Kimberley, Cranbrook celebrate Games arrival with opening ceremony

Kimberley, Cranbrook celebrate Games arrival with opening ceremony

With a day of competition under its belt, the 2018 55+BC Games celebrated its arrival in Cranbrook and Kimberley with a gala opening ceremony Wednesday evening, Sept. 12, at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook.

With Jason Wheeldon serving as Master of Ceremonies, the 2,200 athletes from all 12 Zones across British Columbia filed into the area, taking their seats in the stands.

Last to come in was the host Zone 7.

Greetings and words of congratulations were then offered the athletes from Kathryn Teneese, representing the Ktunaxa First Nation; Joe Pierre, Chief of ?aq’am Band; Don McCormack and Lee Pratt — Mayors of Kimberley and Cranbrook respectively; Jaret Thompson and Sandy Zeznik, Co-Presidents of of the 2018 Kimberley Cranbrook 55+ BC Games Society; Cindy Simpson, President of the 55+ BC Games/BC Seniors Games Society; and Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

Melanie McFarlane, member of the Kootenay Ice-Agers women’s hockey team, who was instrumental is getting women’s hockey included in these games for the first time, gave the athletes’ pledge.

The Kootenay Dance Academy performed for the gathering, including a revue from the musical “Hairspray.”

Whereupon the Games torch was officially lit by Justin Smith, Olympic Silver Medallist in the Luge Relay.

The Games resume in full force today — sports having their first day of competition Thursday are Archery, Bocce, Bridge, Cribbage, Cycling, Dragon Boat, Floor Curling, Golf, Lawn Bowling, Mountain Biking, Swimming, and Whist. It is the final day of competition for Equestrian.

For complete results of the competition, including Day 1, go here

The 2,200 55+ BC Games participants represent 12 regions in BC: Vancouver Island South (Zone 1), Vancouver Island North (Zone 2), Fraser Valley (Zone 3), Lower Mainland (Zone 4), Okanagan-Similkameen (Zone 5), West Kootenay Boundary (Zone 6), East Kootenay (Zone 7), South Central (Zone 8), North Central (Zone 9), North West (Zone 10), Bulkley-Valley Nechako (Zone 11), Peace River Liard (Zone 12).