Stadium and promises to be the community spirit festival of the summer.

Paula Kully, Community Programs Coordinator for the 2011 Games states, “This event is more than just a countdown to the 2011 Games. It is a celebration of community spirit, volunteerism and the love of sport and healthy lifestyle that is so vibrant in Kamloops. Everyone needs to come out to Hillside Stadium and show their support! It’s going to be an important day”.

Festivities include a free BBQ hosted by the City of Kamloops, live entertainment by the Blues Jumpers, draw prizes every 11 minutes including a weekend at Sun Peaks Resort, balloons, face painting and prizes for the kids, a live performance by Kate Morgan of the song she has written for the Games, plus the first ever appearance of the 2011 Games Mascots!

Julie Dormer is the most recent addition to the 2011 WCSG team. She has taken on the role of Mascot Chair for the Games. She would only say this about the furry pair; “People are going to love the Games Mascots! We are keeping them a surprise so if you want to see them you have to come out to the One Year to Go Celebration on August 10th”.

Julie has lived in Kamloops most of her life and has found a unique way to give back to the community. Like many people in Kamloops she has volunteered countless hours over the years but her favorite is being a mascot.

Her fascination with acting in large, hot, often cumbersome costumes began in 1992 when she was still in high school. She responded to an ad in the paper for mascots for the 1993 Canada Summer Games which were hosted in Kamloops that year. “Many people here in Kamloops remember Buttercup and Cactus. They were very popular and I’ve even seen people still wearing their t-shirts! I was Buttercup. Sometimes I played Cactus, but most of the time I was Buttercup”.

After the 93 Games Julie was addicted. She loved the opportunity to pretend to be somebody else. “In a way you feel like a celebrity because the character is, and even if nobody knows it’s you in the suit, you still get the feeling of what it’s like. People will see you and come running over to shake your hand or give you a hug.”

After the 93 Games, she went on to play Aberdeen Andy for a year; the Mall’s Marmot mascot. “At the time I was about 17,” she recalls. “Because the costumes get really hot, I would spend 20 minutes in the costume as Andy, then 20 minutes out shopping. When you’re that age, what better job could there be!”

It is evident how seriously Julie takes her role of mascot, when she recounts one of her worst experiences. She was standing in the heat in the Buttercup costume, through an hour of speeches. Buttercup suddenly began to sway and she realized she had to get out of the costume and drink some water!

Julie as Sumi during the Olympics One Year to Go

When asked about her most memorable experience it is hands down playing the role of an Olympic Mascot for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics! Julie played Sumi during the One Year to Go celebration in Kamloops and most recently, Quatchi when the torch relay came through the city. “It was a highlight for me. How many people can say they were an Olympic Mascot? It was a huge honour”, she says.

The 2011 Games are fortune to have Julie with her years of hands on experience. As Mascot Chair, she will be organizing and training the mascot volunteers. The Mascots will appear at numerous community events over the next year and will be prominent during the Games when they take place from August 5 to 14, 2011.

The Mascots will be unveiled on August 10 at the One Year to Go Celebration at Hillside Stadium. The event begins at 11:00 am and everyone is welcome to come and join the celebration! For more information about the One Year to Go or for mascot booking information check out the Games website at www.2011wcsg.ca.

Minister Chong to Attend 2011 “One Year to Go” Celebration

Ida Chong, Minister of Healthy Living & Sport

Kamloops, BC– What promises to be the community spirit celebration of the summer is set to take place Tuesday, August 10 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Hillside Stadium. Organizers for the One Year to Go Celebration of the Kamloops 2011 Western Canada Summer Games are anticipating thousands of prospective volunteers, athletes and residents will be out to show their support for what sets Kamloops apart from any other city in the country – hosting first class events!

Ida Chong, Minister of Healthy Living and Sport, will be attending this milestone event leading up to the Games and had this to say in a statement to the community, “I am very excited to be joining the community of Kamloops in celebrating the One Year to Go Countdown to the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games. It is an honor for the city and for our province to be hosting this event, as these Games not only provide opportunities for Western Canada’s young athletes, but significant benefits for the host community as well.”

Henry Pejril, President of the Kamloops 2011 WCSG Society stated, “We are honored that Minister Chong will be attending the One Year to Go countdown celebration! The Province is one of the Games’ major funding partners so it means a great deal to our organization to have her support and involvement. ”

City transit is free from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on August 10 and there will be a free barbeque hosted by the City of Kamloops at Hillside Stadium. The Mid Day show will air live from the Stadium and NL Broadcasting will be on location. There will be live music by the Blues Jumpers and Kate Morgan, who will perform for the first time, the song she wrote for the 2011 Games “You Were Made For This”. Draw prizes will happen every 11 minutes with Grand Prize draws for Cirque du Soleil tickets and a weekend at Sun Peaks, plus much more!

