Archive | May, 2005

Vancouver Artists Feel Their Expression is Restricted Because of the Copyright Rules Surrounding the Olympic Logo Ilanaaq

Here’s an interesting article from this weeks Georgia Straight. I haven’t seen any of the ‘art’ in question, and it’s too bad they didn’t post it alongside the article, but I would like to. Please send me an email or even better yet post any of the images you find in the comments.

Do Olympic rings bind art?

By pieta wooley

Publish Date: 26-May-2005

didn’t take long for Vancouver artists to start spoofing the 2010
Winter Olympics. Within days of the unveiling of Illanaaq, the happy
inukshuk, two graphic designers sent their parodies to the Straight.
Vancouver artist Craig Calvert redesigned the logo as Pac-Man, a hockey
goalie, and Terrence from South Park.

Don Strom picked on
Illanaaq, too. “A lot of people didn’t like the process for choosing
the logo,�? Strom explained to the Georgia Straight. “When they chose
the logo, I felt a disconnect from it. I wish they wouldn’t have chosen
Inuit art, and it didn’t seem right that an Inuit person didn’t create
it. For my cartoon, I used the Voice of Fire [a painting by American
abstract artist Barnett Newman, controversially acquired by the
National Gallery of Canada for $1.8 million in 1991] in place of the
inukshuk, with the words Vancouver 2010 below. I felt a similar
disconnect between the two events.�?

Both Calvert and Strom
did their jobs as artists: they parodied a cultural symbol to encourage
viewers to reconsider its meaning. It sounds innocuous, but in fact, it
may be illegal.

A memo on VANOC’s Web site,, explains the restrictions on unauthorized use
of Olympic symbols, including the rings, the torch, and other images.
Trademarked words and phrases include Olympics, Olympiad, Olympian,
Vancouver 2010, Canada 2010, 2010 Games, Countdown to 2010, and even
the number 2010 itself.

The memo warns that unauthorized use
of words or symbols that may be confused with the Olympic brand, on
“Web sites, signage, written materials or merchandise�?, can result in
“legal action in order to protect the Olympic Brand. This could include
court orders for the seizure of unauthorized merchandise and the
payment of damages.�?

In Canada, the Olympic brand is
protected by the 1976 Olympic Act. It allows any Canadian Olympics to
establish—through the trademark—“the foundation for a vast expansion of
marketing programs aimed at…‘self-financing the games’,�? according to
the 2002 book Selling the Five Rings: The International Olympic
Committee and the Rise of Olympic Commercialism (University of Utah
Press). Olympic organizing committees can raise funds by allowing
companies to buy the right to use Olympic symbols on marketing
materials, and to buy into the games as principal sponsors.

memo warns that “Any unauthorized use of the Olympic Brand threatens
VANOC’s ability to establish a successful sponsorship program and raise
funds necessary to host and stage the 2010 Winter Games….Any deficit
[generated by the 2010 Olympics] will be the responsibility of the
Province of British Columbia.�?

In other words, the Olympics
is going to cost a lot, and VANOC depends on corporations such as Rona
to bail out taxpayers who may otherwise get stuck with the bill. So
don’t screw with the rings’ image.

Before the 2000 Sydney
Olympics, Australian art lawyer Sally McCausland grew concerned that
Olympic trademark law limits the freedom of artists. “The legislation
potentially gives the AOC [Australian Olympic Committee]…the power to
prohibit protest art incorporating Olympic insignia on a range of
articles including t-shirts and perhaps even billboard posters,�? she
wrote in the journal Art+Law. As an example, McCausland related that an
artist had “distributed free t-shirts on behalf of Animal Liberation
Tasmania. The t-shirts carried a design ‘depicting a hen in a cage with
five eggs….’ SOCOG [the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic
Games] sought and obtained an injunction restraining any further
reproduction or sale of the design, and delivery up of all the
remaining t-shirts. The fact that the t-shirts were distributed free
for ‘donations’ was not a defence.�?

