P.E.I. 9-year-old's Canada Games mascot design comes to life

·1 min read
Myla Doucette, 9, gets a hug from Wowkwis the fox, the 2023 Canada Winter Games Mascot she designed.  (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC - image credit)
Myla Doucette, 9, gets a hug from Wowkwis the fox, the 2023 Canada Winter Games Mascot she designed. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC - image credit)
Wayne Thibodeau/CBC
Wayne Thibodeau/CBC

Nine-year-old Myla Doucette saw her drawing come to life Thursday in front of cheering classmates at Gulf Shore Consolidated School in North Rustico, P.E.I.

Back in the spring, Doucette won a province-wide contest to design the 2023 Canada Games mascot, and today the red fox called Wowkwis — pronounced WHOA-kwiss — was unveiled on stage at the school.

"My mascot got revealed and I am so excited about it," Doucette said, as the mascot gave her a big hug.

Wowkwis is Mi'kmaq for red fox, and the furry mascot wears a Mi'kmaw quillwork medallion around its neck, created by Mi'kmaw artist Noella Moore.

Wayne Thibodeau/CBC
Wayne Thibodeau/CBC

Island community groups will have the opportunity to book a mascot appearance for their events, starting later this month

$100M impact of games

The games will be held Feb.18 to March 5, 2023, and planning is well underway, including contingency plans should COVID-19 still be around.

P.E.I. last hosted the winter games in 1991. Three decades later, the Island will welcome more than 3,600 athletes, staff and coaches in 20 different sports. It amounts to the largest multi-sports event in the country.

Wayne Thibodeau/CBC
Wayne Thibodeau/CBC

Officials say the economic impact of the games will be more than $100 million. It'll be a definite shot in the arm for the provincial economy, battered by the pandemic for the past two years.

The next big milestone on the road to the games will come in February, when officials will be marking the one-year countdown and kicking off a recruitment campaign to attract more than 5,000 volunteers.

Wayne Thibodeau/CBC
Wayne Thibodeau/CBC
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