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Camosun student helps to create torch to light up B.C. Summer and Winter Games

The torch will be put to use July 21-24 at the B.C. Summer Games in Prince George, and at the 2023 B.C. Winter Games in Greater Vernon March 23-26.
Lacey Reay, right, a Camosun College mechanical engineering technology grad, lights the B.C. Summer and Winter Games torch as Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Melanie Mark, middle, and summer games softball player Emily Bowden look on. The torch is based on elements designed by Indigenous artist Jamin Zuroski and includes bands of cedar woven into the carbon fibre shell. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

One of the creative student minds behind a newly designed torch for the B.C. Summer and Winter Games says she’s thrilled to have been able to put her Camosun College ­engineering education into the project.

Lacey Reay, 23, said her ­contribution to the effort was the “functionality and ­reliability” of the torch, and she worked closely with ’Namgis First Nation artist Jamin ­Zuroski on the overall piece.

The cone-shaped torch was unveiled Thursday at Camosun’s Interurban campus in front of B.C. Games Society representatives and Melanie Mark, minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.

The torch will be put to use July 21-24 at the B.C. Summer Games in Prince George, and at the 2023 B.C. Winter Games in Greater Vernon March 23-26.

Reay, who graduated last August with a diploma in mechanical-engineering technology, said incorporating Indigenous artwork was a big part of the project, so the torch — which runs on butane — will feature woven cedar bands at the top and bottom.

Reay said that she and Zuroski see the melding of cedar with a carbon-fibre shell as “a way of blending modern and traditional weaving technology.”

“The carbon fibre holds the fuel housing and then we have aluminum machined parts to house the flame.”

Coming up with a finished product took time, Reay said. “It’s been a lot of testing and refining just to make sure that it’s intuitive, easy to use, safe,” she said. “Safety is the biggest thing, of course.”

Other challenges included making a more robust flame that burned long enough for practical purposes and improving the refuelling mechanism.

Reay said she initially became involved with the torch prototype as a school project in her final year at Camosun. She was later hired by the Camosun Innovates applied-research centre to further develop the torch.

B.C. Games Society president Alison Noble said she is happy with how the torch turned out. “The partnership with Camosun Innovates has created a torch that has brought the sport, academic and Indigenous communities together for a common purpose.”

Mark applauded the “team-based collaboration” on the ­project, while Camosun president Lane Trotter called the torch “a great example of how Camosun can bring access to new technologies and techniques from the college to local organizations.”

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