Robert Scales


Robert Scales is the founder and former CEO of Raincity Studios, an award-winning, Internationally acclaimed web development and marketing agency. He is an advocate of Social Media and has been an Olympic fan since he was 4 years old, when the 1976 Summer Games came to Montreal...

As a gonzo journalist, Scales has covered events including the Olympic games in Turino and Beijing, the Dalai Lama's visit to Vancouver and rock bands and tech luminaries at SXSW. Beside the various social media channels, his reportage appeared in MSM outlets as diverse as the BBC, 21st Century Herald (Shanghai), and Warsaw Daily.

Winner of a 2006 Canadian New Media Award, Robert also teaches at Vancouver Film School and is an advisor on various Boards. He participated in the Canada World Youth cultural exchange program as well as various social change workshops and training programs. He frequently presents at (un)conferences around the world about open source tech, business and Olympic culture.

Robert is accredited by the British Columbia International Media Centre (BCIMC) and he will be covering various events during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Posts by Robert:

Canada Vs United States at the Molson Canadian Hockey House with Ron Flatter

Canada Vs United States at the Molson Canadian Hockey House with Ron Flatter

The amazing team at Molson has done an amazing job in creating a great space for Hockey and Olympic fans to enjoy hockey at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.

In their partnership with with Canada and the IHF. They have been able to provide a comfortable, safe space for players and their family to have some quality time together nearby the Canada Hockey Place (GM PLace).

Tour the Inside of the Molson Canadian Hockey House.

We at Vancouver Access have had the opportunity to experience the house on a few occasions and I will be watching the Gold medal game and Closing ceremonies at the Molson Canadian Hockey House with new and old friends.

Last Saturday I went to Whitehorse for Yukon day.. (Stories coming soon..) I’ve been slacking off on the final production trying to capture as much of the games as I could in the moment…

Anyway, while in the Yukon I met Ron Flatter, a famed Radio Sport 927 Australia personality…

So when I was unable to go to the Molson Canadian Hockey House for the Canada vs USA game on the 22nd, I called Ron and he immediately accepted to go on my behalf and cover the event.

He created this fun podcast of his interaction with the Molson Canada Hockey House fans.

Listen to Ron’s segment with the Molson Candian Hockey House Fans 2010 02 22 Canada fans suffer at Molson Canadian Hockey House (Copyright Ron Flatter (C) 2010 Sport 927 Australia)

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Reflection on my first Week at the 2010 Winter Games

Reflection on my first Week at the 2010 Winter Games

Amazing first week at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. Here’s some of the Highlights of my first week at 2010 Olympics…

Watching the Olympic flame Downtown… Hours before the Opening Ceremony. It was amazing to see the flame change hands as it was zig zagging through the streets of our host city on its last day (Day 106 of a 40,000 Kms).

A few hours later Wayne Gretzky will be the last torch barer, completing the journey riding in the back of a pickup, in the rain, to light the Cauldron…

Visiting the various hospitality houses:

