Prince George is officially on the sports radar now that the Canada Games torch has been passed to the city.
"Receiving the torch was an honour," said Mayor Shari Green, who took the stage in Sherbrooke, Que., Sunday along with Lheidli T'enneh Chief Dominic Frederick, 2015 Host Society chair Anthony Everett and B.C. Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Coralee Oakes at the Canada Summer Games closing ceremony.
Green spent two days in Quebec learning about what worked within the municipality to make for a successful Games.
"It's part of the Canada Games process that the next host has that opportunity to sit, if you will, at the side of the host community and learn from them and watch and observe the process unfold on a daily basis," Green said.
In addition to learning about sharing city staff and their expertise with the host society - and learning a few words of French - Green said she also had the opportunity to sit down with Governor General David Johnston.
"He came and sat with me and we had a great conversation about Prince George in 2015 and of course he'll be a part of that celebration," Green said. "So of course I let him now that I would need his help in a royal invitation to Prince George in 2015, so he can watch for that."
The trip to Sherbrooke was also a chance to see Team B.C. in action. The provincial athletes brought home 122 medals, landing them in third place for medal standings after Ontario and Quebec. There were 360 athletes, 70 coaches and 20 mission staff sent to the games from B.C., representing more than 50 communities.
The Prince George contingent was a visible presence on the ground in Quebec and Green said there was palpable anticipation for the 2015 event.
"The kids that are athletes, all of them coming in to the closing ceremonies they had big banners: 'See you in Prince George,'" she said. "They know what's next."
A shift will also become more noticeable, the mayor said, now that focus is off of Sherbrooke and the Summer Games.
"The community in Prince George will start to see a bit of a ramp up and speed change now that we'll have the undivided attention of the Canada Games folks," she said.