Olympic torch on its way

The Olympic Torch in West Kelowna yesterday.

Those looking to check out the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay in Revelstoke can check out vancouver2010.com for the interactive map.

(See below for more)

http://www.vancouver2010.com/more-2010-information/olympic-torch-relay/olympic-torch-relay-interactive-map/

The torch starts at the Grizzly Bears at the entrance of town, near the highway at 6:30 p.m tonight, and winds up at Grizzly Plaza at 7 p.m.

The route is as follows. From the Grizzly bears it goes along Victoria to Wright Street (the Nomad corner) and hangs a right. Next it turns left onto Douglas Street and continues on until Charles Street where it turns left. It takes a right back onto 3rd Street. If follows 3rd Street until Campbell Ave. and turns right, then turns left onto 4th Street. It crosses Mackenzie and then turns left onto Robson Ave. It goes down Robson Ave. to Victoria Road, turns left and then turns left into Grizzly Plaza.

Early risers can watch the relay on the morning of the 27th. The torch starts at Mt. Begbie Elementary at 7:20 a.m. and goes along 4th to Victoria Road. It travels along Victoria to the Revelstoke Railway Museum where there will be another cauldron lighting ceremony on the back of a train at the museum. Next, it travels by train to Craigellachie where there will be a ceremony at 8:40 a.m. before continuing on the train to points west.

Below is an brief and an itinerary provided by CP rail. There is some discrepancy between the times, but the official torch website, which was confirmed by torch relay officials says: 7:20 a.m. departure from Mt. Begbie, and arrival at the Revelstoke Railway museum at 7:34 a.m.

Here is the CP Rail itinerary on events on Jan. 27:

British Columbia entered into Canada’s young Confederation with the promise that a transcontinental railway would be built to link it with eastern Canada. On November 7, 1885, 125 years ago, the “Last Spike” was driven signalling the end of the first chapter in CPR’s history and marking the beginning of the next for all of Canada. Today, the Olympic Torch Relay generates the same feeling of national pride.

DATE: Wednesday January 27, 2010

Moved from Revelstoke to Craigellachie by Canadian Pacific train, the Olympic Flame will be passed to CEO Fred Green, official torchbearer and 16th President of the railway.

Join us at Craigellachie and be a part of history as the Olympic Flame visits this site of national history.

THE OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY SCHEDULE

720 a.m. – Official lighting of the Olympic Cauldron on the train at the Revelstoke Railway Museum on Victoria Rd.

830 a.m. – Train arrives at Craigellachie

840 a.m. – Fred Green, President & CEO Canadian Pacific, lights his torch from the cauldron

850 a.m. – Olympic Flame is passed to CP employee and torchbearer Randy Duka

900 a.m. – Olympic cauldron on the train is re-lit and the train heads West to continue the official Olympic Torch Relay

For background, here is some more info from CP Rail on the Last Spike:

Canadian Pacific’s history is indelibly linked with Canada’s. In 1871, British Columbia entered into Canada’s young Confederation, formed only four years earlier, with the promise that a transcontinental railway would be built within 10 years to link it with eastern Canada. John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, knew all too well that unless a railway could be built to link the east to the west, his dream of Confederation would be doomed. “One of the first things to be done” he vowed in the face of much criticism, “is to show unmistakably our resolve to build a Pacific Railway.”

Prime Minister Macdonald’s resolve included a plan to find a private company to build and operate the railway. After a false start and a change in government only a few miles of transcontinental rail had been laid. British Columbians saw the 10-year deadline fast approaching and became skeptical that the railway would be built within the promised time frame. With the province threatening to secede, Macdonald’s new government signed construction contracts and crews began to carve out a rail line at Yale, BC on May 14, 1880.

The syndicate successful in their bid to build the rail line included George Stephen and Duncan McIntyre of Montreal; James J. Hill and Richard B. Angus of St. Paul, Minnesota; John S. Kennedy of New York; Morton, Rose and Company of London; and Kohn, Reinach and Company of Paris. In a letter from syndicate head George Stephen to Macdonald, Stephen revealed that he embraced the project with much trepidation “… my friends and my enemies agree in affecting to think (this) will be the ruin of us all.”

The Company’s charter was assented to in the Canadian Parliament on February 15, 1881 and the following day, with George Stephen as its first president, Canadian Pacific Railway was incorporated with a grant of $25 million and 25 million acres of federal land.

Construction on the rail line was completed fifty-three months after it had begun – five and a half years ahead of schedule. On November 7, 1885 the “Last Spike” was driven signalling the end of the first chapter in CPR’s history and marking the beginning of the next. When the ring from the spike maul could no longer be heard echoing through Eagle Pass, William Van Horne, whose skill and determination saw the task completed and who would go on to become president and chairman, summed up the remarkable achievement – “All I can say is the work has been well done in every way.”

Today, the Olympic Torch relay generates the same feeling of national pride and symbolizes the hopes and dreams of a countless number of Canadians, not unlike what the driving of the Last Spike did for a young Canadian nation one hundred and twenty five years ago. Canadian Pacific is proud to link and celebrate these iconic moments.

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