  • Holland Heineken House – The Holland is located at the Richmond OZone – (Minoru Park) and is within walking distance of the Richmon Oval, the long track speed skating venue. I had the opportunity to go there a few nights this week; I saw and met Sven when we celebrate him breaking the OR and winning a Gold Medal – Speed Skating, Men 5000m.  The music and Dj are great entertainment, the beer flow freely @ $4.50 for a 8 once glass, it falls in line with other Olympic prices. Overall I would say, a great venue to enjoy an evening. Note that the House is Close to “NON Dutch Passport Holder” on days when Holland wins a Gold Medal. Expect Long line up…
  • Irish House - I was at their opening night, and as much as the space is fun, I didn’t find my space here. It feels like an extension of the Doolin’s Irish Pub, a large tent venue with comfortable seating, decent sounds and average cover bands. The beer is on the expensive side <$8, the entrance fee uncalled for! Seriously… The Irish House has received many noise complaints since it is open late. Expect long line up.
  • German House. Great food, tasty beers, friendly Germans and a good spot to watch a game or just hang with friends. You can buy tasty sausages and other German grilled food. Expect Long line up…
  • Sochi World – If you like the Olympics and are a fan, I would strongly recommend doing the trip to the Rusky World. Science World has been converted into a demo centre for the next Winter Games in Russia. The Second floor feature the sponsors, a great place to watch hockey, and an Info Centre for the Upcoming Olympic University. Expect very long line up. A must see IMO.
  • Atlantic House - Possibly  one of the best place to spend an afternoon while learning about eastern Canada and enjoying tasty food, great beers,Screech (NF Rum). I hung out with friends and found the venue (Backstage Lounge on Granville Island) to be a great reflection of Atlantic Canada. Line up was not that bad on the day we visited the house.
  • Switzerland House – I had the pleasure to go to their opening night and for the Canada vs Switzerland Man Hockey game. The food is tasty as you would expect; you can choose between Fondue, Sausage, cold cut plate and various other dishes. The bar is a good venue to enjoy a game. Expect a line up.
  • La Maison Du Quebec - I went to La Maison Du Quebec on Quebec day and enjoyed a tall beer, some great music in a large open venue. I would say that overall this is a great location to enjoy a band, taste great bieres Quebecoise and spend a great evening. Line up varies, but they tend to move fast.
  • HBC – Pin Trading Center – No Olympics would be complete without trading a few pins. Coca Cola and HBC have partnered up and there is a Pin trading centre at the downtown HBC olympic store. They have daily events, and you can find pro and amateur pin traders networking there throughout the day. A must see spot for anyone interested in Pin Trading or anyone who would like to know more about this unofficial Olympic sport.
  • Molson Canadian Hockey House - Molson have been extremely generous to us and granted us access to the venue before the public opening and for a few games. Overall this is by far the best place to watch a hockey game. The fan zone passes are not cheap but if you factor in that this is a all day pass, which include food and “in and out” privilege and the bar serves more than just Molson Canadian. Although why would you want to drink anything else? No Lineup, lots of space, the entertainment is not conducted by your traditional PG 13 host ;) Overall a must do experience for any Hockey Fan
  • Club Bud – Burton Event – One of the most exclusive party of the 2010 games, the Club Bud party series will feature 5 different night co-sponsored with another outfit. This week Club Bud (Ustream channel for the red carpet) was hosting the Burton and NHL parties. I attended the Burton party. We got to share space with Karl Lewis, the USA Snowboarding team, talented snowboard artists and various Celebrities.. By Invitation only

Exploring the CODE

love them ring colors

  • CODE 1 – We attended the Opening Night and enjoyed the various instalations. See our posts on CODE 1 for more information.
  • CODE 2 – Located at Emily Carr University on Vancouver Island, code two has a few instalation worth seeing. I would recommend taking the time to listen or watch all the media loops..Worth the time, no line up, and a fun thing to do while on Granville Island.
  • Code 3 – Located on the lower level of the Downtown Vancouver Public Library – CODE 3 has a fun interactive air canon that shoot up airplane message with beacon light. A fun thing to do with the kids. Expect a line up but fun and creative.

John’s CODE Pictures &   KK’s CODE Pictures

Attending Sporting events
USA vs Norway

  • Speed Skating – Attending an event where you get to witness an Olympic Record is something memorable. I really enjoyed the Richmond Oval. A bit out of the way, but a great legacy venue for after the Olympics.
  • Hockey Game – USA vs NOR – The US team won in this amazing game. We scored great seats in the first round of tickets allocation and this was a great game to check out.

Nightly Victory Ceremonies and Themed Days

  • Quebec Day – Alex’s Golden Moment - Music and Quebec Talent followed by the Victory Celebration for Canada’s 1st Gold on Canadian soil in 3 Olympics.. Overall I would say that at >$30 the nightly Victory Ceremonies are a good value for the family. Sadly the scalpers are selling tickets at criminal rates..
  • PEI Day – Sean White get’s the Gold – Unfortunately we arrived late for the first part entertainment. But we witness Shaun White receiving his Gold Medal. Hedley was the headliner that night.

