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Toronto Pan American/Parapan 2015 torch to be carried though Belleville

By Kate Shumakova [1]

BELLEVILLE – The torch race for the Toronto Pan American and Parapan American Games 2015 [2] will have a major stop in Belleville said Guy Matte, the executive director of Dialogue Foundation [3].

“On Dec. 3, a committee from Toronto 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games organization will visit Belleville to make a presentation for the City of Belleville [4],” Matte said. “They will present the idea how they see this event, what can be done to get people interested in the games. It is also a chance for Belleville community to choose their runner for the torch race.”

The local volunteer will be selected by the Community Celebration Committee and given the honour of representing the city by carrying the flame into West Zwick’s Park.

The 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games will be the largest multi-sport event ever held in Canada, involving municipalities stretching from Oshawa to Welland. It is expected that more than twice as many athletes will be in Toronto than were at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and Paralympics.

The Pan Am Games take place from July 10 to 26  and the Parapan Am Games from Aug. 7 to 15, 2015.

“There is no official date of when the torch race will stop in Belleville, but I assume it is going to happen in the end of June or the beginning of July,” Matte added.

According to Toronto 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games web-site, close to 7,000 athletes from across Latin America, South America, the Caribbean and North America will participate in 36 Pan Am sports [5] and 15 Parapan Am [5] sports during the word-class competition.

The overall budget for Toronto 2015 is approximately $1.4 billion. Along with this money the province is providing $100,000 to the Dialogue Foundation to promote Franco-Ontarian culture. 2015 is the 400th anniversary of a francophone presence in Ontario.

Matte said there are three major things they are planning to spend the provincial funding on: to ensure that Franco-Ontarians are involved into community; to enhance what Toronto can do for francophone artists coming to the games; and to help French artists to meet other artists from different communities and nations – such as First Nation artists and Latin American artists.