WINTER GAMES EXCITEMENT - The official 2019 Canada Winter Games’ Mascot was revealed as Waskasoo during a celebration yesterday. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express WINTER GAMES EXCITEMENT - The official 2019 Canada Winter Games’ Mascot was revealed as Waskasoo during a celebration tonight. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

Canada Winter Games hits major milestone

Celebration held in Red Deer to mark 500 days out of event and announce new mascot

The 2019 Canada Winter Games is officially 500 days away.

At a celebration held tonight, officials also unveiled the mascot for the event – Waskasoo the deer.

Mackenzie​ ​Van​ ​Damme​​, 12, ​of​ ​Lacombe​ ​designed​ ​Waskasoo​ ​as​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​2019 Canada​ ​Winter​ ​Games​’ ​Mascot​ ​Challenge.​ ​​Van​ ​Damme​​’s​ ​design​ ​was​ ​selected​ ​from​ ​over​ ​300 challenge​ ​entries​ ​to​ ​be​ ​the​ ​mascot​ ​of​ ​the​ ​2019​ ​Games.

“We​ ​are​ ​proud​ ​to​ ​congratulate​ ​Mackenzie​ ​for​ ​creating​ ​the​ ​perfect​ ​ambassador​ ​for​ ​the​ ​2019 Games​ ​-​ ​Waskasoo,”​ ​said​ ​Lyn​ ​Radford,​ ​board​ ​chair​ ​of​ ​the​ ​2019​ ​Canada​ ​Winter​ ​Games.​ ​

“Over​ ​the next​ ​17​ ​months,​ ​Waskasoo​ ​will​ ​help​ ​to​ ​share​ ​the​ ​magic​ ​of​ ​the​ ​2019​ ​Games​ ​with​ ​adults​ ​and​ ​youth alike​ ​in​ ​Central​ ​Alberta​ ​through​ ​his​ ​enthusiasm,​ ​encouragement​ ​and​ ​kindness.”

As​ ​the​ ​winner​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Mascot​ ​Challenge,​ ​​Van​ ​Damme​​​ ​wins​ ​a​ ​Canada​ ​Games​ ​prize​ ​pack​ ​and​ ​a​ ​pizza lunch​ ​for​ ​her​ ​class.​ ​​She will​ ​also​ ​be​ ​a​ ​torchbearer​ ​during​ ​the​ ​2019​ ​Games​ ​Torch​ ​Relay.

“The​ ​unveiling​ ​of​ ​the​ ​mascot​ ​Waskasoo​ ​designed​ ​by​ ​Mackenzie​ ​reminds​ ​us​ ​of​ ​all​ ​the​ ​ways​ ​the Canada​ ​Winter​ ​Games​ ​positively​ ​impacts​ ​our​ ​City​ ​and​ ​region,”​ ​said​ ​Red​ ​Deer​ ​Mayor​ ​Tara​ ​Veer.

“In​ ​less​ ​than​ ​500​ ​days​ ​Red​ ​Deer​ ​will​ ​be​ ​profiled​ ​on​ ​the​ ​national​ ​stage​ ​when​ ​we​ ​welcome​ ​more than​ ​20,000​ ​Canadians​ ​to​ ​our​ ​City​ ​during​ ​the​ ​2019​ ​Canada​ ​Winter​ ​Games,​ ​with​ ​athletes competing​ ​in​ ​our​ ​national​ ​level​ ​facilities,​ ​visitors​ ​taking​ ​part​ ​in​ ​the​ ​festivities ​and​ ​Red​ ​Deerians benefiting​ ​from​ ​the​ ​economic​ ​spin-off​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Games.​ ​Thank​ ​you​ ​to​ ​Mackenzie​ ​on​ ​behalf​ ​of​ ​the City​ ​for​ ​her​ ​creative​ ​submission.”

Radford added the excitement in the community continues to build.

“You can feel the excitement now in the City. We notice it with the corporate sector, they are realizing they need to start to get on with this now. We’re noticing it with the school kids and the really neat part of it is as soon as you say 2019 in the community, it’s a recognition piece with our citizens,” she said.

She added the planning is also ramping up.

“Now we’re really getting into the details. Now there will be more information coming out about the festivals that will be happening out at the Celebration Plaza, more information about the opening and closing ceremonies,” said Radford.

She added volunteers are already in place but next spring will be the big call out to volunteers. “We’ll be looking at 4,000 to 5,000 volunteers.”

For​ ​more​ ​details​ ​on​ ​the​ ​2019​ ​Canada​ ​Winter​ ​Games​ ​and​ ​Waskasoo,​ ​please​ ​visit canadagames.ca/2019​.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RedDeerExpress/ and follow us on twitter at https://twitter.com/RedDeerExpress.

Just Posted

Fishing in Sylvan Lake: species in need of recovery this year

Current concern for Sylvan Lake is overharvest of Walleye and Northern Pike

Council highlights

Council to fund Rimbey Boys and Girls Club for $15,000

Burman U prof publishes international development book

The Development Trap: How Thinking Big Fails the Poor looks to challenge perceptions

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman discusses Community Paramedic Program

Hoffman was in Red Deer meeting with patients who have used the service

Man threatens to kill partner, kids, dog

This is a very serious offence: Judge

WATCH: Central Albertan receives award for aiding RCMP officer in arrest

Lonnie Amundson, rugby player, tackled a fleeing suspect to help ailing officer

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

WATCH: ‘Battle of the Badges’ event raises money for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deerians get together at charity hockey tournament April 20th at Servus Arena

Most Read