TNMH and other Events

  • Hanging at the BCMC – The Robson Square Media Centre has become a central basecamp for us over the past week; it is a great venue to meet other media outlets, reporters and celebrities. This week we got to meet Canada’s Golden Boy; Alex Bilodeau, Ex-Terminator now Governor Arnold Swartzenergger, taste wine from various regions. Hug the Stanley Cup and get great support to create content for this blog… ;)

  • TNMH – Alternative Media Group founded to serve a missing need. Photowalk to the Olympic Cauldron – We held a #TNMH photowalk from the German House to Robson Square via the Olympic Cauldron;  we had a bit more than a dozen photographer come to the ad-hoc event and we where lucky to have a great sunny day for us to explore the Streets of Vancouver.
  • Zip Line over Robson Square – By far the most fun I had in my first week, riding Zip Trek’s Zip Line over Robson Square was the highlight free activity of the 2010 Winter Game.

Zip Trek over Robert Square with @mariskar

Final notes; Despite the terrible rain on the opening ceremony night, we had amazing weather this week. I have never seen so many happy people people in vancouver> the streets filled with helping volunteers and fans from over 90 nations.

No fun city? Not anymore, the police and security force has done a great job with crowd control in face of the massive all night street parties.

Overall it was an amazing first week at the 2010 Winter Games.

Bonus: Check out the great 3D view of the venues..

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Alex’s Gold Medal Celebration

Alex’s Gold Medal Celebration

Yesterday was Quebec day at the 2010 Olympics and what could be more fitting than having someone from Quebec win the FIRST gold medal on Canadian soil and the 1st gold medal of the 2010 games for Canada!

Canada’s Golden Boy

Congratulation Alexandre Bilodeau for being the champion that you are! Congrats Canada for being such an amazing host nation and supportive fans.

Victory Celebrations at BC Place Stadium (Vancouver)

The nightly Victory Celebration Ceremonies are held in both Vancouver and Whistler. Last night I was lucky to have tickets to the Celebrations at BC Place and attending Canada’s first Gold Medal Ceremonies in 3 Canadian Olympics.. At 22$ a ticket, i think the victory celebrations are a good deal for fans and any family looking to do something fun and soak in the Olympic spirit.

BC Place is feeling magical and the space looks like a winter landscape / northern dream. The screens are well positioned allowing everyone to see clearly what is happening on the main stage. (They are only using a section of the stadium, with the main stage separating the space nicely.

I am going again on the 18th and I hope that we will have the honour of seeing more Canadian Olympians celebrating their victories…

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Posted in Culture, Fans, Featured, Vancouver 20103 Comments

The Olympic Storm Hits Vancouver

The Olympic Storm Hits Vancouver

For the past years, people from Canada and the world have been anticipating the 2010 Winter Games.

While the IOC and VANOC busted their buns around the clock getting ready to host the party, the rest of us continued with our daily lives. Meanwhile an army of athletes, volunteers, and officials are dedicating their lives to ensure that the spirit of the Olympics, the competitions and hosting the world largest cultural celebrations are successful for everyone (Especially their sponsors…).

I feel both a sense of satisfaction and sadness as I am living, experiencing these games. This has been something that I have been looking forward to for a long time and now it is here. What’s next on my Olympic journey?

Over 80 nations are competing in our city until February 28th. 2500 Athletes inspiring us and demonstrating what dedicated, hard working humans can achieve.

People from all over the world are walking these BC Streets, enjoy the various free venues and taking in the Winter Games Celebrations.

February 14th – aka Valentine Day

Today is Valentine Day, at the Swiss House they are doing chocolate fondue. On Robson square and in Richmond at the Ozone, they are celebrating BC Day, In Chinatown, a 3000 years old + culture is celebrating Chinese New Year..

Where where you for the Opening Ceremonies?

Having already seen the Opening Ceremony Dressed Rehearsal on February 10th, I opted to hang out with friends at a local pub and watch the actual opening ceremonies on the screen. I eventually made my way to the OZone in Richmond and ended my night at the Holland Heineken House..

Recap of Day Two

Saturday was a great first day of competition; I went to the 5000m Speed skating Medal Event at the Oval in Richmond, I was lucky enough to have front row seats in the dutch National team section and watch Sven Kramer break the Olympic Record and win the Gold Medal.

