Tag Archive | "whistler"

PHOTO ESSAY: BC Preps for Opening of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics


This photo essay originally posted over at Kris Krüg‘s Vancouver photography blog Static.

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games are upon us and things are heating up around Vancouver. You can feel the energy in the city as all the last minute details are pulled together for this huge event. The team at Static Photography has been out and about making photos of all the action and we have pulled together some of our favorites. You can find more Vancouver 2010 photos than you know what to do with here, but for now check out this first week of February in Vancouver with the Winter Olympic Games just around the corner.

Speed Skating Lessons in Prince George, BC

We got a tour of Prince George, starting first with speed skating lessons from the speed skating youth team. These kids are fast!

Sled Dogging in Prince George British Columbia

These cute dogs were part of DogPower which gave us a dog-sledding tour through Prince George.

Sled Dogging in Prince George British Columbia

Rebecca Bollwitt, otherwise known as Miss604, was up in Prince George for the winter adventures. Rebecca is a Vancouver blogger who will be covering the Olympic Games.

Sled Dogging in Prince George British Columbia

Dog-sledding was a great way to travel the back country of Prince George.

Snowshoe Adventure in the Ancient Rainforest - Prince George, British Columbia

Prince George has a huge ancient forest with trees that are hundreds of years old. Static Photography’s Kris Krüg had a chance to prove his strength by holding up this fallen tree.

Snowshoe Adventure in the Ancient Rainforest - Prince George, British Columbia

The ancient forest in Prince George provided a great canopy for the long winter hike.

codsnap-music-5760

The Prince George Coldsnap Music Festival showcases some of the best in Canadian musical talent. The Great Lake Swimmers were at the festival this year, headlining the main night.

BC Cup Cross Country Skiing - Prince George, British Columbia

The BC Cups #2 Cross-country Skiing event happened took place in Prince George. This event was all ages and the competition was strong even in the snowfall.

Prince George, British Columbia Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay Celebration

The Torch was traveling through Prince George in its journey through Canada. This is the passing of the Olympic flame from one torch bearer to another torch bearer, which is called a ‘kiss’.

Prince George, British Columbia Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay Celebration

There was a festive torch celebration when the Olympic flame was brought Prince George. The entire town was a captive audience when the Prince George cauldron was light by the Olympic flame.

Prince George, British Columbia Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay Celebration

Premier Gordon Campbell is obviously the Olympics biggest fan and has travelled around the country following the torch along its journey.

Richmond Skating Oval - Vancouver 2010 Olympics Venue

The Richmond Oval is a venue that was built specifically for the Olympic Games. This venue will hold the speed-skating events.

Vancouver 2010 Olympics Hockey Venue - GM Place

GM Place will be renamed Canada Hockey Place during the Olympic Games. All of the hockey events will be held at this venue during February.

Beatty Street Mural Coming Soon

Many changes have taken place in Vancouver during the preparation for the Olympic Games. A long standing Beatty Street mural was covered in the prep but is being repainted by local Vancouver artists.

CODE Live 1 at Great Northern Way - 2010 Cultural Olympiad - Vancouver, British Columbia

For the first time ever in Olympic history, the Cultural Olympiad has a digital edition called CODE. Rae Hull is the Creative Director of CODE, which is has four parts, Canada CODE, CODE Screen 2010, CODE Motion Pictures and CODE Live.

CODE Live 1 at Great Northern Way - 2010 Cultural Olympiad - Vancouver, British Columbia

This is the CODE Live 1 at Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver. Wang Yuyang is showcasing his media installation Artifical Moon, which illuminates the entryway of CODE Live 1.

Fire with Fire - artist Isabelle Hayeur - 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad - W2 Woodward's - Vancouver, British Columbia

The 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad has some public art installations around the city. One of these art installations is Fire with Fire by Isabelle Hayeur and is located in the W2 Woodward’s building.

Streb RAW - Cultural Olympiad Vancouver 2010

The 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad has curated over 60 days of arts, theatre and dance performances. The opening weekend showcased Elizabeth Streb’s show Streb: RAW with its amazing acrobatic feats of human flight.

Snowboarding in Whistler Blackcomb with Tourism BC - Whistler, British Columbia

We spent the weekend in Whistler with Tourism BC. Chris has been making videos while following the Torch through its journey of Canada.

Snowboarding in Whistler Blackcomb with Tourism BC - Whistler, British Columbia

The Peak to Peak Gondola takes you from the top of the Whistler Mountain to the top of the Blackcomb Mountain. This was part of our snowboard adventure with Tourism BC.

The Vancouver Winter Olympic Games will officially be here in the city in less than a week. We can’t wait to see what Vancouver has in store when the Games are finally here!

Definitely make sure to check back for more photo essays during the month of February!

Here is a slideshow of the images from this photo essay. Feel free to share this on your blogs and your networks under a Creative Commons license. Please make sure to link back to Static Photography!

Thanks!

Speed Skating Lessons in Prince George, BC

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games are upon us and things are heating up around Vancouver. You can feel the energy in the city as all the last minute details are pulled together for this huge event. The team at Static Photography has been out and about making photos of all the action and we have pulled together some of our favorites. You can find more Vancouver 2010 photos than you know what to do with here, but for now check out this first week of February in Vancouver with the Winter Olympic Games just around the corner.

Speed Skating Lessons in Prince George, BC

We got a tour of Prince George, starting first with speed skating lessons from the speed skating youth team. These kids are fast!

Sled Dogging in Prince George British Columbia

These cute dogs were part of DogPower which gave us a dog-sledding tour through Prince George.

Sled Dogging in Prince George British Columbia

Rebecca Bollwitt, otherwise known as Miss604, was up in Prince George for the winter adventures. Rebecca is a Vancouver blogger who will be covering the Olympic Games.

Sled Dogging in Prince George British Columbia

Dog-sledding was a great way to travel the back country of Prince George.

Snowshoe Adventure in the Ancient Rainforest - Prince George, British Columbia

Prince George has a huge ancient forest with trees that are hundreds of years old. Static Photography’s Kris Krüg had a chance to prove his strength by holding up this fallen tree.

Snowshoe Adventure in the Ancient Rainforest - Prince George, British Columbia

The ancient forest in Prince George provided a great canopy for the long winter hike.

codsnap-music-5760

The Prince George Coldsnap Music Festival showcases some of the best in Canadian musical talent. The Great Lake Swimmers were at the festival this year, headlining the main night.

BC Cup Cross Country Skiing - Prince George, British Columbia

The BC Cups #2 Cross-country Skiing event happened took place in Prince George. This event was all ages and the competition was strong even in the snowfall.

Prince George, British Columbia Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay Celebration

The Torch was traveling through Prince George in its journey through Canada. This is the passing of the Olympic flame from one torch bearer to another torch bearer, which is called a ‘kiss’.

Prince George, British Columbia Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay Celebration

There was a festive torch celebration when the Olympic flame was brought Prince George. The entire town was a captive audience when the Prince George cauldron was light by the Olympic flame.

Prince George, British Columbia Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay Celebration

Premier Gordon Campbell is obviously the Olympics biggest fan and has travelled around the country following the torch along its journey.

Richmond Skating Oval - Vancouver 2010 Olympics Venue

The Richmond Oval is a venue that was built specifically for the Olympic Games. This venue will hold the speed-skating events.

Vancouver 2010 Olympics Hockey Venue - GM Place

GM Place will be renamed Canada Hockey Place during the Olympic Games. All of the hockey events will be held at this venue during February.

Beatty Street Mural Coming Soon

Many changes have taken place in Vancouver during the preparation for the Olympic Games. A long standing Beatty Street mural was covered in the prep but is being repainted by local Vancouver artists.

CODE Live 1 at Great Northern Way - 2010 Cultural Olympiad - Vancouver, British Columbia

For the first time ever in Olympic history, the Cultural Olympiad has a digital edition called CODE. Rae Hull is the Creative Director of CODE, which is has four parts, Canada CODE, CODE Screen 2010, CODE Motion Pictures and CODE Live.

CODE Live 1 at Great Northern Way - 2010 Cultural Olympiad - Vancouver, British Columbia

This is the CODE Live 1 at Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver. Wang Yuyang is showcasing his media installation Artifical Moon, which illuminates the entryway of CODE Live 1.

Fire with Fire - artist Isabelle Hayeur - 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad - W2 Woodward's - Vancouver, British Columbia

The 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad has some public art installations around the city. One of these art installations is Fire with Fire by Isabelle Hayeur and is located in the W2 Woodward’s building.

Streb RAW - Cultural Olympiad Vancouver 2010

The 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad has curated over 60 days of arts, theatre and dance performances. The opening weekend showcased Elizabeth Streb’s show Streb: RAW with its amazing acrobatic feats of human flight.

Snowboarding in Whistler Blackcomb with Tourism BC - Whistler, British Columbia

We spent the weekend in Whistler with Tourism BC. Chris has been making videos while following the Torch through its journey of Canada.

Snowboarding in Whistler Blackcomb with Tourism BC - Whistler, British Columbia

The Peak to Peak Gondola takes you from the top of the Whistler Mountain to the top of the Blackcomb Mountain. This was part of our snowboard adventure with Tourism BC.

The Vancouver Winter Olympic Games will officially be here in the city in less than a week. We can’t wait to see what Vancouver has in store when the Games are finally here!

Definitely make sure to check back for more photo essays during the month of February!

Here is a slideshow of the images from this photo essay. Feel free to share this on your blogs and your networks under a Creative Commons license. Please make sure to link back to Static Photography!

Thanks!

Posted in Culture, Fans, Featured, Vancouver 2010, photosComments (1)

Canada Olympic House


The Canada Olympic House has two locations, one downtown Vancouver and one in Whistler Village.

Vancouver Canada Olympic House

The sixth floor of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Bay Vancouver flagship store on Granville and West Georgia Street will serve Canada’s Olympic House during the 2010 Games.

The House will provide an easily accessible retreat for Canada’s Olympic athletes, their families and team sponsors, within close walking distance of the downtown Vancouver competition and entertainment venues.

