With only 12 days until the Opening Ceremony, Canada Games volunteers are ready to host the country. Spirits were high at Celebration Square in Grand Parade today, Jan. 29, at the Canada Games volunteer pep rally, where a large crowd of Games volunteers gathered with their families to get ready for the Games. “The time, commitment and energy put forth by our volunteers is remarkable,” said chair of the Halifax 2011 Canada Games, Jean-Paul Deveau. “Today was about getting them pumped to host the nation.” More than 5,000 volunteers of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities, will put in at least 24 hours each during the Games. More than half have submitted their names to Events Nova Scotia to be contacted for future volunteer opportunities. “The valuable experience these volunteers will gain at the Games will help us welcome future, large-scale events to Halifax and Nova Scotia,” said MLA Leonard Preya, on behalf of Premier Darrell Dexter. “I want to thank all the volunteers for getting involved and helping ensure that the Halifax 2011 Canada Games will be a huge success.” “Volunteers play a pivotal role in the exciting event that is the 2011 Games,” said Mayor Peter Kelly, “Without their involvement, the Halifax 2011 Canada Games would not be possible.” Halifax-based band, Gypsophilia entertained the volunteers. Olympic snowboarder and Games volunteer, Kimiki Zakreski, was on hand to lend inspiration. The Halifax 2011 Canada Games will be the largest multi-sport event held in Nova Scotia and Halifax’s first Canada Winter Games.