After a much needed nap and some tasty Japanese food at Modern Club Teppaniaki Restaurant, we return to the Holland Heineken House for the evening celebrations and attend Sven press conference with the dutch media.. (We are Accredited with the Holland Heineken House and will be covering various events there over the next few weeks)

I used Ustream to webcast his interview (in Dutch) from the Holland house…

Reflection on these past few days?

Despite the tragic event of Friday morning and the lost of the Olympian Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia. Despite the violent actions of protesters abusing their freedom of speech rights. Despite Canada not wining its first Gold (congrats Jen for winning the Silver, our first medal of the XXI Olympics for Canada!)

I would say that Vancouver/Whistler, BC and Canada are off to a good start hosting these games.

Photo credits Mariska Richters and John Beihler (Van Access team)

Posted in Culture, Fans, Featured, Vancouver 20100 Comments

Olympic Torch Relay – Day 106 – Downtown Vancouver

Olympic Torch Relay – Day 106 – Downtown Vancouver

Today is the last day of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay.

I had the pleasure seeing the torch up close and being passed on right in front of me, along side so many Vancouverites and Olympic fans..

“The Olympic Flame has a sacred history and symbolizes the principles of peace, brotherhood and friendship,” notes VANOC (the Vancouver Olympics Committee), and is “a 45,000 kilometre journey across Canada that will unify the country and build excitement for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.”

According to VANOC, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics torch relay is “the longest in history to be contained within the Host Country.”

Vancouver 2010 Olympics Torch Relay Statistics

Some interesting statistics, provided by VANOC in a media kit released in October, 2010.

  • 106 days long (October 30, 2009 – February 12, 2010)
  • 187 community celebrations
  • 1020 communities and places of interest, including
    • 115 Aboriginal communities
    • 20 places of interest
    • 14 Canadian Forces Bases and Canadian Forces Stations
  • 90% of Canada’s 32 million population (about 29 million) will be within one hour’s drive of the relay route
  • 12,000 – number of torchbearers
  • 45,000 – total kilometres traveled across the country
    • 18,000 – total kilometres by air
    • 1,000 – total kilometres by water
    • 26,000 – total kilometres by land
    • 100 – approximate number of different modes of transportation used along the way

The sheer length of the relay within the host country (with no international legs included) is what has distinguished it from previous Olympic torch relays.

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Zip Trek – Robson Square Zip Line

Zip Trek – Robson Square Zip Line

Zip Treck's Zip Line

Ziptrek Ecotours is open at Robson Square in downtown Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
A feature piece of the Province of British Columbia’s exciting Olympic site.

Come and be dazzled at Ziptrek’s latest venture. Perched above the law courts at Robson Square, guests will be provided the opportunity to zip over 170 metres (550′) across Robson Street. Guests will zip high above the crowds an exhilarating six stories over Vancouver’s iconic downtown core!

Premiere Campbell on the Zip Trek Line

This unique endeavor will provide visitors the opportunity to experience the thrill and exhilaration of ziplining – brought to prominence in North America by Ziptrek’s flagship operation in Whistler. Switching the traditional backdrop of old growth forest, to cityscape, should prove to be an amazing and rare experience. Not to mention the fact it will be taking place at one of the key hubs of Olympic activity! Be sure to come and check out this exclusive attraction. Only during the Olympics, and Free!

During the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, this landmark public space is serving as the Province of British Columbia’s signature venue to showcase the many wonders of this province, and act as prime celebration site. Not to be missed!

Watch Premier Gordon Campbell ride the line and press conference..

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CODE Live Opening Night

CODE Live Opening Night

A few of us went to the Opening of CODE Live in Vancouver, last Thursday evening…

We had a chance to explore both the Emily Carr and the Great Northern Way CODE locations.. Emily Carr was a bit more casual, with a video installation, digitalized clothing and fashion art. I hung out with mostly with Mariska, Dave Olson and Bev Davies (Respected Old Skool Punk Photographer)… We had some of the food and met with other social media friends before we made our way to the CODE 1 location..

At 8pm we went to the Great Northern Way Campus for the Opening of CODE 1.

At 7.50$ a beer/wine, it’s not really a cheap venue to go party, but I must say it is worth the detour to have a look at the various installations..