Canada Olympic House will be a relaxing and friendly meeting place for Canadian Olympic athletes, their family, friends, coaches, support staff, sponsors, government partners and special guests. Canada Olympic House also stages programs such as the Family and Friends Program, hosts athlete medal receptions and provides a multimedia centre/internet lounge and TV lounge in order to watch all the Olympic action with other enthusiastic fans and supporters.

“We look forward to working with our partners in Vancouver in creating a winning atmosphere for our Canadian team in 2010,” said Chris Rudge, CEO, Canadian Olympic Committee. “We have every confidence that they will provide excellent service and support as we Paint the Town Red in celebration.”

Canada Olympic House is scheduled to be open every day during the Games from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (subject to change). Access to this private facility will require pre-games registration and accreditation by the COC and is not open to the general public. Media wishing to visit Canada Olympic House should coordinate requests with the COC.

(source: http://www.olympic.ca)

Whistler Canada Olympic House


The primary goal of the Whistler Canada Olympic House is to create a showcasing and hosting facility in the heart of Whistler. It is being designed and operated to meet the needs of the participating partners.

Held at the Whistler Public Library, the facility will be branded primarily as a hosting space that showcases Whistler and the Canadian Olympic Committee to invited guests.

Given the beauty of the building itself, multi-media will be the primary tool for showcasing, with large screens in place permanently throughout the 17 days of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.  The screens will showcase sporting venues, CTV sport broadcast coverage of the Games, and a live feed from Whistler Medals Plaza and Whistler Live! programming.

Whistler video and imagery, and other content will showcase the past, present and future of Whistler to facility guests.  The outside of the building will have signage so that guests and visitors are aware that it is Whistler Canada Olympic House.

Access is primarily by accreditation or invitation; however, the Whistler community will be invited to an Open House prior to the Games as well as special community events at the facility during the Games.

Community Open House Events

* Saturday February 6, 2010 – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Community Open House – Celebrate the Torch Relay and the Library’s new look

Details: The Whistler Canada Olympic House will be open to the community to check out programming, meet athletes and get a feel for the new facility. With the Torch Relay coming through town, it will be a chance for visitors to get photos with the torch, talk to the torch bearers and learn more about the relay itself.   Kids and “kids at heart” can take in the face painting, Olympic sport competitions on Wii and make their own torch.

* Saturday February 13, 2010 – 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Community Pancake Breakfast – Celebrate First Nations and Sport

Details: Start the day with good hearty Canadian pancakes and celebrate the beginning of the 2010 Winter Games. Explore First Nations culture and art as well as rub shoulders with athletes. Guests can make their own uniquely Canadian souvenir and enjoy a variety of entertainment including Native drumming, story telling and bannock making.

* Saturday February 20, 2010 – 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Community Pancake Breakfast – Celebrate Sustainability and Culture

Details: Get stuffed on pancakes, sustainability and local entertainment. Learn about the importance of sustainability with arts and crafts and more. Bobs and Lolo will get the kids hopping and singing about keeping the earth green. Don’t forget autograph books because athletes will on be there too.

* Saturday February 27, 2010 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Community Pancake Breakfast – Celebrating the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and Our Athletes

Details: As the 2010 Olympic Winter Games come to a close, the community is invited to celebrate at another pancake breakfast. Look back on the success of the Games, experience the Games through they eyes of Canada’s only 2010 Nordic Combined Olympian and look ahead to what is next for Whistler.

* Sunday February 28, 2010 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Community Open House – Celebrate the Closing Ceremonies at Whistler Canada Olympic House

Details: Celebrate the closing ceremonies with fellow community members and Canadians at Whistler Canada Olympic House. Enjoy a traditional Whistler Après while taking in the closing ceremonies on the big screen.

(source: http://www.whistler2010.com)


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Posted in Culture, Fans, Featured, Vancouver 2010, VenuesComments (3)

Whistler Olympic Venue Photo Reconnaissance


On June 8th this past summer, my Olympic Outsider podcast (podcast feed) co-pilot Dan and I took a trip to reconnoiter some the venues under construction for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

You can see all the snapshots at the Whistler 2010 Olympic Venues photo set – here are some previews:

First, we checked out the sliding track near Whistler Village where the luge, bobsleigh and skeleton athletes will compete.

sliding track curve

sliding track with control towerThen headed up Callahan Valley. passed security to the massive 90K and 120K Ski Jumps, and observed the jumper’s view, and an Inukshuk.

ski jumps at callaghan valley

view from ski jumps

Welcome to the Ski JumpsThen, we headed farther up the road to see Cross Country Skiing, and Biathlon venues including the target shooting areas.

cross country ski track

biathlon targetsWe even saw a few bears roaming around, and enjoyed a few beers in the village:

bear roaming

whistler brewing round 1Next up in the reconnaissance mission, the Richmond Speed Skating Oval.

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Austria’s Passive House


The Austria House is a uniquie structure not only to Whistler, but to all of Canada. The Austrians have built what is called a Passive House to house their delagates and media crews during the 2010 Winter Games. It it the first house of its kind in Whistler and the first registered passive house in all of Canada.

What is a Passive House?

“A passive house is a building which is warm and cozy in winter and comfortably cool in summer. The construction is air- and windproof, thermal bridge free, the thermal insulation is particularly good, and it has also a heat recovery system and disc glazing. The construction of a passive house is very compact and if possible south facing. These houses use up to 90% less energy than conventional constructions, and expend a minimum amount of energy. Passive houses are constructed according to state-of-the-art building physics: they are airtight, particularly well insulated and use natural resources like sunlight and terrestrial heat for energy generation and calorific requirements. A passive house is the most intelligent answer to the difficult situation in the global energy sector. Due to the passive house’s minimal need for fossil fuels, it has its share in reducing CO2 emissions globally and therefore also prevents damage to our climate.

The passive house is a substantial development for the protection of our future and our living environment from both an ecological and economic point of view.”
(courtesy of http://www.oesterreichhaus.at)

Once the Games have passed, the Austrian government, Resort Municipality of Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb Foundation will leave a lasting legacy by giving this passive house back to the community. The excited new tenants, the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA), are looking forward to having the opportunity to make their home here.

Posted in Culture, Featured, Vancouver 2010, VenuesComments (3)

2010 Olympic Games Free Attractions Guide


Vancouver Access’ affordable venues guide to Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Games

Are you excited about the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games coming to Vancouver, but worried your budget won’t allow you to participate in any events? You’re not alone…  This guide is the collective effort of many people including the fine folks at City Caucus.

We hope you and your family enjoy everything Metro Vancouver and the Games have to offer. Say hi if/when you see us out there…

The Google map bellow was created by Andrea (aka Vanfan) It includes links to the various venues, transit stations and other attractions…


View Vancouver 2010 Venues in a larger map

The following list provides you with some excellent links and descriptions of some of the top free and low-cost venues in Metro Vancouver.

Abbotsford Live Site

rec_centreOpens on Feb 12: Abbotsford Recreation Centre will transform into an Olympic Hub February 12-28, 2010. The Live Sites program was created to help residents share in the Spirit of 2010 as well as to help BC communities, in all regions of the Province, find a way to develop a lasting legacy from the 2010 Winter Games. Abbotsford residents will have a place to go to share the Olympic spirit. Olympic themed public skates, swims, and programs will welcome Abbotsford residents.

There will also be a free night market and inflatable fun zone Thursdays & Fridays 5pm – 9pm, Saturdays 9am – 9pm and Sundays Noon – 9pm. The Russian figure skaters will be practicing as well. For our out-of-town visitors, Abbotsford is located about an hour or so drive east of Vancouver on the TransCanada Highway. Check here to get the latest information. Click here for directions on how to get there.

Alberta House

Alberta HouseOpens on Feb 12: Located at the intersection ofRobson and Beatty Streets Alberta Plaza, in front of Alberta House, will be open to the public from 10:00 am – 11:00 pm daily and feature information about living, working, playing and investing in Alberta. Every evening the plaza will offer free performances featuring 40 of Alberta’s established and emerging musicians and artists. The plaza will also showcase Alberta’s diverse cuisine with food and beverage sales offered to the public.

In addition to the musical artists, a selection of 20 artworks from the permanent art collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts will be featured at Alberta House. Showcasing Alberta visual artists, the artworks will highlight a diversity of media in both traditional and contemporary styles from hand blown glass to digital photography to kinetic sculpture. Thousands of international guests, Vancouver locals and fellow Canadians will be enticed to stop and experience dynamic presentations, and Alberta’s new brand message: Freedom to Create, Spirit to Achieve. February 17 has been proclaimed Alberta Day. See more info.

Atlantic Canada House

AtlanticCanadaHouseOpens on Feb 13th: Atlantic Canada’s best will hit the world stage during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador along with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency present Atlantic Canada House at Granville Island’s Arts Club Theatre from February 13 to 28.

For two weeks, Canada’s West Coast will come alive with East Coast performers on one of Vancouver’s most historic sites, Granville Island. A popular local venue, Granville Island is expecting over 35,000 visitors daily. It is easily accessible by water taxis, bus, bicycle, streetcar and foot. It is highly recommended you do not drive on to Granville Island as there will be limited parking available. A Canada Line to Bombardier streetcar connection would be easiest.

Once at Atlantic Canada House, guests will find an authentic and inspiring setting. It’s here you’ll be treated to East Coast culinary delights, discover the region’s culture and spirit, and share in Atlantic Canadian hospitality. Within the pavilion space, you’ll find the Granville Island Stage, the Revue Stage and the Backstage Lounge. Atlantic Canadian artists will be featured nightly, and daily performances on the Revue Stage will celebrate the region and welcome guests to the Atlantic Canadian way of life.

BC Hydro PowerSmart Village

BC Hydro Powersmart 2010Opens on Feb 10th: This winter during the 2010 Games, BC Hydro will be opening the doors to the BC Hydro PowerSmart Village, another free attraction. Visitors are welcomed to celebrate the spirit of the Games in a theme of conservation and sustainability. Members of your entire family will enjoy a wide range of activities like dancing on a sustainable dance floor, creating an inspirational message on the digital expression wall or even taking a break from cheering on athletes to check out First Nation carvings or our “the future is now” home exhibit. You’ll even have a chance to win Olympic tickets by taking part in one of their many events.

