Canadian music superstar Avril Lavigne will shine as Canada’s feature performer in the official closing ceremony of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. The Closing Ceremony will mark the conclusion of the Torino Games as well as the beginning of the countdown to Vancouver 2010.
The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games’ (VANOC) eight-minute entertainment segment will be seen by a live audience of approximately 32,000 people and a worldwide television audience of 500 million. A native of Napanee, Ontario, Lavigne has received eight Grammy Nominations and sold millions of albums. She will headline a special production designed to celebrate Canada and to capture the spirit of the 2010 Host City.
The closing of the Torino Games on Feb. 26 takes place 1,447 days prior to the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Games at BC Place Stadium. VANOC’s participation includes the traditional Olympic Flag handover and entertainment segment.
The details of Vancouver 2010′s portion of the Closing Ceremony are being held closely under wraps, but VANOC Vice President of Culture and Ceremonies, Burke Taylor, says “the show will use the opportunity to begin telling the story of Canada’s Games in 2010 by featuring a combination of uniquely Canadian talent and themes that reflect the country from coast to coast to coast. As a high profile Canadian artist, Lavigne’s participation symbolizes VANOC’s goal of making Vancouver 2010 Canada’s Games.”
In further preparation for the 2010 Winter Games, VANOC is sending an observer team to attend part or all of the 2006 Winter Games in Torino as part of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) observer program for future Games Host and Bid Cities.
“Torino represents the final Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to be staged before Canada welcomes the world in 2010. Members of our Organizing Committee are taking advantage of every learning opportunity,” said Vancouver 2010 Chief Executive Officer John Furlong.
VANOC will send 80 members from the Organizing Committee to the Olympic Winter Games, 25 employees to the Paralympic Winter Games and 16 to work directly for the Torino Organizing Committee on secondments. The VANOC Board of Directors is also attending the Games. Six members of the Board are travelling with their other constituencies and 14 are traveling under VANOC.
The Observer Program supports the IOC’s initiative to support and assist future Games organizers though a systematic transfer of knowledge and an integrated series of education services with the objective to facilitate and streamline the organization of the Olympic Games.
VANOC will participate in 40 observer tours produced by the IOC and TOROC with the goal of gaining knowledge in 80 Olympic functional areas including sport operations, accommodation, venue development, transportation, technology, volunteer management, ceremonies and torch relay. VANOC is also taking proactive steps to create and lead additional observer programs to allow for as much knowledge transfer as possible.
“As the host of Canada’s Games, Vancouver 2010 has the responsibility to stage a successful and sustainable 2010 Winter Games,” continued Furlong. “Our entire team will draw from the Torino experience to refine and enhance our hosting plans, while developing a comprehensive new budget for the next four years.”
Vancouver 2010′s budget for the transfer of knowledge at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games is $1.7 million, which considers all costs including flights, accommodation, transportation, security, logistics, observation tour participation, secondments, tickets, and hospitality.
An update from Vancouver 2010 is part of the agenda of the IOC Executive Board and 118th Session of IOC, which takes place at the Lingotto Conference Centre during the week prior to the opening of the 2006 Games. John Furlong is scheduled to update IOC members on VANOC’s progress on Feb. 9.
VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010.
VANOC gratefully acknowledges the Government of Canada through Foreign Affairs Canada, Canadian Tourism Commission, Tourism BC, Tourism Vancouver, and Tourism Whistler for their financial support of the VANOC segment of the Closing Ceremony.