Camosun CollegeMechanical Engineering Technology grad Lacey Reay designed, tested and built a new torch for the BC Summer and Winter Games.

Through a partnership between BC Games Society and Camosun Innovates, design of the new torch began as a student-led initiative that was the basis of a capstone project for four students from the Mechanical Engineering Diploma program at Camosun. Once the concept was approved, the applied research arm of the college stepped in so Lacey Reay, one of the students involved, could take the torch from idea to full implementation.

“The goal was to make it a more robust flame and something that was going to be safe, reliable and durable that maintained burning for the length of time needed for real-world use,” explains Reay. “The capstone design ticked those boxes and my job at Camosun Innovates has been to make it more refined, and to enhance the overall mechanics behind the design to improve the refueling mechanism and to make it as user friendly as possible.”

Camosun Innovates, the applied research department of the college, provided Reay with the resources to design, test and build the torch. With a clean fuel source that produces a consistent low-emission flame and the addition of a protective shut off valve, the new design prioritizes safety and usability.

“The torch gives me great hope and will shine brightly on upcoming athletes and champions for many years to come,” says Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “The team-based, creative collaboration between Indigenous artists, organizers and students will celebrate athletes, communities and the spirit of the B.C. games.”

“Relevant, innovative and applied learning that ignites passion is a hallmark of a Camosun education,” says Lane Trotter, President of Camosun. “The torch for the BC Games Society is a great example of how Camosun can bring access to new technologies and techniques from the college to local organizations.”

The look and feel of the new torch is striking and based on elements designed by Indigenous artist Jamin Zuroski from the Namgis First Nation. The design includes bands of cedar woven into the carbon fibre shell.

“We are very excited about this new torch and what it represents,” says Alison Noble, President and CEO of the BC Games Society. “The partnership with Camosun Innovates has created a torch that has brought the sport, academic and Indigenous communities together for a common purpose.”

The torch will be used at all Games including the BC Summer Games in Prince George, July 21 to 24, 2022 and the BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon, March 23-26, 2023.

Camosun Innovates connects applied learning and applied research, design thinking and interdisciplinary inquiry, productivity improvement and tech-savvy intention. Recent projects include design and manufacturing of competitive equipment for Olympic para-athletes, complex sport simulators, and self-righting watercraft, as well as medical grade face shields, vaccine trays and portable decontamination devices to support front-line health care professionals during the pandemic.