The venue is about one-block from the LiveCity Downtown site and the Canada Pavilion in Vancouver. During the Olympics (Feb 10 to 28) the hours of operation are Sun to Thurs – 10 am to 8 pm and Fri and Sat – 10am to 10pm. Click here for directions. Don’t miss it and remember to always be PowerSmart!

BC Pavilion (Vancouver Art Gallery)

BC Pavilion - You Gotta Be Here!Opens on Feb 12th: The British Columbia Pavilionwill be proudly located at the beautiful Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) building next to Robson Square. You can expect to see a number of interactive displays that will highlight the rich cultural fabric of both British Columbia and Canada. You gotta check out BC’s fantastic newYou Gotta Be Here ad.

Live concert performances are taking place at Robson Square which will feature several BC musical artists (more information below). This downtown hub also features the International Media Centre where several live broadcasts are taking place, the Ziptrek line over Robson Square, and the GE Plaza skating rink.

A series of displays highlighting BC industry & tourism will also be on-site. Visitors will get full access to the VAG for free during the Games and the venue is anticipated to be open between 9:00 am – 9:00 pm daily. A special Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit is available for public viewing. Located in the heart of downtown across from the huge Canadian flag at Georgia & Howe Street and right next to the GE Plaza outdoor skating rink, this will definitely become a popular gathering place. The north lawn is also home to the official Omega Olympic and Paralympic Countdown Clock. The area is conveniently accessed by the Skytrain or Canada Line Vancouver City Centre stops. You, definitely, gotta be here.

During the 2010 Winter Games, BC’s signature celebration site at Robson Square will feature live entertainment, sport demonstrations, light shows, video displays, and fun for the whole family.

Featured programming at Robson Square during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games (Feb. 12-28) includes:

Aboriginal Showcase – A showcase of the talents, traditions and contemporary expressions of B.C.’s Aboriginal people with performers including three-time World Champion Hoop Dancer Alex Wells, the Yinka Dene Drum Group, Métis Cultural Dancers, Le-La-La Dancers, and the Nisga’a Ts’amiks Dancers.

When: Daily at 12:30 p.m.

First Nations Carving Exhibit – Located in a temporary gallery on the northeast side of the Georgia Street Plaza, will feature Musqueam artist Susan Point and Coast Salish artists demonstrating their creative skill.

When: Daily from noon to 8 p.m.

BC Kids – Fun programs with B.C.’s best children’s performers including Bobs and Lolo, Rick Scott, and The Kerplunks. In addition, there will be amazing acrobatic, circus and theatrical arts shows by Vancouver’s CircusWest.

When: Weekends at noon and 1 p.m.; CircusWest daily at 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.

BC Live – Showcasing B.C. musicians and artists representing all regions and cultures with family entertainment to world-beat fusion to B.C.’s best indie bands. Performers include Jim Byrnes, Mother Mother, Hey Ocean, Alex*Cuba, The Left, Jaydee Bixby, Said The Whale, and the Paperboys.

When: Nightly at 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

BC Spirit Showcase: Music! Culture! Community! – Featuring local community and multicultural performers, as well as established, amateur and up-and-coming musicians from B.C. Performers include M’Girl, Shari Ulrich, Pastiche, Gypsalero, Tiller’s Folly, Alpha Yaya Diallo, Showstoppers, Ache Brasil, Strathcona Chinese Dance Company, and Il Voce.

When: Various showtimes daily

BC Street Jam – Engaging performances on Robson Street showcasing the unique talents of the best of B.C.’s street artists, including the Stunt Superstar Aaron Gregg, the Checkerboard Guy, Junkyard Symphony, and the Bigger Balloon Guy.

When: Various showtimes daily and nightly

Meet The Mascots On Ice – A fun, family show featuring the Vancouver 2010 mascots and their friends as they skate, dance and sing in celebration of the Games.

When: Daily at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Ignite the Dream – A spectacular and innovative evening show that will light up the sky featuring specialized lighting, pyrotechnics, lasers, projected images, and performers high above the ground.

When: Nightly at 9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.

For more information, please visit www.yougottabehere.com

Bell Ice Cube

bell-ice-cubeOpens on Feb 11th: The Bell Ice Cube will be a 3,000 square-foot temporary building located at Robson & Beatty street in downtown Vancouver and will open to the public on February 11th. It will be open February 11th to 28th from 11am to 11pm and will feature entertainment, Olympic ticket giveaways and interactive product demonstrations. The unique high-tech design of Bell Ice Cube will provide visitors an opportunity to view ceremonies and competitions on multiple plasma screens in high definition Bell TV. During the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and during major sporting events, visitors will be able to watch the magic on a large projection screen.

Every day at 3 pm, there will be a live show called Ice Talk, where Olympians will be interviewed by five-time Olympian and Bell Champion Charmaine Crooks. Athletes will share their own Olympic stories and sign autographs for Games fans. Bell Ice Cube will also feature guest performances by internationally acclaimed vocal play group, Naturally 7. In addition to brilliant harmonies, every instrument sound is created by the human voice. From musical styles that range from pop to R&B, Naturally 7 has charmed fans around the world.

Bombardier Streetcar

streetcarOperating Now: Known as the Olympic Line, this will be a demonstration project between Granville Island “French Quarter” and the Olympic Village Canada Line station. A modern and “high-end” European streetcar will shuttle passengers by rail between the Canada Line and the “French Quarter” at Granville Island. It is free to ride, but they are expecting over 500,000 people will take the trip over the two month period when it will be in operation. The train is scheduled to start running on January 21st (open ceremonies take place at 9:30am at Cambie & 2nd Avenue, beside the Olympic Village Canada Line station) through March 21st, and it will run 18 hours per day. CityCaucus.com also took some great photos of the Olympic Line, and has this exclusive first look video. Here’s the map to the Granville Island stop, and here is the map to the Olympic Village stop.

Canada Line (to YVR)

Canada LineWhile not free, for about the price of a cup of coffee, you can ride the beautiful new Canada Line rapid transit system, and head from the downtown Waterfront station all the way to the Vancouver International Airport. Along the way, you will cross the mighty Fraser River and have the opportunity to stop at trendy Oakridge Mall and Cambie Village.

When you arrive at the airport, be sure to visit one of the most beautiful airport observatories found anywhere on the planet. Here is a YouTube video you can watch before you go. We also have a photo of it on our Flickr page.

A number of interactive displays at YVR are available for kids, not to mention all the jumbo 747s that provide “live” entertainment. Located in the public, pre-security area of the Domestic Terminal, Level 4 and free for all visitors, the Public Observation Area is a great place to meet family and friends.

After arriving at YVR, proceed to Departures Level 3 of the Domestic Terminal. The Public Observation Area is located on Level 4 of the Domestic Terminal, above the food court area. Click here for directions from the Waterfront station to the airport. Click here for directions from the Vancouver International Airport to downtown.

Canada Pavilion

canada pavilionOpens on Feb 13th: Centrally located at Vancouver’sLiveCity Downtown Celebration Site (corner of Georgia St and Cambie St), the Canada Pavilion will demonstrate Canada’s commitment to creative excellence, sustainable development and fostering diversity with informative and innovative content that is sure to make Canadians proud. Inside the pavilion, visitors can use interactive technologies to learn about Canadian sport excellence, including Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic history, trivia and visual displays illustrating Canadian innovation in sporting equipment and technology, and virtual snowboard and slapshot games. The Pavilion will provide an opportunity to learn more about Olympic and Paralympic sports and help to choose an activity that’s right for you. The pavilion will open on Saturday, Feb 13th. Hours of operation are February 13-27, 2010: 11:00 a.m. to midnight. February 28, 2010: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. March 12-14, 2010: 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. March 18-21, 2010: 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Canada’s Northern House

husky-eyesOpen Now: Canada’s Northern House, at 602 W. Hastings Street & Seymour in Vancouver, is located in the heart of downtown. You can expect to be captivated with the simulated northern lights shining from the windows. The lights will draw people in to view and get information on Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon art, business, athletes, cultural performers and artists.Visitors to Northern House will be greeted at the entrance by an inuksuk built by former Nunavut Commissioner Peter Irniq, using stone from Nunavut, Northwest Territories and British Columbia. Canada’s Northern House will showcase talented performers such as Artcirq and throat singers, drum dancers, and traditional games athletes during the Olympic Games. Canada’s Northern House will have an art lounge, story telling area and an exhibit called “The North Today” featuring interactive displays on living, visiting and investing in Nunavut. There will also be business information about the three territories. Visitors also have the chance to win an $8,000 diamond or a 3.8 ounce gold nugget valued at $7,000. The House is open through March 31, 2010. Daily hoursduring the 2010 Olympic Games will be 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Before and after the 2010 Olympic Games, it will be open from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Check out some cool CityCaucus.com exclusive photos and video of the pavilion by clicking here.

Casa Italia

RoundhouseOpens on Feb 6th: In 2006, Italy played home to the Winter Olympics. In a few weeks, the historic Roundhouse Community Centre will play home to the 2010 pavilion known as Casa Italia. The pavilion will be open to the public and will feature some of the best food, drink and entertainment that Italy has to offer. You can expect to see Ferrero Rocher as well as some other fine Italian products on display. Casa Italia will be open daily to the public between Feb 6 – 28th from noon until 6pm daily. The pavilion is only one block north of the LiveCity Yaletown and should therefore be a popular destination with locals and visitors alike. If you’re looking for directions on how to get there, click here.

CentrePlace Manitoba

centreplace manitobaOpens on Feb 13: CentrePlace Manitoba is a 2,560 sq ft, pre-fabricated, sustainable building featuring Manitoba products and technology. Multimedia exhibits, developed in Manitoba, will showcase tourism, business, immigration and sport and highlight our province’s prosperity, opportunity and potential. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights will be a partner and have a feature exhibit in the pavilion.