My favourite GNW CODE Installations:

Condemned Bulbes


the ReacTable


the Paparazzi Bots…

Robot Paparazzi

near the bar…

CODE 1at GNW Hangar

old skool ghetto-blasters

getto blasters

and the container outside…

in the container...

Also, check out kk’s post on CODE, he know’s a thing or two about the project since he is working with them in some capacity…

Here’s the list of Installations featured at each venue:

Great Northern Way Campus: Centre for Digital Media >>weblink>>

Dune 4.0: Studio Roosegaarde (Netherlands)
Artificial Moon: Wang Yuyang, curated by Li Zhenhua (China)
Where are you?: Luc Courschene (Canada)
787 Cliparts: Oliver Laric (Austria)
Vested: Don Ritter (Canada)
Cambridge Bay: A Time and a Place: Souns featuring Tanya Tagaq (Canada)
We are Stardust: George Legrady (Canada)
Paparazzi Bots: Ken Rinaldo (USA)
Condemned Bulbes: Artificiel (Canada)
ECO ART: World Without Water: Tahir Mahmood, co presentation with the Canadian Film Centre (Canada)
Greenhouse: Brendan Wypich, co presentation with the Canadian Film Centre (Canada)
Akoumasflore: Scenoscome, co presentation with the Canadian Film Centre (France)
Seed: Napoleon Brosseau and Gabe Sahwney
Mondo Spider: Zero Emissions: eatART (Canada)
mo_ving: Raquel Kogan, curated by Claudio Rivera-Seguel (Brazil/Chile)
Breaking the Ice: Societé des arts technologiques (Canada)
Reactable: Sergi Jordà, Martin Kaltenbrunner, Günter Geiger and Marcos Alonso (Austria/Spain)
Instant Places: Canada CODE: Ian Birse, Laura Kavanaugh (Canada)
PLAY: The Hertzian Collective: Geoffrey Shea (Canada)
Analogue Nostalgia Presents / présente – Foreign Voices, Common Stories (Ghettoblaster): James Phillips (Canada)

CODE Lounge: Featuring works by Organelle and Shea Allan-McCachen

EmilyCarr University of Art and Design >>weblink>>

The Paradise Institute: Janet Cardiff and Georges Bures Miller (Canada)
Organized by the National Gallery of Canada
Electromode / Peau d’Ane : Valerie Lamontagne (Canada)
Skorpions and Captain Electric : Joanna Berzowska, XS Labs (Canada)
Walking City and Living Pod : Ying Gao (Canada)
Company Keeper and Emotional Ties : Sara Diamond (Canada)
Blue Code, Jacket Antics and Tornado Dress (Barbara Layne, Studio subTela: Canada)
Electric Skin and Barking Mad L Suzi Webster with Jordan Benwick (Canada)
Tendrils : Thecla Schiphorst (Canada)
*glisten)HIVE: Julie Andreyev (Canada)
CODE.lab: M. Simon Levin and Jer Thorp with Emily Carr Students and Faculty (Canada)
Song of Solomon: Julian Jonker and Ralph Borland (South Africa)
Odd Spaces: Faisal Anwar (Canada / Pakistan)
CODE Dialogues: Co presented with Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Canada)

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Premier Gordon Campbell ZipLine over Robson Square & Greet Media at the BCMC

Premier Gordon Campbell ZipLine over Robson Square & Greet Media at the BCMC

This morning we went to the BCMC (British Columbia Media Centre) where Premier Campbell and Minister of State for the Olympics Mary McNeil greeted the media and gave us a brief intro of the BC International Media Centre’s features.

(Why is Gordon wearing his HBC Olympic Red Mittens indoors and trying to use the touch screen with them on? Je ne sais pas!)

After, Premier Campbell and five-time Olympian Charmaine Crooks will demonstrate one of the exciting activities open to the public during the 2010 Winter Games and ride the new 170-metre-long zipline across Robson Square…

For a complete list of things to-do during the 2010 Winter Games, check out our “free event guide“…

We managed to take several pictures, and I got to play with my new Canon 7D.. Which now allows me do do video.. So I recorded the Premier Campbell conference after he zipline over Robson Square.

Where is this?

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