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Olympic flame to light up Squamish

Squamish Nation will also welcome torch to traditional territory



Rob Drygas has been a tree faller in Squamish for 25 years and his family has deep roots in the area.

So it seems only fitting that he should be chosen to carry the Olympic flame in his town.

But he won't be doing it the regular way, running or walking 300 metres to the next torchbearer. Instead, Drygas will carry the torch, rigged to a special chest pack, up a 100-foot tree.

"I'm just happy to represent the loggers of Squamish," said Drygas. "I'm really proud."

His climb will take place on Friday, Feb. 5, Day 99 of the Torch Relay. He will be at the Loggers Sports Grounds in Squamish at 8:15 a.m.

That is the same day the torch will make its way to Whistler, stopping first at Whistler Olympic Park.

Squamish's main celebration, however, will take place on Feb. 4 - day 98 of the Torch Relay. It will be welcomed first into the Squamish Nation's traditional territory that afternoon. There will be celebrations taking place at Totem Hall from 3 to 6 p.m. complete with interactive games, healthy snacks and traditional cultural entertainment.

"It's open to all the community to come to Totem Hall to join us for that celebration," said Squamish Nation Chief Ian Campbell.

"We hope the masses will come and join us and then we can stand in unity and celebrate as a community."

Squamish Nation will then be bussing community members to Brennan Park Recreation Centre afterwards where the main Squamish celebration will take place.

At 6 p.m. the celebrations will begin outside the back parking lot behind Brennan Park with live music including the Sound of Youth Chorus and Sea to Sky Singers. The evening celebration lasts until 8 p.m.

There will be no food and beverage available on site.

The celebrations also include a fundraising hockey event organized by the Squamish Rotary at Brennan Park.

The puck drops at 3:30 p.m. when the Squamish Wolf Pack take on the Twin Cities Northern Lights. Squamish Rotary will be raising funds for KidSport, to remove financial barriers that prevent kids from playing organized sport. Tickets are $10.