Thirty Manitoba artists and arts groups will perform, supported by the Manitoba Arts Council, as part of the2010 Cultural Olympiad. Many of our province’s Aboriginal artists will also perform at the Four Host First Nations pavilion. CentrePlace Manitoba will be located at the LiveCity Vancouver – Downtown site (on Georgia Street at Cambie).CentrePlace Manitoba will be open during both the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Games. Hours of Operation: February 13 – 27, 11 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. February 28, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Club Bud

Commodore Ballroom
Club Bud, host of the hottest parties in Beijing and Torino, will claim its place on top of the party podium in Vancouver. Budweiser will be the center of Vancouver’s social scene for five nights in February.

In Torino, Budweiser introduced the world to Club Bud with a six-story pyramid-shaped nightclub. Club Bud kept the party going in Beijing with 360° video screens, an electrifying dance floor and an outdoor pool. In February 2010, Club Bud will transform the famed Commodore Ballroom into the place for athletes, celebrities and some lucky fans to celebrate in style.

Club Bud will be located on pedestrian-friendly Granville Street in the heart of Vancouver’s entertainment district. The 19,000-square foot, 1,000-person capacity, multi-level venue will feature a concert stage, elevated seating, several bar and lounge areas and the legendary 2,646-square foot sprung dance floor. Partygoers will enjoy live DJs and music throughout the night and three separate bar areas will offer distinct atmospheres to enjoy a cold Budweiser with friends.

Coca Cola Pavilion (LiveCity Yaletown)

coca-cola-pavilionOpens on Feb 11th: A big red temporary 8600 square foot structure is going up at LiveCity Yaletown. This will become home to the new Coca Cola Pavilion. They are one of the major international sponsors of the Games and you can expect to see a lot of them around town in the next couple of months. Fans will have an opportunity to learn more about Coca-Cola and their history with the Olympic Games, sample ice cold Coca-Cola products, see the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch, and much more! At night the translucent roof becomes the canopy for a spectacular light display. CityCaucus.com caught a photo of it a few weeks ago. Hours of Operation: 10 am – 11:30 pm daily. For more information visit www.icoke.ca. Check back here early this week as we plan to add more details about the various free contests and giveaways onsite.

Four Host First Nations Pavilion

fourhostnationsOpens on Feb 12th: Located on the plaza of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at Georgia and Hamilton in downtown Vancouver, within easy walking distance of BC Place (venue for opening ceremonies) and Canada Hockey Place (venue for ice hockey), the 8,000 square-foot 2010 Aboriginal Pavilion will be right in the heart of Olympic activity, with Vancouver’s Celebration Site located immediately across Cambie Street. The pavilion features a high-tech 3,000 square-foot sphere, surrounded by a Coast Salish Longhouse. The Longhouse, which features a 1,500 square-foot Trading Post, will be relocated after the Games as a permanent legacy. As well, the adjacent 2,000 square-foot QE restaurant will be converted into a reception hall, featuring an Aboriginal showcase and cuisine. Special “theme” days will showcase Aboriginal groups from all regions of Canada. Live events will include Inuit throat singing, Métis jigging, hoop dancing, as well as spotlighting contemporary Aboriginal performances and other fields of achievement. Check out this photo of the building under construction. Hours of operation vary by day. Click here for a detailed schedule of events.

French Quarter (Granville Island) (Place de la Francophonie 2010)

Granville Island public marketOpens on Feb 11: Located just south of the downtown, this popular tourist attraction will become the place to celebrate Canada’s French heritage. There will be two pavilions, a French bistro and pub, as well as a stage for concerts. They also intend on creating an “artists’ alley” like Rue Sainte-Anne in Quebec City. Be sure to visit Place de la Francophonie. This little “French Quarter” will offer visitors a cornucopia of activities including shows featuring Canadian and international performers, a sports pub, a farmer’s market, tourism circuits and trails and many exhibits of works by francophone artists. More than just a meeting spot, visitors to Place de la Francophonie will delight in the ongoing festive atmosphere while discovering the cultural and artistic wealth of the country. It runs from Feb 11-28 and the hours of operation are Exhibits: 11am to 8pm; Shows: 6pm to midnight; Club Adrénaline: 11am to midnight; Events: Beginning at noon. You can get there by taking the free streetcar from the Olympic Canada Line Station to Granville Island. Vancouver’s famous False Creek water taxiswill also provide transportation across the water during the Games. Expect this site to be extremely popular so get there early and take transit if you can.

GE Plaza (Robson Square)

GE Plaza photo 2.jpgOpen Now: GE Plaza at Robson Square features a popular outdoor skating rink, and is the location for the International Media Centre and BC Pavilion during the Games and centrally located at Robson & Howe Streets. Thanks to the generous contribution from General Electric in partnership with the Province of BC, the skating is free and skate rentals are only $3. The rink is open daily from noon to 9 pm.

The revitalization of the ice rink at GE Plaza has brought over 115,000 visitors to Robson Square to enjoy ice skating, concerts, and other special events since it re-opened in late November. Robson Square is the BC’s signature celebration site during the 2010 Winter Games. Live music performances are taking place day and night at this lively centre of activity. Just look for the big glass bubbles from street level.

The site is just a 2-minute walk from the Vancouver City Centre Skytrain and Canada Line stations. Clickhere for directions on how to get there.

German Saxony House

rowing-club-winterOpens on Feb 12th: During the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the Vancouver Rowing Club in Stanley Park will be transforming into the Saxony House. Be sure to drop by this free pavilion to experience the Olympics in true Saxon style! You’ll have the opportunity to watch the games, meet medal winners, listen to live music and enjoy traditional German food and drinks.

The Vancouver Rowing Club (Flickr photo by p squaredseen above) will transform its 19th century aura into a glittering Saxony House, offering magnificent views of Burrard Inlet and Downtown Vancouver. What better place to exhibit the prowess of Saxony’s art, culture and booming economy, its sports and the innovative drive of Saxon inventors! The Saxony House is open free to the public, February 12th – 28th, from 12:00pm- 2:00am. There is plenty of low-cost metered parking during the day. Parking is free after 6 pm. Click herefor more information.

Heineken House (Holland)

heineken-houseOpens on Feb 12th: Located near the O Zone in Richmond, the highlight of the Holland Heineken Houseexperience is the main hall, which can host thousands of people every night, and features celebratory medal ceremonies for successful Dutch athletes as well as nightly performances by renowned Dutch artists and DJ’s. The uniquely close relationship that Dutch sport fans have with their heroes – coupled with their penchant for the national colour of orange – makes for a vibrant and unforgettable atmosphere during celebrations and performances. More than 100,000 people visited the Holland Heineken House during Winter Games in Turin and 95,000 at the Beijing Olympics. At the last Summer Games, supporters were able to celebrate a total of 16 medals for the Dutch Olympic Team.

There are plans for HH to serve beer to 4,000 people nightly at its Medal Ceremony Hall which is open from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m during the Games. We’re also advised that 400 Dutch bikes will be available for freefor guests to use. On Feb 6th, the Dutch will also be hosting a bike tour through Richmond along all the Olympic sites. If you want to register click here. The Heineken House will be located at Minoru Arenas 7551 Minoru Gate in Richmond. Click here for directions on how to get there.

House of Switzerland

BridgesOpens on Feb 5th: Located on picturesque Granville Island in Vancouver, Bridges Restaurant will play home to the House of Switzerland during the Games. Plans are to dress up the restaurant and their menu in a Swiss theme. We’re told to expect a lot of Swiss athletes there on a nightly basis. If a Swiss athlete wins a medal, they will be taken from BC Place and brought to the pavilion by water taxi that evening. The athletes then plan to hold a media event outside the House of Switzerland as well meet with all the patrons inside.

Pavilion organizers tell us they will have on-hand some of the best Swiss chocolates, wine, cheese for the public to sample. The venue is free to the public and will be officially open from Feb 5th – Feb 28th. The hours of operation starting on Feb 12th will be 8 am to 2 am each day – a full calendar of events is posted here (pdf). Note that public parking will be at a premium and is limited to the west side of the Island only. Metered parking is in effect and will cost around $6 for 2 hours. Consider taking transit there if you can (the Bombardier streetcar station is a pleasant five minute walk). Expect this to be one of the top hot spots in town! Click here for directions on how to get to this destination.

Irish House

doolinsOpens on Feb 9th: The 9,000 square-foot Irish House will house 750 visitors at a time at the temporary site, conveniently located adjacent to Doolin’s Irish Pub in downtown Vancouver. The Irish House site will facilitate Doolin’s trademark ‘Irish family feel’ in ambiance, culture, and music. The Irish House will be a welcoming gathering place with a boisterous traditional Celtic atmosphere.

During the day, the pavilion will feature family-friendly entertainment with music and cultural exhibits. Multiple televisions and projection screens will run highlights of the Games. In the evenings, the true Irish pub culture will come to life, and visitors will experience a party where it will feel like every day is a St. Patrick’s Day party.

Local and international media personalities will be in attendance throughout the two weeks, with familiar names such as Red Robinson, Dave Abbott, Ron Coleman, and Jim Byrnes invited as guest MCs. The official opening on February 11 will kick off with The Most Reverend J. Michael Miller – the Arch-Bishop of Vancouver performing a blessing on the pavilion. A traditional Celtic Standing Stone monument, custom designed and created for the Irish House 2010, will be a featured display piece in pavilion and auctioned off on Saturday February 20. Irish House 2010 will be located at 620 Nelson Street in Vancouver, BC. The hours of operation will be 7 pm-3 am February 8, and noon to 3 am February 9 – 28. The venue is family friendly from noon – 7 pm, then only 19+ permitted 7 pm onwards. CityCaucus.com has confirmed there will be a $5-20 entrance fee for adults (depending what time of day you arrive) and kids are always free. As with any Irish Pavilion, get ready for a load of fun and entertainment. For more information, call (604) 331-7854 or click here.

Korea House

PyeonchangOpens on Feb 13: The City of Pyeongchang, Korea is trying to successfully do what Vancouver did in 2003. They want to impress the International Olympic Committee in order to win the right to host the 2018Winter Olympic Games. Perhaps that’s why they plan to pull out all the stops with their interactive Korea House pavilion located on the 2nd floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Vancouver. Representatives from Korea House advise CityCaucus.com that the pavilion will be open to the public every day from 11 am to 6 pm.