Canada is not Australia, so
the judgment isn’t a precedent in this country. However, a duplicate
case has not been tried in Canada. We don’t know how protest art—or any
other kind of art that reflects the Olympic brand—would be viewed by
our courts. As fair comment? Or worthy of a fine and seizure of

To an SFU social-movement historian, these questions
just affirm what he already believes about the Olympics. “There’s been
a transition from ugly politicism to ugly corporatism,�? Mark Leier told
the Straight. He explained that in 1896, the modern Olympics started
because France wanted to regain its national pride after losing the
Franco-Prussian war. Since then, the games have been used politically
by the Nazis, and by both sides during the Cold War. “What’s different
now is the large interest by the corporate sector; sports entertainment
and sporting goods have become big business. The Olympics is a
commodity like any other. It’s sold through advertising and TV rights.�?

warned that this is bad news for artists. No one will argue that
artists can criticize governments, he explained. Using trademark laws,
however, corporations can effectively curtail public criticism—as they
did with the McLibel lawsuit in Britain.

Echoing his comments
was Vancouver blogger Jill Hayhurst. In December, she berated VANOC for
cracking down on a Summerland coffee company owner who sold bags of
“Olympic Dreams�? coffee to raise money for a local skier to attend the
2006 Olympics. Hayhurst also alluded to the Denman Street Olympia Pizza
debacle, in which VANOC tried to force the 15-year-old company to
change its name and signage, because it contained the five rings and
the torch.

But until a Canadian artist pushes the boundaries
of the fine border between fair comment and Olympic trademark law,
Leier said we won’t know exactly what’s legal and what isn’t.

Posted in Culture, Vancouver 20100 Comments

Canada’s Hydrogen Highway- Development for the 2010 Vancouver and Whistler Winter Olympics

Sign me up! I’m *so* buying a hydrogen car as soon as they come out.

Prime Minister Paul Martin announced Canada’s plans to build a Hydrogen HighwayTM from the Vancouver Airport to Whistler for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The Hydrogen Highway is two things. First, it is a metaphor for the
transition to the hydrogen economy and a sustainable future. A world
leading industry will develop along this road, providing economic and
social benefits to British Columbia and all of Canada. Second, the
Hydrogen Highway is a coordinated, large-scale demonstration and
deployment program intended to accelerate the commercialization of
hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

Today, it consists of seven nodes
– each with plans for its own sustainable microcosm with hydrogen
fueling infrastructure as well as a range of transportation and
stationary applications.

By creating an early adopter community of technology developers and
users throughout British Columbia, the Hydrogen Highway will play an
integral role in removing barriers for hydrogen and fuel cell
commercialization. The project will develop a critical mass of
expertise, knowledge, and experience in the area, provide data for
developing international codes and standards around implementing the
technology, stimulate demand for the technology by allowing the media
and general public to feel, touch and see the benefits of a hydrogen
economy, open doors for international partnership and create a hydrogen
infrastructure legacy in association with a high profile international

(Via Whistler MMX)

Attachment Size
200405hwymap.jpg 19.6 KB

Posted in Vancouver 20100 Comments

Mindy Shoppe Has Her Eyes On The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver

Here’s a cool article from the Gwinnett Daily Post in Gwinnett County, Georgia about Mindy Shoppe who hopes to compete in the Olympics in figure skating in 2010. Mindy, get in touch if you want to blog here about your training and preperation leading up to the Games. :)

Mindy Shoppe is a young girl with a big dream — to figure skate in the 2010 Olympics.

Skater’s quest for gold involves whole family


By Shelley Mann

Staff Writer

At 6 a.m. on a recent sweltering Thursday, 14-year-old Mindy Shoppe
climbed out of bed and pulled on thick tights and a heavy jacket.
By 7:30 a.m., she was shivering on the ice rink, stretching out her
muscles and readying for a morning and afternoon full of double axels,
triple lutzes and flips.

Mindy is a young girl with a big dream — to figure skate in the 2010
Olympics. It’s been the Grayson eighth-grader’s goal ever since, as an
impressionable 7-year-old, she watched Tara Lipinski win the gold.

