Canadian amateur athletes from coast to coast recognize the lighting of the Canada Games Roly McLenahan Torch on Parliament Hill is a symbolic moment. This year, it marked the beginning of the final leg of their journey to compete at the 2015 Canada Winter Games (CWG) in Prince George, British Columbia.
For Bruce Gabriel — Veteran, President of the Prince George Royal Canadian Legion (branch #43) and Torch carrier — the Torch is more than an emblematic icon of the Games, but a beacon that brings our country together.
“In Canadian military history a torch, or eternal flame, is a symbol that reminds us to remember a time when Canadians came together to protect and preserve our Nation,” says Mr. Gabriel.
“Carrying the Torch at the CWG Torch Relay was truly an honour for me because it signified the uniting of our country through sport.”
As is tradition, the Torch was lit on Parliament Hill on October 15th 2014, marking the beginning of the final leg of the journey towards the CWG — the largest multi-sport and cultural event for youth in Canada. It touched down in Victoria, B.C. on October 17th, then made its way through Vancouver, New Westminster/Burnaby and Kamloops.
This week, TransCanada employees and community members in Prince George, B.C. celebrated November 4th as the 100-day mark before the 2015 CWG with the inauguration of the Illuminate the North Torch Relay.
As an official sponsor of the Games and the Presenting Sponsor of the Closing Ceremonies, TransCanada was invited to carry the Torch in Prince George and the company extended the invitation to Mr. Gabriel.
“TransCanada has a strong relationship with our veterans in Prince George, including Mr. Gabriel from the local Royal Canadian Legion,” says Dave Kmet, TransCanada regional manager for Prince George. “I wanted to share this experience with Bruce because the Torch Relay falls within the Legion’s poppy campaign to remember our fallen soldiers and I knew it would be meaningful to him, Legion #43 and the community they serve.”
In 2013, TransCanada donated $25,000 towards the building of a wheelchair-accessible bathroom and a wheelchair elevator/platform lift at the legion’s community building as part our company-wide strategy to support organizations that assist our military veterans. The enhancements to the facility help the Legion host all community members, including those with mobility limitations.
“Our experience working with TransCanada was very positive. They were onboard to help us right away with our accessibility needs and were excited to tell us about the other programs they support across North America that help veterans, such as the Helmats2Hardhats initiative. We had no idea they did so much; we were very impressed!”
— Bruce Gabriel, President of the Prince George Royal Canadian Legion Branch #43
Mr. Gabriel joined the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment of Canada in 1962. In 1970 he was posted to the Royal Canadian Regiment and stayed there until 1978 when he was transferred to a logistics branch. Gabriel retired from duty in 1983.
TransCanada is committed to supporting the B.C. communities where we live and have worked for over 50 years. Regional staff from the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission and Coastal GasLink projects identified the Canada Winter Games in Prince George as an important initiative to build a lasting legacy in our northern B.C. communities. Read more about TransCanada’s dedication to corporate social responsibility in our 2013 CSR Report.