The Koreans plan to wow guests with a razzle dazzle high tech show that will highlight Korea’s burgeoning information technology sector. The pavilion will also feature local dancers, artists and cultural performers. According to the Koreans there will be multi-touch tables and an interactive wall installed. A multi-touch table is a digital device that uses a touch screen to enjoy video clips of breathtaking views from Korea’s winter, its athletes and culture. It also allows you to play games. As you move your body, you will see changes on the wide screen. The venue will open on February 13th through Feb 28th. We anticipate the Koreans will do everything they can to impress both the IOC and guests by putting their best foot forward. If you want a map on how to get there, click here.

Laser Waterworks Show

lasershowStarts Feb 12: Join friends or family at False Creek to see the nightly laser light shows which will take place at the LiveCity Yaletown location. A large pipe in False Creek will stream water high into the air providing the backdrop for what will become a vivid backdrop to all the excitement. Across False Creek you will be able to see the Olympic Athlete’s Village. The City of Vancouver says the fireworks and water show will start in the late evening, but they don’t provide a start time. Once we have this, we’ll post it here. For a map showing you how to get to David Lam Park, click here.

LiveCity Downtown

skyline2Opens on Feb 13: This site located at Georgia and Beatty will open during both the Olympic and Paralympic Games and will be Vancouver’s version of a downtown “piazza” with a large outdoor screen, daytime interactive school programming, engaging street entertainment, and late-night entertainment. Additional partners and governmental agencies will bring programs and pavilions to complement the site. The site will be open and programmed throughout the Olympic period commencing the day after the Opening Ceremony and concluding right before the Closing Ceremony (February 13-February 28). Hours of operation: 11:00 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. daily – February 28 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. The site will re-open during the Paralympic period (March 12 through March 21) with a mix of on-screen programming, demonstration sport events and entertainment. Both the Canada and Manitoba pavilions will be on-site. For more information about this venue click here.

LiveCity Yaletown

livecity yaletownOpens on Feb 11: LiveCity Yaletown is a family-friendly venue that will feature live local, national, and international entertainment on the main stage in the afternoon and into the night, culminating each evening with a dynamic water and fireworks closing show. Giant screens will show highlights of Olympic Winter Games sport coverage and visitors can enjoy the interactive Olympic sponsor pavilions, Vancouver House, and much more… all for free!

Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., LiveCity Yaletown will be offering exciting educational programs for Vancouver students Grades 6 – 12. The public is welcome to join in!

Friday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., family programming, similar to the weekday educational component, will offer kids the chance to experience the Games in a family friendly environment.The afternoons will feature highlights from the day’s sporting events on the giant screens followed by late afternoon live entertainment and the official medals presentations.

By 8 p.m., the stage will light up with their headlining act with free concerts every night of the Games, followed by a spectacular nightly water and fireworks show looking out onto the water of Vancouver’s picturesque False Creek. Several well-known corporate sponsors will have their public pavilions onsite including Coca Cola, Samsung, Acer and Panasonic. Click here for directions on how to get there. For more detailed information on LiveCity Yaletown click here.

Hours of operation:

  • February 11, 4:30 p.m. – 11 p.m
  • February 12, 11a.m. – 9 p.m
  • February 13– 27, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily
  • February 28, 11:00 a.m. – 9 p.m

Lunar Fest on Granville Street

Lunar Fest on Granville Street
As part of Cultural Olympiad programming, LunarFest is Canada’s premier presenter of contemporary expression in Asian arts and culture. It endeavors to reach new Canadians and those who have been here for many generations to share in the diversity of Canada. It also encourages and fosters the collaboration of Canadian and International cultural presenters to create new forms of artistic expressions. LunarFest is a festival that brings together Soul, Art and Life on one stage.

During Jan 22nd- Feb28th 2010, a Lunar New Year celebration like no other will take over the grounds of Downtown Vancouver with thousands of lanterns decorated by school age children and large commissioned lantern displays. This free public display of lanterns as well as gathering of artisans and cultural performances brings together the celebration of Lunar New Year and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic spirit.

New Westminster

newwestHistoric New Westminster (Western Canada’s oldest incorporated city) is hosting something they are calling Keep the Dream Alive. Join the excitement of the Olympics! Watch Canada bring home the gold at theQueensborough Community Centre. Learn about local Olympic athletes that will be competing in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Catch the Olympic spirit in New Westminster. For more information on hours of operation, call 604-525-7388.

Friday, February 5th 11:30 – 1pm: Spirit of BC Flag Raising Ceremony at New Westminster Senior Secondary Come celebrate the start of Spirit of BC 2010 One Week Countdown with our Official Flag Raising Ceremony at New Westminster Secondary School. Live music, free hot chocolate and fun activities. Let’s make some countdown noise! FREE!

Friday, February 5th – Spirit of BC Flag Raising at Douglas College. Students and faculty join in the spirit and excitement by raising the Spirit of BC flag at their New Westminster Campus.

Saturday, February 6th 12 pm – 3pm: Spirit of BC WinterFest 2010 at Royal City Centre

Join our fourth annual Spirit of BC WinterFest 2010 at Royal City Centre. Spirit of BC Centre Stage will feature a free concert by the Band of The Royal Westminster Regiment from 1 – 3pm. Merchants at Royal City Centre will be offering “Catch the Countdown Spirit” specials and promotions. Everyone is encouraged to wear Red or Red and White to show your Canadian Pride.

Saturday, February 6th 7:30 – 10:30 pm: Spirit of BC WinterFest 2010 International Village at Royal City Centre

Join New Westminster Spirit of BC as we experience hosting the world in a community setting. Enjoy “Tastes of the World” international cuisine sampling from local restaurants while learning about various countries and cultures. Come dressed in your traditional costumes, the colours of your country of origin, or wear red and white representing Canada! FREE admission but pre-registration to obtain a ticket is required. Limited capacity

Friday, February 12th 4 pm – 8 pm: Spirit of BC hosts the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremonies Live Broadcast on the Big Screen at the Massey Theatre – Join New Westminster Spirit of BC at Massey Theatre as the countdown continues! Enjoy the Opening Ceremonies Live Broadcast in our community and participate in the excitement as we welcome the world to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Doors open at 4 pm. Special live on-stage performances featuring local talent begin at 5 pm leading into the Opening Ceremonies at 6 pm for the show of a lifetime. Arrive early as seating is limited. Ticket holders must be seated by 5 pm. Tickets required for admission can be obtained in advance at Royal City Centre on Saturday, Feb 6th from 12 – 3 pm at Spirit of BC WinterFest 2010. FREE admission. Donations at the door gratefully accepted.

For more info contact: 604-526-2010 or visit www.newwestminsterspiritofbc.ca

Nightly Medal Award Ceremony

new stadium.jpgThis is the most inexpensive way to participate in an officialOlympic event. Tickets costs as little as $22 dollars per personand this provides you access to some of North America’s best entertainers as well as the medal winning athletes. Some of theconfirmed bands include Barenaked Ladies, INXS, Nelly Furtado, Hedley, Theory of a Dead Man and many more. The newly renovated BC Place Stadium will play home to this nightly event, in the heart of several other nearby pavilions. If you are taking the Expo Line SkyTrain, get off at the “Stadium” station. You will have to walk about 5 minutes to get there. Clickhere for directions on how to get there. A note for out-of-town visitors, BC Place will undergo a massive renovation after the Games and will have a brand new retractable roof installed (see illustration).

O Zone Richmond

ozone.jpgOpens on Feb 12: 17 days and nights. Exhilarating. Amazing. Once in a lifetime. The O Zone is where you can be part of a real Olympic Games experience, with thousands of your closest friends, cheering on Canada’s athletes, exploring cool stuff, and rocking to some of the hottest young bands in Canada. The O Zone is also the biggest celebration of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, amassed over 60 acres in the heart of Richmond City Centre, just minutes from the new Canada Line Brighouse Station near Richmond City Hall and Minoru Park.

You’ve never seen Richmond like this: mammoth ice art, massive high-definition screen, outdoor skating on real ice, entertainment from around the region and around the world, art, athletes, exhibits, virtual reality (bobsleigh ride anyone?), food and fireworks. Bands like Our lady Peace, Hawksley Workman, Bedouin Soundclash, Toyko Police Club and Wintersleep headline. Theme nights saluting Canada’s diverse cultures and regions from World Beat rhythms and South Asian dance and music to Pan Northern sounds from above the Arctic Circle. There’s something for everyone, and for all ages. Did we mention it’s free?

On site will be the BCLC 2010 Winter Games Dome. This massive 5,000 square foot four-domed tent features interactive sport experiences. The Immersa-Dome® allows visitors to experience, through sight, smell and touch, what it might be like to compete as a member of Canada’s Olympic bobsleigh or Paralympic sit-ski team from the athletes’ perspective. Within the Games Dome, participants can also shoot targets while skiing through the winter woods on a simulated Biathlon course, or test their wrist shot on the Olympic or Paralympic ice hockey rink. As the Official Lottery and Gaming provider to the 2010 Winter Games, BCLC will be offering free daily draws to win one of 10 pairs of Closing Ceremony tickets, available to anyone 19+ who wishes to enter their name, February 12-21.

The O Zone is located just a few kilometres south of downtown Vancouver and a short hop on the Canada Line, starting Friday, February 12 through Sunday, February 28, 2010. Every day. Every night. Check back closer to the dates for a complete line-up of what’s happening and who’s on stage. Click herefor directions on how to get there.

Ontario Pavilion

ontarioOpens on Feb 12th: Located in between BC Place Stadium and Sochi House (Science World), the OntarioPavilion plans to set a new standard in creativity and innovation. CityCaucus.com dropped by the pavilion on Jan 24th and can confirm they are constructing a special 4D theatre. Once you enter, why not use your brain waves to turn on the lights at the CN tower. Don’t believe us, check out this video. They also plan to feature many other exciting and original exhibits, events and performances; showcase made-in-Ontario products and services; and be technologically state-of-the-art while being supported using environmentally sustainable systems and technologies. The Ontario Pavilion will offer visitors a unique, one-of-a-kind, inspirational experience that will live on in their memories for years to come and reinforce Ontario’s Olympic brand message — “There’s No Place Like This…” If you want to see some exclusive photos of the pavilion under construction click here. If you’re looking for directions on how to get to the pavilion then click here. Hours of operation: 10 am to 2 am daily.

