The Spirit Train is on a cross country tour across Canada to promote the Winter Games, which will be held in Vancouver and in Whistler from 12-21 March 2010. In addition to a village of tents featuring simulations of various Winter sports, the events feature live entertainment on a stage of one of the train’s cars, a Kid’s Zone, a video booth as well as an information booth.
One of the main guest stars and ambassador on the tour is Canadian Paralympian Paul Rosen, who won the gold medal with the National Ice Sledge Hockey team in 2006. Rosen has already been on a few of the train stops, with the next chance to meet him being 11 October in Sudbury. Two other Paralympians, Colette Bourgonje (Cross-Country Skiing) and Lisa Franks (Athletics), were part of the tour stop in Saskatoon.
Canadian Pacific’s Tour Manager, Breanne Feigel, said there is a lot of excitement in the undertaking, bringing the Games to communities across Canada.
In addition to the live acts and simulated Games activities, the mascots of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games are also part of the tour. Miga, Quatchi and Sumi are three popular characters that everyone was able to enjoy and meet. Sumi, the Paralympic mascot, is an animal guardian spirit with the wings of a Thunderbird and the legs of a black bear. He lives in the mountains of British Columbia and wears a hat of an orca whale.
The total staff of the tour operation is about 50 people. It began in Port Moody, British Columbia, on 21 September and is making 10 stops in total. In each city, there are community volunteers and local Canadian Pacific employees who lend additional support in order to carry out the promotional tour smoothly. The final stop of the tour will be in Montreal on 18 October.