Bringing to life the excitement and anticipation for the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, the Yonge-Dundas Square was abuzz with activities and festivities on the night of Oct. 1.
The one-year countdown event showcased a variety of activities to paint the intimate connection between the arts and the military.
A live mural experience took place over the course of the night by renowned sports artist David Arrigo. Entitled “From Darkness to Light,” the mural depicted the rehabilitation journey of co-captains for the Canadian 2017 Invictus Team Simon Mailloux and Natacha Dupuis, from their time in service, to injury, to Invictus.
Also that night, through a collaborative effort, the attendees constructed a 30 foot by 30 foot I AM structure, created by 6,000 black and yellow blocks.
“Having the One-Year Countdown to the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 presented by Jaguar Land Rover on Yonge-Dundas Square could not have been more exciting. From the creation of the I AM structure with the help of 4,000 members of the public to the displays of military vehicles from the Canadian Armed Forces, and cars from Jaguar Land Rover, the square was buzzing with activity. If this night was any indication, the competitors, their friends and family from 17 nations around the world are in for the best Invictus Games yet; starting with a warm and enthusiastic Canadian welcome,” said Michael Burns, Chief Executive Officer, Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Organizing Committee.
The presenting sponsors of the game, Jaguar Land Rover, also brought in cars for display and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has a Leopard II tank, LAV 6 and TAPV on hand for the event.
Partnering between Nuit Blanche Toronto and the Invictus Games 2017 is the first of many events and programs to be held in the next year by cultural institutions leading up to and during the 2017 Invictus Games.
Honourable guests who laid down the inaugural blocks included: Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Parliamentarian Arthur Potts, John Tory, Mayor of Toronto; Chief R. Stacey LaForme, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Christine Tabbert, Chief of Staff to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Michael Burns, Chief Executive Officer, Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Organizing Committee, Wolfgang Hoffmann, president of Jaguar Land Rover Canada, and Natacha Dupuis and Simon Mailloux, co-captains of the 2017 Invictus Games Team Canada.