The Ontario Pavilion features Ontario’s brightest talents and are free to the public. Showtimes are 9PM.

  • February12 – Bedouin Soundclash
  • February 13 – Downchild Blues Band
  • February 14 – Keshia Chante
  • February 15 – Swing/Serena Ryder
  • February 16 – Elliott Brood
  • February 17 – The Arkells
  • February 18 – Jully Black
  • February 19 – The Constantines
  • February 20 – Surprise performance announced later
  • February 21 – Great Lake Swimmers
  • February 22 – Alex J. Robinson/The Junction
  • February 23 – Nadjiwan
  • February 24 – Ontario Day at the 2010 Olympic Games. featuring Justin Hines, Damien Robitaille, God Made Me Funky
  • February 25 – The Wooden Sky
  • February 26 – Molly Johnson
  • February 27 – illScarlett
  • February 28 – Crash Parallel

Pan Pacific Pavilion

pan pacific pavilionOpens on Feb 12. The lobby of the the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver (at Canada Place) will be transformed into a stunning 16-day showcase of Aboriginal art, performances, and culture – free to residents and visitors during the upcoming 2010 Games. Organizers tell CityCaucus.com they want to share the cultural richness, stories and traditions of British Columbia’s Aboriginal people, and promote Aboriginal tourism across British Columbia. The Kla-how-ya will feature traditional dancing, cedar bark weaving, Aboriginal fashions, birch bark chewing, moose hide tufting, jewelry making, carving, storytelling and an opportunity to explore the harvesting of wild herbs for traditional medicines. They have set up a blogwhere you can read all about the various exhibits and entertainment. If you would like to see other First Nations art and culture, you should also visit the Four Host First Nations Pavilion and Canada’s Northern House.

The Pan Pacific is located at the Waterfront terminus station for Skytrain and Canada Line. For a map on how to get there, click here.

Park Royal Winter Carnival

park royal pavilionOpens on Feb 12: It may not be the most flashy venue, but Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver is planning on hosting a special winter pavilion during the Games. They advise CityCaucus.com they’ve set up a special outdoor skating rink where your family can lace up and enjoy some time on the ice. There are limited skate rentals, so it’s best you bring your own. There will also be live music performances on Friday and Saturday evenings. A large screen displaying the live CTV broadcast of Olympic events will allow you to cheer on your favourite athlete.

A “beverage tent” is also being set up for you to enjoy a beer or glass of wine while you’re watching the Games or listening to the entertainment. The skating canal will be open from noon to 10 pm every day. There is plenty of parking on site, but if you plan to drink, be sure not to drive! The beverage tent will be open from 4 pm to 10 pm and you must be 19+ to enter. Click here for a map on how to get there.

PoCo Zone

parks_02.jpg

Hey PoCo residents, where will you be watching the 2010 Winter Games? Starting with the opening ceremonies on Feb. 12, Port Coquitlam residents can cheer on the action on a big screen at the 2010 PoCo Zone at the Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex at 2150 Wilson Avenue in Port Coquitlam.

As part of the Port Coquitlam’s Spirit Week activities, Olympic events will be playing all day long on a nine-foot screen at the PoCo Zone – the City’s self-proclaimed Live Site – from Feb. 12 to 26. Local individuals and families who want to share in the Olympic spirit with other members of the community are welcome to drop by the PoCo Zone whenever the Rec Complex is open (approximately 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.). Tables and chairs will be set up in the Rec Complex’s spacious lobby, and the concession will be open during peak hours. Admission is free.

PRIDE House Vancouver

Pride House Vancouver

For the very first time in Olympic history there will be LGTB pavilions, one here in Vancouver and another in Whistler. PRIDE House Vancouver is happening at Qmunity, 1170 Bute Street, in the Davie Village. PRIDE House will have on hand friendly ambassadors who know about all that is fabulously queer in Vancouver. PRIDE House will also have on hand immigration and refugee experts with a wealth of knowledge and resources for visitors.

PRIDE House will be that special social welcoming spot for LGTB athletes, family, friends and visitors. PRIDE House Vancouver will be open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. throughout the Games. There will be fabulous PRIDE House swag available for sale including the most attractive pin out there (only $5, pin traders will want to take note that this is a limited release) as well as t-shirts and jackets.

PRIDE House Vancouver is having its Grand Opening Thursday February 11th at 2:00 p.m. with entertainment, dignitaries, sport excitement and an innovative ribbon cutting ceremony.

Quebec House (Maison du Quebec)

maison-du-quebecOpens on Feb 12: Quebec House (La Maison du Quebec) is located at the Concord Pacific site between Sochi House (Science World) and BC Place in Vancouver, this is anticipated to be one ultra cool venue. The pavilion will show thousands of foreign visitors the distinctiveness of Quebec culture, expertise and tourist attractions. For Quebecers coming to participate in Olympic events in Vancouver, Quebec House will be the place to assemble. Many Quebec artists will perform at the House from the 12th to 28th of February. Hours of operation: Noon to midnight daily.

Click here for map to pavilion. Quebec House is about a five-minute walk from the Main Street Skytrain station.

Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion

olympic medalsOpens on Feb 12th: Are you curious about how all those Olympic medals are made? Are you collecting all of those special edition 2010 Olympic quarters that are now in circulation? If you answered yes to either of those questions, chances are you may want to drop by the official 2010 Royal Canadian Mint pavilion located at 500 Granville Street (at Pender) in downtown Vancouver. The Mint is the official supplier of medals for the Olympic Games and will have some of them on display for the public to view. You can also see the Mint’s world-famous dollar gold coin and other gold products. There is also a special children’s activities section located on the 1st floor (open 9:30 – 6 pm daily). If you mention “Mint.ca” at the Pavilion Boutique you get 10% off all purchases.The venue is open to the public from February 12th through 28th. The hours of operation are 9 am to 10 pm daily. For directions on how to get there, click here.

Russian Tall Ship

russiantallship.jpgIf you see a big Russian tall ship floating in Burrard Inlet during the Games, it’s all part of the festivities surrounding the Olympics. On Feb 10th the four-masted sailing ship Kruzenshtern will call Vancouver home as part of a promotion of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games. The ship will be accessible at North Vancouver’s Burrard Dry Dock several days a week as well as for private sailings. The Russian President is expected to pay a visit as well as other senior Russian dignitaries. We anticipate the public component of this venue will be free, however, we will post that information once we have that confirmed. The dock is located east of the Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. The best way to access it is via the SeaBus link across Burrard Inlet between downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver. For directions on how to get there, click here.

Saskatchewan Pavilion

Saskatchewan PavilionOpens on Feb 12: Located in between BC Place Stadium and Sochi House (Science World) in Vancouver, this free pavilionwill consist of two structures. One will house a business centre, the other an entertainment venue featuring Saskatchewanentertainment and food. There will also be a pavilion at Whistler during the Paralympics. Through these venues, people from Canada, and around the world, will be able to learn about Saskatchewan business opportunities, vacation destinations, immigration and quality of life. Click here for a map to the pavilion. See this promotional video for more information. CityCaucus.com also some photos of the pavilion under construction here. Hours of operation have not been made available to the public yet.

Scandanavia House

Scandanavia HouseOpens on Feb 12: Located in the heart of Burnaby, theScandanavian Community Centre is inviting the public to join them in their celebration of the 2010 Olympic Games. Stefan Wallin, Finland’s Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth will be on hand to officially open “Scandinavia House”, the 2010 games hub for Scandinavians, Canadians and visitors alike on February 12th.

The Scandinavian Community Centre will be a games live site from February 12 – 28th, 9 am to midnight, for event viewing, daily programs, special guest visits and seminar speakers including former athletes. Several big screen TVs have been installed to televise local CTV Olympic programming as well as European real-time streaming broadcasts provided by Finnish broadcaster YLE. The public is invited to watch the games at the centre. Entry is free. This is the only venue of its kind that we know of in the Burnaby region. For directions on how to get there, click here.

Sochi House (Russia)

sochihouse.jpgOpens on Feb 11: The Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2010 in Vancouver will be a significant milestone for the Sochi 2014 program, since it is in Vancouver that Russia’s Sochi will officially take over and become the focus of the next Winter Olympic Games. Unprecedented in its scale, the Sochi2014.ru World, Russky Dom project will be the only official location for the Russian delegation in Vancouver.

The doors to Sochi World will be open from February 11- 28 for everyone who wants to become a part of the big Russian celebration at the Vancouver 2010 Games. It will bring together well-known athletes, eager fans and officials from around the world.

Every day from 12 pm to 5 pm, activities for Sochi World guests will include: meetings with Russia’s celebrated athletes, as well as autograph signing and photo sessions, entertainment programs, contests, excursions and official project participant and Games Partner events.

The venue is free, however, Sochi 2014′s website states the following regarding admission requirements:

In order to take part in the Sochi World activities, visitors must obtain accreditation (permanent access) or day-passes (single-use access). Day-passes are available at the information desk or at the Accreditation Center at the entrance. For Russian fans, entry passes will be created upon presentation of a Russian passport.

Guests of Sochi World will be able to get to know a new, modern Russia, where innovation is balanced with tradition: exhibition halls and informational booths will introduce everyone to the city and country that will host the Sochi 2014 Games. The cultural program, legendary Russian cuisine, performances by famous Russian and Canadian artists and, of course, the guests themselves will all help to create an unforgettable, truly Russian festive atmosphere.

In the Omnimax theater, guests will be able to watch sports-themed domestic films and cartoons—the masterpieces of Russian cinema (with English subtitles). Additionally, on the days of ice hockey competitions, retrospective screenings of ice hockey matches between Russia and Canada will be held in the theater.

On hockey competition days (February 21, 26 and 28, 2010) the Sochi World day program will also include: A Table Hockey Tournament; Games with famous hockey players (for example, «Score a Goal Past Tretyak» and «Best Scorer» with Pavel Bure and others); Autograph signings and photo sessions with the stars of Russian and Soviet hockey; Chant and dance contests among fan groups. In the evenings, guests can enjoy unforgettable performances and jointly celebrate the Olympic victories of our athletes.