She’s already given up a lot for her goal. Last year, she dropped out
of McConnell Middle School and opted for an online home schooling
program that allows more time to practice skating.

Her days — every day, even in the summer — consist of four hours of
skating, two hours of off-ice aerobics and strength training, then
school work and sleep. She can’t eat junk food or stay up late. Her
free time is spent catching up on homework or exercising.

Coach Aren Nielsen, a former silver-medal winner at the national level,
has been working with Mindy for five years. She’s got the talent to
make it to the Olympics, he says. And she’s certainly got the

She’s already performed in high-profile events such as Champions on Ice
at Philips Arena and has been asked to skate during intermission at a
Gwinnett Gladiators game.

But the challenge has been trying to find the money to fund the
expensive sport. Parents Jeff and Kathy Shoppe have already maxed out
credit cards and refinanced their home to pay for the nearly $40,000 in
annual costs. To make it to the next level, both parents and coach
Nielsen agree, Mindy needs to find a financial backer.

Follow the money

More money means more coaches, more competitions and more name
recognition. It means Mindy could meet with her sports psychologist,
who helps keep her head straight through the high-pressure world of
competition, every other month rather than twice a year.

Nielsen compares the costs involved to NASCAR racing — there’s no way
an average guy who wants to race at NASCAR could pay for his own car
and racing team. Similarly, most families can’t afford the annual costs
associated with figure skating.

Mindy pays $2,000 a year for custom-sewn dresses, individualized for
her long and short routines. Another $2,000 goes toward skates, blades
and other equipment. But the majority of the money pays for coaching
fees, ice time and travel costs.

The key to being chosen for the Olympic team is creating buzz, and
people can’t start talking about Mindy until she starts making a name
for herself at competitions.

“There is still some politicking in skating. We need to send her to
events to get her noticed,�? Nielsen said. “If she gets out and gets
noticed, the judges know to look for Mindy Shoppe.�?

Young skaters who grow up in “skating towns,�? in colder states such as
Michigan, Colorado and Delaware, usually have better luck finding
patrons than those in places like Atlanta, which is most definitely not
a skating town. Mindy practices at the Duluth Ice Forum, the only ice
rink in Gwinnett and one of just three in metro Atlanta.

The Shoppes are working hard to market their daughter to potential
donors. They cashed in on a favor from a friend who works in a public
relations firm to work up a color pamphlet and promotional video
touting Mindy. The publicity materials are meant to woo possible

Although some skaters find companies to back them, most rely on
individual donors. They’re usually former skaters or figure-skating
aficionados who understand the high costs involved.

“It’s frustrating for us as parents because we’ve invested all we can,�?
Jeff Shoppe said. “People have told us, ‘If you don’t have the money,
you should just stop,’ But we’re not going to, not as long as she wants

Path to the gold

Mindy tried gymnastics and soccer before settling on figure skating,
and she said she loved skating from the first time she set foot on the
ice. She’s loved winning ever since she came in first at her very first
competition. At 5 years old, she didn’t really understand what “first�?
meant, but she knew she wanted it.

“That’s where it started,�? Mindy said.

Since then, she’s never wavered in her passion for skating. Dad Jeff
has told Mindy that if he ever has to come in and drag her out of bed
for skating practice, then it’s over. It hasn’t been a problem yet.

Most of Mindy’s friends are fellow figure skaters she knows from her
rink or from competitions.

Jeff and Kathy Shoppe have also tailored their schedules to Mindy’s
skating. Jeff drops her off at the rink first thing in the morning, and
Kathy, bundled in a sweater and thick pants, arrives later to sit on
the cold metal bleachers and watch Mindy skate.

The Shoppes’ fourth-grade son is also involved in baseball, but not
nearly as heavily. Two older children, former cheerleaders, are in
college now.

Even with enough money, making it to the Olympics is even harder than
it sounds. First, skaters have to finish among the top four skaters
during one of nine regional championships. The top three finalists from
the next round, sectionals, go on to a national championship. And only
the top three national winners have a chance to be picked by the
Olympic committee.

