Eight communities went head-to-head in an online vote from August 27 – September 12 to see who would host the largest 2015 Games celebrations outside of Prince George.

The winning communities were announced at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention in Whistler by Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

“The online votes were very close and we are so thrilled to be hosting 2015 Canada Winter Games Regional Community Torch Celebrations in Quesnel, Terrace and Fort St. John leading up to the 2015 Games,” says Stuart Ballantyne, CEO of the 2015 Canada Winter Games. “These communities will help spread the spirit of the 2015 Games throughout their region to ensure the 2015 Games share our unique northern story with the rest of the nation.”

“I am delighted to congratulate Terrace, Fort St. John and Quesnel for being selected to host Regional Community Torch Celebrations. You can already feel the buzz of excitement in BC’s north, and with these celebrations that sense of anticipation and community pride is only going to intensify,” says Minister Oakes.

“Celebrating the 2015 Canada Winter Games with the Regional Community Torch Celebration will bring our community together into an exciting lead-up to the 2015 Games. Thank you to everyone who voted for Fort St. John,” says Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm.

“While the 2015 Canada Winter Games are based in Prince George, the event encompasses the entire central and northern regions of British Columbia – further solidified today with the announcement of Quesnel, Terrace and Fort St. John as Regional Community Torch Celebration hosts,” says Mayor Shari Green of Prince George. “Given the diversity of northern BC, these regional celebrations are a fantastic opportunity for communities to express their beauty, culture and uniqueness to the rest of the country.”

Over 2,500 British Columbians voted to determine the winning communities.

The Canada Games Roly McLenahan Torch will be lit in Ottawa on October 15, 2014, on Parliament Hill as part of Canada Games tradition and then will make its way west ceremoniously landing in Victoria on October 17, 2014.

The Canada Games Torch will then travel north, passing through previous Canada Games host cities, as well as New Westminster/ Burnaby and Kamloops.

On November 4, 2014, which marks 100 days until the 2015 Games, the 2015 Games Torch Relay will embark on a journey to Illuminate the North, starting in Prince George at Canada Games Plaza.

The 2015 Games Torch Relay will journey thousands of kilometers across northern B.C., visiting the winning 2015 Games Regional Community Torch Celebration communities while leading up to the 2015 Games Opening Ceremonies on February 13 in Prince George.

Each Regional Community Torch Celebration includes a regional torch relay leg, featuring torchbearers from that region, and a celebration featuring a DJ, Canada Games alumni, as well as representatives and coverage of the event by Global BC.

“Each Regional Community Torch Celebration has the opportunity to impart their piece of the northern story on the 2015 Games,” says Ballantyne. “We can’t wait to visit these communities to celebrate the 2015 Games with them.”

The 2015 Games Torch Relay schedule is available at www.canadagames2015.ca.