BC Games Unveils New ‘Green' Torch

The BC Games Society announced it has replaced the natural gas torch that burned in 44 host communities across the province over the past 25 years. In its place the Society unveiled a new 'green' BC Games torch at a short ceremony held this morning at Camosun College.

VICTORIA, BC, December 21, 2009- The BC Games Society announced it has replaced the natural gas torch that burned in 44 host communities across the province over the past 25 years. In its place the Society unveiled a new 'green' BC Games torch at a short ceremony held this morning at Camosun College.

The Honourable Ida Chong, Minister of Healthy Living and Sport, was on hand to unveil the new torch. "I'd like to thank everyone at the BC Games Society, who have shown great leadership in supporting Premier Campbell's vision for the overall reduction of greenhouse gases," said Chong. "This new cauldron will continue the tradition of the torch, but in a way that significantly reduces its impact on the environment."

The new torch was a collaborative effort on the part of Camosun College and the BC Games Society. Students and faculty in Camosun's trades and engineering technology programs designed and manufactured the new torch at the request of the BC Games Society. "Camosun College is proud that we can offer the expertise needed to make this project a reality," said Baldev Pooni, Vice President Education and Student Services at Camosun College "This is a great example of why Camosun College is an integral partner with local industry in serving the immediate and future needs of a sustainable community. Additionally, this is an excellent opportunity for our graduates to apply newly acquired skills." The project was made possible with the corporate support of Rio Tinto Alcan, Colonial Countertops and Mortimer's Monumental Works Limited.

The 25 member multidisciplinary design and manufacturing team from Camosun College included Victoria sculptor, and a recent graduate of the Engineering Graphics Technician program, Frances Semple and Project Manager Ranjan Bhattacharya, Associate Dean, Trades and Technology. Planning and construction of the torch took eight months and the finished product includes over 300 LED lights that serve to create the illusion of a burning flame. The anodized aluminum artwork on the face of the torch was inspired by the work of BC artist, Emily Carr.

The new torch will draw 850 watts of hydro electricity; a renewable, green energy to power the LED lights. This electrical draw is less than a household toaster. For the 100 days the torch will burn it will use approximately 2,000 kWh of electricity and cost roughly a dollar or two a day to operate. Compare this with the old BC Games torch that burned 900,000 cubic feet of natural gas, contributed 12 tonnes of green house gases to the atmosphere over the 100 days it was lit, and cost over $50 dollars a day to operate. The old torch burned enough natural gas to meet the needs of more than 10 average sized homes for an entire year.

"The BC Games Society prides itself on establishing new initiatives and policy related to multi-sport Games in BC and Canada. We believe strongly in leadership and stewardship for the environment and retiring the torch is one step towards making sustainable choices for the BC Games and our Host Communities." said Kelly Mann, BC Games Society President and CEO.

Immediately following its unveiling the torch was on its way north for the Terrace 2010 BC Winter Games' torch lighting event on December 5th. The Terrace event will mark 100 days until 2000 athletes, coaches and officials from across BC attend the March 4-7 BC Winter Games.

The BC Games Society is responsible for staging BC's largest multisport events, the BC Summer and BC Winter Games. Since 1978, the Games have taken place in 38 communities and involved over 350,000 participants and volunteers from every corner of the province. The BC Games foster the development of athletes, volunteers and communities and promote the pursuit of active healthy living for all British Columbians. For more information please visit www.bcgames.org

PHOTOS: BC Games New Green Torch http://www.flickr.com/photos/26399591@N03/sets/72157622763105413/

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Media Contact:

Byron Postle
Communications & Event Manager
BC Games Society

Torch Facts & Figures
Energy Consumption: 850 watts
Energy Equivalent: Toaster 800 - 1500 watts
Electricity used over 100 days: 2,040 KWh
Number of LED lights used: 303
Height and weight: 544 kg and 4.5 m tall (1200 lbs and 15 ft.)
Green House Gasses removed from the environment: 900,000 cubic feet of natural gas and 12 tonnes of green house gasses
Corporate contributors: Rio Tinto Alcan, Colonial Countertops, Cambria and Mortimer's Monumental Works Limited

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