It’s the biggest multi-sport event Canada has ever hosted – larger than Montreal’s Olympic Summer Games in 1976, grander than Calgary’s hosting of the Winter Olympics in 1988, and yes, even greater in size than Vancouver 2010. It’s the Pan Am Games and it’s coming to Toronto in the Summer 2015.
From July 10-26 Toronto will be transformed into a mass sport venue for 7,600 athletes of the Americas, from Peru and Paraguay, to Canada, Brazil, the U.S., Belize, and the Cayman Islands. Sports include everything from BMX, beach volleyball and diving, to equestrian, sailing, golf, tennis, rugby sevens and soccer. The Parapan Am Games follow August 7-15.
But it’s not all about sport. Toronto is using the Games to showcase its diversity, culture, food, and art, as well as its ability to, um… party. As Curt Harnett, a three-time Olympic medallist in track cycling and Team Canada’s chef de mission, told the Toronto Star: “This is going to be the greatest party the city has ever had.”
Pan Am’s Summer Arty Party
Cirque du Soleil opens Toronto’s Pan Am Games July 10 at Rogers Centre with the largest artistic production the troupe has every staged. Hip-hop dancers mix with acrobats, all directed by So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Luther Brown.
With an aim to make Toronto 2015 the most inclusive multi-sport Games in history for the LGBTQ community, PrideHouse Toronto plans a party pavillion along Toronto’s lively Church Street. On the roster: theatre, music, sports, games, and what’s bound to be a colourful beer garden.
StreetARToronto has commissioned Canadian artist Sarah Anne Johnson to create a giant photographic mural for the west-facing wall of the Westin Harbour Castle hotel at 11 Bay St, considered the heart of Toronto 2015. On Twitter : @StART_Toronto
A kinetic sculpture (a.k.a. “optical art”) titled Water Velocity by Quebec City contemporary art collective BGL will adorn the main entrance of Scarborough’s new Pan Am Aquatics Centre.
Free to the public will be the Ontario Celebration Zone at Harbourfront Centre, an whiz-bang of a Pan Am street party celebrating the Yours to Discover province by showcasing its art, its dance, and its tastes… Niagara wines, anyone?