PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - Nanguz, pronounced Nan-guzz, the fox has been named the official mascot of the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C., after nearly 3,000 online votes from across the country.

The red fox with a tail the colour of the northern lights was created by local Grade 5 student Kaitlyn Muir, who has been awarded the role of an official torchbearer as part of a prize package that includes a pizza party for her class with the mascot in June.

Muir says Nanguz loves being outside, whether playing sports or enjoying the outdoors.

Nanguz, whose name means fox in local First Nation language, beat out finalists Spruce the Moose and Fraser the Eagle as the mascot for the games that run between Feb. 13 and March 1, 2015.

The contest drew 400 submissions by elementary school students from all over northern B.C.

Athletes from across Canada will compete in 19 sports during the Canada Games, which were last held in Sherbrooke, Que., in the summer of 2013.