Commonwealth Games Canada

Commonwealth Games Canada

September 07, 2005 11:24 ET

Ottawa welcomes Queen's Baton as part of the world's longest relay

Attention: City Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor, Sports Editor, World News Editor OTTAWA/ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 7, 2005) - The Queen's Baton Relay, one of the greatest traditions of the Commonwealth Games, arrived in Canada yesterday as part of its 71-country tour of the Commonwealth. The Baton, carrying a message from Queen Elizabeth to be read at the opening ceremonies of the XVIII Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia (March 15th to 26th, 2006), arrived in Vancouver from the Falkland Islands and will visit Toronto today, prior to arriving in Ottawa on Thursday, September 8th.

Various activities are planned while the Queen's Baton Relay traverses Canada. In both Vancouver and Toronto the Queen's Baton Relay will wind through the downtown cores and conclude with welcoming ceremonies.

The Baton will be officially welcomed to the Nation's Capital by Claude Bennett, President of Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC), the Hon. Stephen Owen, Minister of State (Sport) and
Lois Appleby, Chief Executive of Tourism Victoria and Team Canada Attaché for Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, at a reception at the Canadian Museum of Civilization on September 8th at
7:00 pm. Heather Purnell, an accomplished gymnast and bronze medalist from the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, and veteran coach Tobie Gorman will have the special honour of carrying the baton into the Museum.

The highlight of the Ottawa visit will take place on Friday, September 9, 2005 at Major's Hill Park. Current and former athletes and coaches will participate in a power walk relay circling Major's Hill Park. Honoured guests include His Excellency William Fisher, Australian High Commissioner,
Mrs. Saqlain Asad, First Secretary, High Commission for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Glenroy Gilbert former Commonwealth Games athlete and coach in Manchester 2002,

"Hosting our own Queen's Baton Relay event at Major's Hill Park symbolizes Canada's role and connection to the Commonwealth and our excitement and anticipation of the XVIII Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia (March 16-25, 2005)" stated Claude Bennett, President of CGC. A sign bearer holding a pictogram of a Commonwealth Games' sporting event will mark the transition zones of the relay course, with Ashbury College students carrying the flags of the 71 member countries of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

The Queen's Baton Relay leaves Canada for Pakistan on the afternoon of September 9th.

Media photo and interview opportunities:

Official Welcome Reception
September 8, 2005
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Café des Voyageurs,
100 Laurier Street, Gatineau, QC
Event time 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Opportunity time: 7:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Power Walk Relay
September 9, 2005
Major Hill's Park (North entrance opposite National Gallery)
Event time: 12:45 p.m. 1:00 p.m.
Opportunity time: 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) is a not-for-profit multi-sport organization. Since 1930, CGC has been strengthening sport within Canada and throughout the Commonwealth by participating in the Commonwealth Games and by using sport as a tool for development. For further information about Team Canada, the 2006 Commonwealth Games or our International Development through Sport programs, please visit our web site at


Contact Information

  • Lynn Gordon, Communications, Commonwealth Games Canada
    Primary Phone: 613-244-6868 ext. 230
    Secondary Phone: 613-612-8102