Vote for Your Favourite Mascot and Help Choose the Winner of the TORONTO 2015 Mascot Creation Challenge

Online voting opens Monday, April 22 at toronto2015mascot.ca

TORONTO, April 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Starting this Monday, April 22, at 9:00 a.m. (ET), everyone in Canada will have the chance to help choose the mascot — or, could it be mascots? — for the TORONTO 2015 Games.

A sneak peek at the top six finalists is available today at toronto2015mascot.ca. They include a moose in running shoes, a Maple Leaf-headed beaver, a punk porcupine, a rainbow-hued owl, a rascally raccoon and twins wearing funky hats.

Over the last six weeks, a panel of judges carefully combed through the more than 4,130 entries submitted by teams of young designers, radiating out from the Games region to the Prairies and East and West coasts of Canada. More than 15,000 children aged 16 and under participated in the TORONTO 2015 Mascot Creation Challenge, which officially closed on March 8.

Six finalists were chosen from the entries received. Each submission was judged on its originality, kid appeal, how well it represented the Games region and Canada, and whether it embodied the spirit and values of the Games.

"We want to thank all of our young mascot designers, as well as their friends, family and teachers for participating and wish good luck to the six teams still in the running," said Ian Troop, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015). "Our office has been abuzz ever since the challenge closed. The designs were so diverse and the participants were incredibly enthusiastic — it made choosing just six incredibly difficult. That's why we need the public's help in choosing Canada's next great Games mascot. This is an important decision: the mascot will serve as our ambassador in the community and throughout the Americas and Caribbean— it will reflect the spirit, energy and joy of who we are when the world comes to visit!"

Votes can be cast at toronto2015mascot.ca, as well as on Facebook (facebook.com/toronto2015) from Monday, April 22 until the contest closes on Sunday, May 5 at 11:59 p.m. (ET).

To ensure fairness when Canadians vote, a professional artist illustrated the top six designs using the same colour palette and style across the board while maintaining the integrity of each original design.

The names of the design teams, as well as the backstory of their mascots, will be revealed on toronto2015.org after the public voting ends. Starting April 22, a new feature detailing the behind-the-scenes search for the mascot called The Mascot Diaries will also be available at toronto2015mascot.ca.

On July 17, the winning mascot will greet Canadians and the world for the first time. Over the next two years, the mascot will visit communities and schools throughout Ontario and Canada, welcome athletes and visitors from 41 countries in 2015 and appear on signage and merchandise, including the always popular collectible pins and plush toys.

All participants in the TORONTO 2015 Mascot Creation Challenge have received a special certificate by email from the Organizing Committee recognizing their contribution to the Games. The team with the winning design and its group leader will also receive a personal mascot visit after the big reveal this summer.

About the TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games
The Pan American and Parapan American Games are one of the world's largest international multi-sport events, held every four years for athletes of the 41 member nations of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) and 28 member nations of the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC).  The Pan American Games are comprised of all Olympic Summer Games sports, as well as traditional Pan American sports, while the Parapan American Games are comprised of the majority of Paralympic Summer Games sports. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games will draw more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and team officials and feature 51 sports in municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10−26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14. For more information about the Games, please visit toronto2015.org.

SOURCE Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

Image with caption: "TORONTO 2015 Mascot Creation Challenge (CNW Group/Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130418_C6348_PHOTO_EN_25672.jpg



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