When athletes step on the podium at the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games (WCSG) in Swift Current, they will be presented with medals that will serve as a unique memory of their achievements.
These medals were seen for the first time in public during an unveiling by medal presentation sponsors Mobile Paving Ltd. and the medal designer Brandon Wiebe, April 22.
The WCSG host committee held a medal design contest and Wiebe, who is a freelance graphic designer in Swift Current, submitted the winning design.
An image of the design was released earlier this year, but this unveiling was his first opportunity to hold the medals in his hands.
“They certainly exceeded my expectations,” he said. “I’m only able to give them a rendering of what it would look like in three dimensions, but the Games works with a third party making the medals. They make a couple decisions there that I’m not involved in and it still came out basically exactly how I envisioned it.”
Mobile Paving Ltd. decided to become a WCSG sponsorship partner and they made a $25,000 commitment to become the medal presentation sponsor. Company owners Ryan Roosen and Ron Strieb were present for the medal unveiling.
Strieb said the company was started around 1976 in Swift Current and as a local business they wanted to be involved with the WCSG.
“We've been paving in Swift Current for quite a few years, and we thought this would be a good way to represent the city here, donating something like this for a pretty good cause,” he mentioned.
For Friends of the Games Director Scott Cassidy it was exciting to see a local company partner with the host committee on the medal presentation sponsorship. Over 1,800 medals will be presented during the Games, with 605 medals for each colour (gold, silver, bronze).
“We appreciate Mobile Paving coming on board and being a part of that,” he said. “With that they will be a part of every medal ceremony that takes place throughout the Games. This is a broad-reaching thing. There are 16 different sports, 21 different venues. There will be medal ceremonies every day roughly. Obviously for the athletes receiving the medals this is what they’ve come to Swift Current and southwest Saskatchewan for, and Mobile Paving will be connected to every single one of those.”
The countdown to the Games officially reached the 100-day mark on May 1, and the host committee is continuing efforts to reach the goal of 50 per cent of private sponsorship for the event. He noted that a lot of groundwork was laid during discussions with businesses over the last two years and especially during the past six months.
“We’re following up with those sponsorship partners again and it seems the closer we get to the Games, the more that we’re closing in, that the investment partners want to come on board and the sponsors will be there for the Games,” he said.
He was interested in designing the medals because the event will take place in Swift Current and surrounding area.
“I love Swift Current a lot,” he said. “So the hope was I would get to play a part in a big experience in our city and in the southwest. It hasn’t worn off yet, the excitement of it.”
The design elements on the medal incorporates a maple leaf, an abstracted field of wheat, and the Games logo.
“I thought about the design a lot before I actually put it together,” he said. “I wanted to convey a lot of energy and spirit and the coming together of Canadians, the diversity that we would see both in athletes and volunteers.”
He called the design the Ru’ach of Swift Current, which is a reference to the Hebrew word for spirit. It is an analogy for the spirit of the community and the wind that is such an integral part of the area.
“There isn’t a better analogy for spirit and wind,” he said. “We live in a very windy city. It shows the maple leaf, which represents the diversity of Canadians, being animated and blown to life by the wind, which represents Swift Current's spirit and the volunteer spirit. But it also represents the athletes coming together to animate the Games, and then the wind departing from that afterwards, everyone being changed in their own individual way by the Games.”
Over 1,700 athletes, coaches, officials and mission staff from Alberta, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, and Yukon will attend the Games, and the event is expected to attract 12,000 visitors. Online sale of Game passes and tickets started May 1 and early bird pricing will apply during the month of May. Box office sales will start at Swift Current City Hall on June 10.
For more information about the Games, tickets, or volunteer opportunities, visit the 2019 WCSG website at http://2019wcsg.ca