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​.

Like us on facebook at and follow us on twitter at

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Customs and Classics shift into gear

The annual Customs and Classic Show and Shine was held July 14

High temperatures bring heat warning for Sylvan Lake and Eckville

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for the next two days

PHOTOS: Chamber hosts first-ever golf tournament

Roughly 70 golfers took to the course at Meadowlands, Friday

Eckville and Sylvan Lake areas under thunderstorm watch

Environment Canada placed the region under the watch just before noon on Friday

Sylvan Lake takes first step towards Pogadl Park

A planning meeting was recently held by Council and user groups

Angry giant baby Trump balloon makes him feel ‘unwelcome’ in London

Trump told The Sun newspaper that he felt unwelcome in London because of protests, including a giant balloon that was being flown over Parliament on Friday.

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. reporter calls out immigration photo on social media as fake news

A Vancouver reporter is calling out a British politician for spreading fake news

Hundreds of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

Out of 1,773 glaciers, 1,353 shrank significantly between 2000 and 2016

Most Read