Olympic torch relay — a relay good show

Ask Cole Armour what he enjoys most and the ten-year-old musical sensation answers without hesitation: “I love to sing, and I love to make people happy.”

On Monday, February 8, he will do just that when he takes the stage outside the Langley Events Centre and performs for thousands of people gathered to welcome the Olympic Torch as it makes its way through the Township of Langley.

Armour, who won the 2009 Red Robinson’s Talent Showdown at the PNE and has sung at the Merritt Mountain Music Festival, plans to perform a song he feels is particularly appropriate. “I am singing ‘Go The Distance’,” he said. “I thought that would be a great song. People are running with the Torch and they are going the distance. It’s the power of song telling people to keep going and never give up.”

The Olympic torch will arrive in the Township just before 9 a.m. on February 8, and will make its way through Walnut Grove, Fort Langley, Aldergrove, and Willoughby. Celebrations will be held in downtown Aldergrove and at the Fort Langley National Historic Site, and as an official Relay Celebration Community, the Township will host a Community Celebration and Torch Festival with local and VANOC-sponsored entertainment.

The free, outdoor Community Celebration runs from 10:30 a.m. to

1 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre, 7888 – 200 Street, and will feature the arrival of the Olympic torch, introduction of the Township’s community torch bearer, and lighting of the official cauldron. Armour will perform, along with the Langley Gymnastics Foundation and a mass choir of Langley school children who will sing Canada’s national anthem. As well, students from Langley Fine Arts School will make a special presentation.

“The school is really excited and very strongly focused on this,” said former LFAS Principal Balan Moorthy, noting that Langley Fine Arts students and staff were abuzz with anticipation.

“They will be doing all of it: music and dance, and they are hoping to do a speaking piece that will move people through the Olympic experience. It will really be something.”

Legendary radio personality and local resident Bob Saye, the official voice of the Langley Events Centre, will be master of ceremonies for the Community Celebration.

Olympic torch relay excitement will continue from 1 – 5 pm when it moves inside the Langley Events Centre. A free, kids-oriented Torch Festival with Try-It! sports, McDonald’s interactive play equipment, and the unveiling of a legacy art project will be held, and entertainers who are well known to youngsters will make special appearances.

Bobs and Lolo – two women who use music, movement, and make-believe to connect kids to the natural world – will be performing, along with Will, a bilingual children’s performer and music educator from Vancouver.

“I am really excited to be a part of this event and to see the torch up close,” said Will. “I can’t wait to perform my songs that emphasize good sportsmanship and encourage kids to get active, like ‘Hockey’s Just Really Cool’ and the ‘Bike Safety Boogie’.”

“We are excited to bring some action packed, musical adventures to the Township of Langley’s Torch Relay celebrations,” said Robyn Hardy (Bobs). “We have previously performed a number of shows in the Langley area and have always been impressed with the municipality’s family-oriented events.”

“It’s an honour to be able to share in the Township’s torch relay celebrations, especially with February 8 being so close to the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games,” added Lorraine Pond (Lolo). “We can’t think of a better event to mark our first 2010 performance in Langley. Be sure to put on your dance pants and bring along some red and white Canadian spirit to help us celebrate the event with musical fun for all ages!”

The day will culminate at 7 p.m. when the Langley Events Centre’s arena hosts an exhibition game between the Slovak and Russian women’s Olympic hockey teams. Tickets are on sale now for $20 for adults or $12 for children under 15 at langleytickets.com or 604.455.8888.

Those who attend the hockey game, Community Celebration, or torch festival can also experience the world-class improv comedy of The Magical Theatrical Vending Machine, the Slovakian entry in the Cultural Olympiad.

Visit tol.ca/torchrelay.

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