January 30, 2013 (Toronto, ON) – On Tuesday evening at the TD Tower in downtown Toronto 100+ guests, including former Canadian cycling greats, gathered for a evening of celebration, camaraderie and a fundraising launch for the remaining $5 million needed to complete the Milton Velodrome for the TO 2015 Pam Am Games.
Renowned cyclists such as Steve Bauer, Curt Harnett, Michael Barry, Andrew Randell plus rising stars including Saskia Kowalchuk and Simon Fothergill were on hand for the festivities.
With 90% of the funding secured the Milton Velodrome is on track to be constructed as the ground breaking gets underway next week. The velodrome will be a UCI C1 category facility, housing a 250m track built using over 10,000 boards of hand-selected Siberian Spruce with a 42-degree slope in the corners. The facility will seat up to 2,500 spectators for events and will become the official home of the Canadian Track Cycling Program, which is currently located in Los Angeles. The velodrome is scheduled to open in October 2014.
Guests also included Tim Hockey (President & CEO of TD Canada Trust), Greg Mathieu (Chief Executive Officer & Secretary General of Cycling Canada), Jim Crosscombe (Executive Director of Ontario Cycling Association) and many other supporters.
“We’re breaking sod next week,” said Hockey. “It’s been a short 15 months as the process which can be glacial has gone at lightning speed. It’s very exciting and we’re grateful for all the support to date but now we need to mobilize the entire cycling community to raise the remaining funds and ensure the facility is used after the Games so the legacy is fulfilled.”
Hockey added that facilities like the Milton Velodrome are game-changers using Britain and the Manchester Velodrome as an example emphasizing that use of the velodrome beyond the 2015 Games is crucial in the long term.
While donations were not being directly solicited at the event – but were graciously accepted – the evening was also about awareness of the project and inclusiveness of all cycling disciplines along with a call-to-action to get the message out to all cyclists as the facility is not only for elite riders. There was also a strong emphasis on engaging kids who are the future of the sport.
Howard Chang, from Top Drawer Creative, MC’d the evening that included a slide show presentation and panel consisting of Fraser Chapman (Morning Glory club founder), Curt Harnett, Tim Farrar (Paris-Ancaster) and Steve Bauer who discussed the many advantages of the Velodrome and it’s importance to the development of the sport in Canada.
Farrar spoke about the Paris-Ancaster fundraising efforts with a goal of $20,000 saying at least 25% of participants made donation while Bauer recently launched Steve Bauer CanFondo as a fundraiser for the Milton Velodrome as well.
So the wheels are turning as echoed by the Town of Milton’s Jennifer Reynolds in her opening comments, “We want to make the town of Milton and the Velodrome the new home of Canadian cycling.”