Click here for directions on how to get there. Sounds like this is truly going to be one hopping place!

Surrey 2010 Celebration Zone

surrey-celebrationOpens on Feb 12: The Surrey 2010 Celebration Zoneat Holland Park is promising two fun filled weeks of excitement and activity for the whole family! The sliding zone, skating rink and curling zone will be a great way to take in some classic Olympic sports and winter activities. Step into the future with Simon Fraser University’s cutting edge Interactive Digital Media display, explore your creativity in their Kids World craft tent or cozy up in the Storytelling tent brought to you by Surrey Libraries. The RCMP Musical Ride will be performing shows daily, as well as other classic Canadian entertainment.

Evening performances at Surrey’s Celebration Zone include Blue Rodeo (Feb 12th) and The Sam Roberts Band (Feb 19th). The activities are abundant so bring your energy and enthusiasm to the Festival Activity Zone and prepare for an experience of Olympic proportions! Hours of operation vary by day. Click herefor a complete schedule of events.

USA House

stephen colbert skatingThe USA House will be located at the corner of Seymour & Nelson, just steps from Irish House. Unlike the other venues we understand that USA House will not be open to the public, but will reportedly have a “Team USA” store. We felt that US nationals visiting Vancouver would like to know the location.

No confirmation on whether Stephen Colbert will be passing thru, but he might consider it safehaven on this side of the 49th parallel.

The first floor will feature a registration area, the Team USA store and a media work area. The second and third floors will feature open spaces where visitors can watch events and where USOC staff offices will be located. It will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fans of Team USA can subcribe herefor updates. More info on USA Olympics venues is provided by blogger 2010VanFan.

Ukraine House

Ukraine 2010Opens on Feb 12th: Official home of Ukraine’s Olympic team for the 2010 Winter Olympics is being run jointly by the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, Embassy of Ukraine in Canada and Ukrainian Canadian Congress. Ukraine House will be officially opened on February 11th, 2010 and will be open to the public from February 12th through to the 28th. Located at the Ukrainian Catholic Centre at 3150 Ash Street in Vancouver, BC. The centre is just one block west of Cambie Village, and about 10 minutes walk from the Broadway/City Hall Canada Line station [MAP].

ValleyFest

valleyfest Opens on Feb 12th: Located on the beautiful North Shore Mountains, the District of North Vancouver will be ground zero for a special community celebration during the Games. ValleyFest is a 17 day event taking place in Lynn Valley and will feature live entertainment, childrens activities as well as a large screen TV broadcasting various sporting events. Join a 3 on 3 ball hockey game, try “kurling” or participate in their outdoor playground and cafe. Explore the history of sport and heritage at the Discovery Zone interpretive centre. You also shouldn’t miss the Olympic Torch as it makes it way through town on Feb 10. Local organizers assure CityCaucus.com this will be a family-friendly venue that will be fun for all ages. The venue is free and will be programmed between Feb 12-28th. All events are taking place in Lynn Valley Village Square. It is beside the library and completely accessible by bus. For more information about ValleyFest click here. For directions on how go get there, click here.

Vancouver “Streets to Watch”

robsonThere will basically be four main thoroughfares in the downtown core which will have festive programming on a daily basis. These includeRobson Street, Hamilton, Street, Mainland Street and Granville Street. With the exception of Robson Street (which will be closed east of Jervis street only) all the streets will be closed to vehicular traffic. Expect tens of thousands of people to be walking up and down here every night enjoying the atmosphere.

Vancouver City Hall

vancouverhallOpen Now: You can expect that Vancouver City Hall at 12th Avenue & Cambie Street will become a hub of activity during the 2010 Games. A parade of dignitaries will be making their way in and out of the Mayor’s office. This is also the site of the 1952 Oslo Flag which isencased in glass on the main floor of the building just as you enter. Once the Games are over, the flag will be placed back in its special case and delivered to the Mayor of Sochi, Russia, host of the 2014 Winter Games. Nightly light displays take place after dark at the top of the hour on outside of City Hall. The show is called Ice Light byGunda Forster.

Vancouver House (LiveCity Yaletown)

yaletown-buildingsOpens on Feb 12th: The City’s home during the 2010 Winter Games, Vancouver House is designed to tell the story of Vancouver’s new business brand ‘Vancouver Green Capital’.

Visitors will understand the meaning of Vancouver Green Capital and meet the people from all walks of life and all areas of business who bring it to life. They will understand that Vancouver Green Capital is a logical extension of Vancouver’s past successes, a meaningful and authentic position for the city given both its geographic nature and its human nature.

Visitors will also understand that a business can be green not just economically – in the way it makes money – or environmentally, in the way it produces a product, but also socially, in the way it affects people and creates wellness.

People will leave Vancouver House understanding why Vancouver is a magnet for sophisticated human capital and why it is an idea capital where people are thinking, planning and bringing to life the economic future of the city. In short, Vancouver Green Capital is a business story and also a human story.

Vancouver House will be located at LiveCity Yaletown.

Vectorial Elevation (English Bay)

Vectorial ElevationStarts Feb 12: More than two million people are expected toview the Vectorial Elevation Light Display installation in personin Metro Vancouver. The English Bay display of lights runs from dusk to dawn until February 28, 2010. Visitors to thiswww.vectorialvancouver.net can design how the lights will move, their angles and how they are clustered in timed sequences to create their own patterns for the world to see. A personalized webpage will be automatically created for each participant to document their design. Organizers estimate 130,000 different patterns will be created in the 24 days the project operates. Why not design your own light show in the sky? Click here for directions to Sunset Beach or click here for directions to Kits Beach.

West Vancouver Spirit Square

wv-spirit-squareOpens on Feb 12: Over the course of the 17 days of the Olympics West Vancouver, a Venue City, will activate their Spirit Square at the West Vancouver Community Centre. Discover your inner explorer and soar into the cosmos with the Canadian Space Agency. This rare experience provides a fun and interactive learning experience for everyone. Enjoy your self–guided tour of a scale model of the International Space Station and gain a sense of what it’s like to live, work and play sports in space. Models of Canadarm2 and Dextre will be there for all ages to enjoy. Evenings will come alive with an array of national and local talent, from rock to pop to classical performances in the Atrium. Celebrations at West Vancouver’s Spirit Square will showcase the unique character of the West Vancouver community featuring live performances, visual artistry, traditional and contemporary music.

West Vancouver Spirit Square will be operational from February 12th to February 28th, and hours will be Sunday to Thurs: 9 am – 9 pm, and Friday to Saturday: 9 am – 11:30 pm.

There will be a lot to see so check here for more programming details. Click here for directions on how to get there.

Whistler Round-up

whistler_villageWhistler Live! is where the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games come to life with an energetic fusion of sport, art and entertainment. For 27 days, Whistler’s wintery pedestrian village will pulsate from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m against the spectacular backdrop of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. A diverse range of free and unique Whistler Live! experiences offer a dazzling taste of Whistler’s iconic mountain culture. Cheer on the athletes during CTV sport broadcasts; be moved by medals presentations; take in daily après concerts; enjoy film and photography; hear legendary tales and listen to DJs light up the nightly Fire & Ice Remix. Experience Canada’s Games in the heart of Whistler Village.

The Whistler Live! experience comes alive through a network of integrated and interactive sites stretching from Whistler Medals Plaza to the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Welcoming and accessible, Whistler Live! is designed for wandering, exploring and discovering.

Whistler Medals Plaza is where the global community recognizes the world’s best! Nightly Victory Ceremonies celebrate athletic talent, dedication and teamwork followed by spectacular music and dazzling performances. Here, Whistler hosts the Paralympic Closing Ceremony which will wrap Whistler in celebration.

Town Plaza celebrates Whistler’s home-grown music and arts scene. Visual artists create their works live and musicians play acoustic sets guaranteed to make you move. The OMEGA Bobsled completes the picture perfect moment, while the family-friendly weekends are filled with Fun and the Games.

Village Common is your backstage pass to Whistler Live!, documenting the moments and plugging into everything Whistler Live!. In this open production studio housing the screens and cameras that connect the community on Village Stroll, our hosts interview athletes fresh from the slopes and the artists gracing the stages. Stop by and be a part of the story.

Village Square epitomizes the après action Whistler is famous for! As the heart of Whistler Live!, this venue pumps the stroll with the energy and passion of the Games. After showcasing the best in Olympic competition, national and international bands rock the stage until the sun goes down. Step outside, because your living room is definitely no comparison to Village Square.

CTV Mountain Square is where Whistler is woven into the Games story. From their outdoor studio, CTV hosts Jennifer Hedger and Michael Landsberg broadcast live to Canadians 22 hours a day.

Fire & Ice Remix at Skiers Plaza closes each night with an on-mountain snow show of huge air, fire dancers and BIG DJ sound! This sensory overload paints the mountain, lights the skies, pumps the adrenaline and shakes the ground. Experience the Remix.

Storytelling at Blackcomb Bridge hosted by the Whistler Real Estate Association.When the sun sets behind the mountains, gather to hear legends, myths and tales from the Sea to Sky region and beyond. Tucked into a magnificent but intimate setting, this is the place to discover Whistler’s history and culture, surrounded by trees, snow, and the warm glow of a winter fire.

Whistler Live! ArtWalk brings the works of regional artists to Whistler Village, the Upper Village and Creekside throughout the 2010 Winter Games. This free walking tour showcases the incredible talent of over 60 Sea-to-Sky Corridor artists and artisans in 44 host galleries. The interpretation of our local landscapes and animals adorn the walls of shops and cafes. Edgy ceramics are displayed in hotel lobbies and office spaces. Abstract and contemporary pieces add colour and intrigue to restaurants and spas.

Several special pavilions will also be open to the public in the Whistler area. They include Austria House(located near Lost Lake) which will be open to the public from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Norway House (located in MY Place) will be open to the public for morning waffles. Swiss House is located at the Mountain Club in Town Plaza. We’re not sure of hours of operation for this pavilion but we know it will be open to the public and feature Swiss cuisine. Rounding out the list is Slovenia House, which will be located at the Mountain Club in the Westin Hotel. This pavilion has limited public access, so drop by and inquire.