For more information about the One Year to Go Countdown Celebration, go to www.2011wcsg.ca.

The Countdown Begins!

The Blues Jumpers

Over 1,500 people converged on Hillside Stadium August 10th to help celebrate the “One Year to Go” countdown to the Kamloops 2011 Western Canada Summer Games.

The day’s activities were marked by the raising of the Western Canada Summer Games flag by Minister Ida Chong. The event received enormous support from all levels of government as MP Cathy McLeod, Minister of Healthy Living and Sport Ida Chong, MLA Terry Lake, Mayor Peter Milobar and Senator Nancy Greene Raine all participated in the formal program.

The enthusiasm of the crowd was apparent throughout the event as young and old alike came out to celebrate the countdown and show their support for Kamloops to win the bid to host the 2015 Canada Winter Games. The public was treated to a free barbeque hosted by the City of Kamloops and entertained with live music by the Blues Jumpers. Local up and coming musical talent, Kate Morgan performed for the first time the song she wrote for the Games, “You Were Made for This”.

The response to the new Games mascots, Marigold and Sage, was overwhelming. Kids followed the furry pair around the field to get a hug or have their picture taken with them. Even adults in the crowd, including Midday host Steve Ayres, were hugging the mascots. There is no doubt this pair will be a popular addition to many events happening in the City leading up to and including the Games in 2011.

Shumway Lake Rowing Test Event

The Kamloops Rowing Club recently hosted a successful test event on Shumway Lake that attracted fifty two athletes from around the province. Forty one volunteers and seven umpires were also involved with bringing together a total of seventeen – 2 km long races. Teams were made up of men and women from Simon Fraser University, Nanaimo Rowing Club, Kelowna Rowing Club, South Cariboo Rowing Club, University of the Fraser Valley Rowing Crew, Nelson Rowing Club and the Kamloops Rowing Club.

The Shumway Lake facilities were originally built in 1993 for use in the Canada Summer Games of that year. Seventeen years later the facilities have now received a much needed facelift for the upcoming 2011 Western Canada Summer Games. The upgrades were made possible, due in part to a Federal Recreation Infrastructure Canada (RiNC) grant and in kind contributions from Kamloops Rowing Club members, Kamloops Canoe/Kayak Club members, TRU carpentry students and Rebel Fibreglass. Upgrades included 2 new 72 foot docks, 6 start platforms, a new 2km – 6 lane stainless steel Albano race course, a new start tower and a refurbished finish tower.

Several of the young athletes in attendance had recently competed at the BC Games held in the township of Langley, including local rower, Steven Giddens. Steven is 15 years old and only started rowing last year, yet he along with his crew members from Kelowna Rowing club and the Vernon Rowing Club brought home a gold medal for the technical event from the BC Games.

The test event attracted some high profile guests including Olympic rower Jon Beare who competed in the Olympics in Sydney, Athens and Beijing where he brought home a bronze medal in men’s lightweight fours. Jon believes that rowing gained popularity in Canada after the 1992 Olympics, where Canada won several gold medals. He is currently a rep for Hudson Boats which are made in Canada and raced at elite levels, such as the Olympics.

Other guests included Don Arnold, Canadian Olympian who was a member of the 1st Canadian Rowing Crew to achieve a gold medal in the Sydney Olympics in 1956. Don offered his knowledge and expertise to the Kamloops Rowing Club on the new race course design. David L Davies, Rowing Sport chair of the 1993 Canada Summer Games and former Kamloops Rowing Club executive member. Graham Foreman, former 1st President and Coach of the Kamloops Rowing Club and currently a Rowing BC/Rowing Canada Aviron Umpire and former Kamloops Rowing Club executive member.

Janine Chan, organizer of the test event, 2011 WCSG Rowing Sport Chair and rowing member of the Kamloops Rowing Club, stated that the event was an excellent learning opportunity for the club and volunteers who will be organizing rowing event for the 2011 Games. During the Kamloops 2011 Western Canada Summer Games, rowing will take place in the second week of competition from August 12 to 14. Canoe/kayak competitions will take place the preceding week of August 7 to 9.

One of the new docks installed at Shumway Lake