The 2019 Canada Winter Games plan to make history with a coast-to-coast torch relay that will visit close to 50 communities across Canada.

The relay should last five months, starting in October 2018, then concluding mid-February 2019, when the Games open in Red Deer.

2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society Chair Lyn Radford is pleased they're able to expand the relay.

"Pretty excited about it. It was a vision we had right from the (start). We didn't realize it wasn't traditionally a national torch relay," Radford said.

The newly-designed torch was later revealed at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Radford says the torch also serves as a tribute to Roly McLenahan, an original member of the Canada Games Council.

Lacombe's Mackenzie Van Damme, will be the relay's first torchbearer.

The 12 year old also designed the Waskasoo mascot for the Games, and is looking forward to the historic opportunity.

"It feels really awesome to be able to do something this amazing. It's hard to explain because it's so cool," said Van Damme.

Next year, the Torch Relay has several stops in central Alberta on the following dates:

  • Blackfalds on Jan. 29
  • Olds on Jan. 31
  • Lacombe on Feb. 2
  • Sylvan Lake on Feb. 5
  • Ponoka on Feb. 7
  • Red Deer on Feb. 15

Each stop will have 10 to 15 torchbearers carrying the torch, who will be selected through a nominated process.

Nominations will be taken online until June 30 and announced in September. 

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