But before Mindy can even compete at the regional level, she has to
master the jumps and techniques of the novice level she currently
competes at and move up to the senior or champion level.

“The road to the Olympics is usually a lot longer than people think,�?
Nielson said. “You have that stereotype story of the mom driving the
kid two hours each way every day, but that’s actually true. It’s an up
and downhill battle to get to that point.�?

Posted in Vancouver 20100 Comments

BC Olympians and Medals from Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games

Here’s some interesting data I pulled up from the Ministry of Small Business and Economic Development on BC athletes who medaled in the last winter Olympics. I should drop them each an email and what they’re up to and see if they want to blog here and if they’re thinking about competing in 2010. Or I could just chill until the 2006 Winter Games in Turin are over and then get in touch with those guys. :)

Salt Lake City 2002

BC athletes made up 18% (29 athletes of 157 total) of the Canadian Team for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in
Salt Lake City. 62% of the BC athletes achieved a top 8 result (18 of 29); Of those 18 athletes, 11 or 67%
contributed to three medals.

Gold – Paul Kariya, Scott Niedermayer, Joe Sakic, Eric Brewer and Ed Jovanovski, men’s hockey

Silver – Kelley Law, Diane Nelson, Georgina Wheatcroft, Julie Skinner and Cheryl Noble, women’s curling

Silver – Alanna Kraus, speedskating – 3,000 m Relay.

athletes made up 18% of the Canadian Team for the 2002 Paralympic Games
in Salt Lake City (5 athletes out of 27). BC athletes won 44% of the
medals (7 medals out of 16).

Gold – Daniel Wesley, alpine skiing – men’s slalom

Gold – Lauren Woolstencroft, alpine skiing – women’s slalom

Gold – Lauren Woolstencroft, alpine skiing – women’s Super G

Silver – Daniel Wesley, alpine skiing – men’s Super G

Silver – Lauren Woolstencroft, alpine skiing – Women’s Giant Slalom

Bronze – Daniel Wesley, alpine skiing – men’s downhill

Bronze – Scott Patterson, alpine skiing – men’s Giant Slalom

Posted in Torino 2006, Vancouver 20100 Comments

Olympic Logo Failing to Win Friends in B.C.

Here’s another interesting article (with some good comments on the bottom of the page) about a poll that was taken of “British Columbians” to measure peoples reaction to new Olympics emblem. I’ve emailed the author to see if we can take a look at the poll too. Interesting that the results are not dissimilar from the results of our poll on the new 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics logo, Ilanaaq.

Olympic logo failing to win friends in B.C.

Half of those polled like Ilanaaq, but two in five dislike it

A poll shows that just under half of British Columbians want to befriend Ilanaaq, the 2010 Olympics logo.

“It shows that a lot of the negative discussion about the logo has had an impact,” said Evi Mustel, of Mustel Group Market Research.

When the logo was revealed with much fanfare on April 23, it immediately drew criticism for what many felt was a simplistic design.

A member of the Squamish First Nation labelled it an act of aggression because the stylized Inukshuk is a symbol of the Inuit, an aboriginal people foreign to B.C.

UPDATED: After a little back and forth with David, I was able to track down some additional information about the poll that was conducted. Here’s some of the results.

I’m still trying to figure out how many people were sampled. What they were asked? etc. It would be insightful to get a look at the research report done by Evi Mustel.

Posted in Vancouver 20100 Comments

2010 Vancouver Olympics Logo Borrowed from Living Earth Eco-Tours

Here’s a interesting tidbit I came across today in the Richmond News while looking for news headlines about Ilanaaq and the 2010 Winter Olympics…

“Tour operator had Inukshuk first

By Michelle Hopkins

Rarely does a day go by for Richmond-based Living Earth Eco-Tours operator Isaac Ergas that someone doesn’t comment on his corporate logo.

You see, his logo bears an uncanny resemblance to the Inukshuk symbol adopted by the 2010 Olympics. It’s got to the point that Ergas has put stickers on his four company vehicles indicating he’s been in business since 2000. Ergas hopes the coincidence works in his favour.

