"Waskasoo" unveiled as the official 2019 Canada Winter Games mascot

By Troy Gillard (Twitter: @Troy_Gillard)
October 3, 2017 - 6:49pm Updated: February 18, 2018 - 8:28pm

Meet the new face of the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

“Waskasoo,” the official Games mascot presented by Riverside Dental, was unveiled during an event at Bower Place Tuesday evening.

The event, presented by Alberta Blue Cross, also celebrated the 500 day countdown to the start of the 2019 Games in Red Deer.

Waskasoo was created by 12-year-old Mackenzie Van Damme of Lacombe. Her entry was chosen from over 300 submitted for a province-wide Mascot Challenge.

“My mother was going through the website when she found this Canada Winter Games contest, so she wanted me to try it and I love drawing, so I thought it was a good fit for me,” explained the Lacombe Junior High student. “I took a whole bunch of pictures from online and just added a bunch of ideas into one.”

“We are proud to congratulate Mackenzie for creating the perfect ambassador for the 2019 Games,” said Lyn Radford, Board Chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games. “Over the next 17 months, Waskasoo will help to ensure the magic of the 2019 Games with adults and youth alike in central Alberta through his enthusiasm, encouragement and kindness.”

Van Damme said it’s still pretty surreal that her drawing has been turned into the official Games mascot.

“I thought my drawing was good, but I never thought that it would go on to do something like this.”

For winning the Mascot Challenge, Mackenzie earned a Canada Games prize pack and a pizza party for her entire class. She will also be a torchbearer during the 2019 Games Torch Relay.

The 2019 Games also officially welcomed several new major sponsors at Tuesday’s event – Melcor as a Gold Sponsor, Pidherney’s, IFR Workwear and Hotels Red Deer as Silver Sponsors, and Alberta Blue Cross as a Bronze Sponsor.

“With 500 Days to go, we are ramping up our corporate sponsorship program,” said Radford.  “The five sponsors who’ve joined the Games family today will help us to deliver a life-shaping Games experience for all participants in 2019.”

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