2024 Ontario 55+ Winter Games Opening Night

By John Swartz

The 2024 Ontario 55+ Winter Games opened Tuesday evening. The ceremonies split between two venues. The Opera House held about 400 athletes, with a half hour lead, which allowed the dignitaries time to relocated to St. Paul’s Centre where another 300 athletes were welcomed to Orillia.

Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, Edith Dumont, was welcomed to the City earlier in the day on her first official visit anywhere since becoming Lieutenant Governor. She first met mid-afternoon with Mayor Don McIsaac and Chief Ted Williams of the Chippewas of Rama at City Hall before arriving to a reception at the Orillia Recreation Centre.

She was also present to welcome athletes to both evening venues. Former mayor Steve Clarke was the emcee at the Opera House.

As with previous winter games the City has hosted, there was musical entertainment. John Stinson and Eric Kidd of Classic Lightfoot Live ran through several of Gordon Lightfoot’s tunes. The audience response was a standing ovation and they would not let Clarke continue without Stinson and Kidd coming back to do one more tune.

At St. Paul’s Thompson Egbo-Egbo’s trio played jazz accompanied by a troupe of 15 dancers from the dance program at Toronto Metropolitan University who put on a stunning show, which also got a standing ovation.

A complete schedule of events Wednesday and Thursday is available online.

Ontario 55+ Winter Games mascot at the Opera House

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(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia) Main: Ontario 55+ Winter Games participants cheering team leaders entering the auditorium at the Opera House


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