“I’m getting kind of free advertising,” he quipped.

The company’s focus is on the needs of Spanish-speaking tourists visiting Western Canada. Ergas, who hails from Mexico, supplies tours, transportation, airline and hotel reservations and more.”

I’d love to get a chance to meet Isaac and take pictures of the stickers they put on their vehicles. I find it hard to believe that on top of all the other controversy surrounding this design, that no one ran a logo search to try and see if there was already something similar in existence. I can recommend a couple legal firms that can offer this service.

Posted in Vancouver 20100 Comments

Hockey Canada Invites 27 Players to Try Out for Olympic Women’s Hockey Team

Hockey Canada invites 27 players to try out for Olympic women’s hockey team ( (CP) – Hockey Canada has named the 27 players who will try out for the Olympic women’s hockey team, which will attempt to defend its gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. [Vancouver 2010 Ice Hockey News on Yahoo]

Posted in Torino 2006, Vancouver 20100 Comments

RONA Sponsors the Vancouver Olympics, Deal Valued at $75M

Yesterday Roland and I attended the announcement of the new partnership between RONA home stores and Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The Olympic logo designers were there as well as some local VANOC people, some RONA big-wigs, some Canadian athletes, and the media.

The 2 most interesting parts of the announcment in my opinion were, a) the news that the sponsoship cost RONA $75 million dollars, and b) talking to the Canada Olympic athletes from past games that were there (especially Kelly Smith and Ross MacDonald).

Here are a couple photos from the event. The rest of the photos can be found here. I’ve also posted the media announcement details below so you can see some of the information surrounding the contract. One thing that suprised me about it all was as a percentage what a small part actually goes to the athletes and communitities…. 10% or less.

2010 Vancouver Olympics RONA Sponsorship Unveiling

Kelly Smith - Silver medallist in the marathon event at Athens

2010 Vancouver Olympics RONA Sponsorship Unveiling

2010 Vancouver Olympics RONA Sponsorship Unveiling

RONA joins Vancouver 2010 Winter Games team as Official Home Improvement Partner

Montreal/Vancouver – The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter GamesTM/MC is pleased to announce a new partnership with RONA – Canada’s largest distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA becomes VANOC’s fourth National Partner, as the 2010 Organizing Committee’s Official Home Improvement Partner.

The eight-year partnership provides RONA with sponsorship rights for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, including sponsorship rights for the Canadian Olympic Team for the Torino 2006, Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games. RONA’s commitment of cash and products is valued at C$68 million including a C$7 million investment in sport initiatives such as the RONA Youth Aspiration program and the Own the Podium program to ensure Canadian athletes have the necessary resources to achieve success in 2010. RONA has also committed to an aggressive marketing and communications program to ensure the broadest awareness and support for the Games across Canada.

“Today, the 2010 Winter Games team grew by another 22,000 people as we welcome RONA to our family of partners,” said John Furlong, VANOC CEO. “RONA shares our vision of ensuring all Canadians feel pride and ownership in the 2010 Games, no matter where they live. With their base of strength in Quebec, their presence in Ontario and the Maritimes and their growing Western Canadian network, RONA will be key to ensuring the 2010 Winter Games are celebrated from coast to coast.”

Furlong noted that RONA’s support includes valuable assistance and materials to help prepare the venues for the 2010 Winter Games.

“This long-term partnership with VANOC will provide RONA with a remarkable visibility platform as we pursue our growth throughout the country, especially in Western Canada, host region of the Winter Games in 2010,�? said Robert Dutton, RONA President and CEO. “As a proudly Canadian company, we are very pleased to be working with VANOC to build together the foundation for outstanding and memorable games that will make every Canadian proud. We look forward to supporting our athletes and sparking the passion for the Games throughout Canada.�?

Approximately 85 percent of Canada’s population lives within 30 minutes of a RONA store. This provides a solid national platform to promote Canada’s athletes and the 2010 Winter Games.

Posted in Vancouver 20100 Comments

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