WinterFest at Lonsdale

LonsdaleQuay.jpgOpens on Feb 12th: A 17 day WinterFest celebration is planned for Lonsdale Quay (across Burrard Inlet), a popular tourist destination situated on the waterfront in North Vancouver. Organizers tell CityCaucus.com they are planning numerous concerts, face painting, live cultural and street performances and much much more. A large screen on site will broadcast CTV’s live Olympic coverage. Kid’s activities feature a newly renovated ballroom and animated play area with games and rides open daily from 9am – 9pm. Face painting and the ever-popular ‘Q’ balloons will be offered daily from 11am – 4pm.

Special guest appearances from costumed Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter as well as BC Parks Jerry the Moose and a Ranger. If you like live music and entertainment and want to have loads of fun, be sure to drop by during the Games! The best way to get there from Vancouver is TransLink’s SeaBus service between downtown and Lonsdale Quay. Some of the street performers include Miss Molotov, Fire Performer and Piper McKenzie. For a full schedule of events and hours of operations, click here. For directions on how to get there, click here.

Ziptrek Vancouver (Robson Square)

ziptrek-robsonOpens on Feb 12th: Come and be dazzled at Ziptrek’s latest venture. Perched above the law courts at Robson Square, you 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! See photos of the site posted on Ziptrek’s website, or click the photo for a larger view.

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! This once-in-a-lifetime experience happens during the Olympics, and best of all it’s free! The zipline will start operation on Feb 12th and run through Feb 28th. The hours of operation are 10:00 am – 9:00 pm daily. Bring your camera and expect the line-ups to be around the corner!

We’re also aware that CTV News (official Olympic broadcast network) will be broadcasting their newscast live every evening 11 pm – 12 pm from Robson Street (beside their HQ). Hosts Bill Good and Pamela Martin will be on-hand nightly. In addition, Global TV will be broadcasting their newscasts from the rooftop of the Concord Pacific presentation centre. CBC News will be opening up their new downtown studios to the public every evening. They are located right across from LiveCity Downwown on Georgia Street.

For complete visitor information in Vancouver, visit www.tourismvancouver.com, or yougottabehere.comfor BC Tourism information.

Branda Lee has 4 lists of concert listings and various shows that will be hosted during the Winter Games. Her detailed information includes time, location, cost and artists playing at various Cultural Olympiad sites and other official venues around Vancouver. She is also sharing iCal calendars…

If you are aware of a free or low-cost Olympic community related event happening somewhere in Metro Vancouver, please drop us a line at Scales@VancouverAccess2010(dot)com and we’ll consider adding it to our growing list. Please include as much information about the event as possible. We hope you enjoy everything the Games has to offer Metro Vancouver and please consider sending a send a link of this page to your friends, family and colleagues. Help us to spread the word!!

We would like to thank the fine folks at CityCaucus.com for building the foundation on this work and allowing us to cross post this venue list. Visit their updated list.

Posted in Culture, Fans, Featured, Vancouver 2010, VenuesComments (55)

Hello VANOC, We’re nice, local, and invite you for a coffee and a talk


You're *so* tough.

I am following up on the Open Letter to VANOC from Social Media Makers with a few notes as well as an invitation to continue the conversation with VANOC over a tasty beverage. The letter has made its way around the world with Twitters, comments, blog posts, and personal notes of support and/or confusion coming in from many corners of the globe.

So, to keep the conversation rolling, here are my annotated notes, thoughts and recaps from the past few days of opinions rolling in:

First off, Jeff Lee, the Olympic reporter from the Vancouver Sun explored the changing media landscape in an excellent article and an accompanying blog post. He talked to several interesting people and brought a veteran mainstream media eye to the conundrums in “Changes coming to media’s coverage of Olympics – But new forms of news delivery are restricted by Olympic committee rules”. He keys right in on the crux of the tension – money vs.choice.

“As traditional news organizations struggle with declining readership and cutting staff while trying to capture greater online presence, the Olympics is undergoing its own transformation. The change is also affecting broadcasters, who like the others, have not yet figured out how to fully monetize their Internet properties.

The traditional forms of media coverage — exclusive territorial contracts with broadcasters, appointment of news wire agencies by the IOC and press credentials parcelled out by national Olympic committees — are coming under pressure as people change the way they get their news.”

His article also brought an insider’s point of view from the head of the (enormous) newswire AP who raised the same questions we are within the inner-sanctum of the IOC:

“In an address to the press commission, Tom Curley, the chief executive of Associated Press, warned that the lines between traditional news delivery models are blurring. Newspapers want to use streaming video, but are restricted because the IOC licenses broadcasters for field-of-play images. Audio broadcasts are similarly restricted. According to those who were at the meeting, Curley’s address stunned many members.”

Mr. Lee (who is olympicreporter on Twitter) also published extended notes and thoughts in a blog post titled “Social networking media push for inclusion in Olympic plan” (a bit buried in the site but worth the read).

His blog post provides a full quote from Renee Smith-Valade, VANOC spokesperson, who took time on a Sunday to follow-up to Lee’s inquiry thusly:

“The IOC is the ultimate arbiter on the representation on the Press Commission, and each country’s National Olympic Committee determines which media get accredited for the Games. As the Organizing Committee we can and will encourage both entities to recognize and facilitate the immense growth of online media, however ultimately decisions for press commission membership and Games accreditation lie with them. We have not yet responded to the open letter from the social media group but will do so in the coming days.”

My colleagues and I are encouraged that VANOC has a reply in mind. While its unlikely that we would have been accredited going through the IOC and national press associations channels, we firmly contend we have value to offer by being engaged in the dialogue. We also have first-hand experiences to share about creative solutions (including non-accredited media centers) and strategies to embrace the social media makers without compromising the relationships rights-holders, corporate sponsors and the like.

Gastown Photowalk Crew

This quest isn’t just “for us” – we are starting the conversation for the thousands of people who are coming to participate in the Games as “amateur” reporters, photographers, podcasters, videographers, etc. and will eagerly post their content to audiences of maybe dozens, maybe millions of viewers. Individually, the coverage is very niche, and that micro-coverage is a big part of the appeal. Further, the collective content produced by “all of us” will likely rival the mainstream media output.

Mr. Lee’s article includes remarks from Yahoo Sports which articulates how quickly media is changing:

“However, change has already started. This summer, Yahoo Sports — which doesn’t have a print or TV broadcast property — sent 19 journalists and “analysts” to the 2008 Beijing Games. It had only one reporter at each of the 2004 and 2006 Olympics. Dave Morgan, executive editor of Yahoo Sports, said the investment paid off: more than 32 million “unique visitors” went to Yahoo’s Beijing Olympics microsite in August, outstripping even NBC’s online Olympic traffic.”

Photo by Boris MannSo how does VANOC let the enthusiastic and experienced amateurs cover the Games while not opening up a box of problems? For starters, we look to the Piemonte Non-accredited Media Centre in Turin as a good example as it helped the alternative and independent press understand IOC guidelines, provided press releases and updates, and in-formal collaborative workspace and office resources. The funding came from tourism boards, local press agencies, sponsors (especially from the hospitality industry) and resulted in richer “long tail” coverage of the Games and the region.

For my colleagues who were in Turin (I was covering from Vancouver), this facility worked out great for organizing photo sessions, conducting athlete interviews, and exploring non-sports stories about art, culture, industry and tourism. We’ll talk more about this example over a hypothetical coffee but, … whether or not there is a “non-accredited media centre” we will invite folks to our Gastown loft office to add another layer of coverage beyond what CTV (in Canada’s case) has in store.

Frankly, this solution is hardly ideal (it *is* a working office after all) so we’re also touring downtown locations and talking to landlords and sponsors about acquiring a larger space – it’s too big of an opportunity to settle for “good enough”.

Opinion round-up

Competitive videographer and Bootup Labs Marketer, Jordan Behan comments with an inquiry about VANOC’s social media (non)strategy:

“The decision to exclude the likes of the Raincity gang is quite puzzling, even without a social media strategy in place. In Dave’s full letter, he highlights the history of the fan-based, non-intrusive coverage they’ve done at previous Olympic Games, and it’s clear that this kind of participation only benefits the host city, the Games and even the holders of exclusive broadcast rights. I’m holding out hope that Vanoc (and our Canadian Olympic committee, apparently) will take great strides, not only to appear to appease social media creators, but instead fully embrace the concept and help to redefine citizen journalism’s role in Games coverage. With some creativity, they should be able to do so inside of the confines of the above-mentioned (archaic in these times, if you ask me) broadcast rights.”

While Kris and I were in-between the official press briefing (where I somehow caught a cold) and the Olympic Resistance Network pres conference, Mr. Behan sent this Twitter update: “jordanbehan @uncleweed It’s ok to be pro-Olympics, and still anti-exclusive rights broadcasting and media monopolies, etc. At least, I hope it is. 12:48 PM Nov 20th

Techvibes‘ wunderkind Greg Andrews offered his insight with Vancouver 2010 Organizers Snub Social Media (Nov. 20, 2008 2:21PM), where he points out how Kris and I didn’t fit into either group (protesters or journos) with twitter updates and commentary:

“Unlike many Vancouverites that were outside the event in the rain protesting the Olympics, Olson and Krug had intentions of journalism, not protest. Between them and Raincity CEO Robert Scales, they’ve unofficially covered the last four Olympic games, in addition to Olson’s blogging and podcasting of Canucks hockey.

Via Twitter:

Got stopped at the door. “if you guys are here to protest pls go accross the street”. Now they’re checkin our credentials.

We were just escorted from the building. We had better access, even a welcome in Beijing and Torino.

@todmaffin agreed they can’t make us go home. but we’re not here to protest in the rain, we’re here as jounalists.”

Ruth Seeley commented on the Tech Vibes article pointing out the perception of value is no longer based on delivery method:

I wonder if they let in folk from The Tyee? It would be interesting to find out – because that could be part of the argument for allowing access to a broader definition of media. If anyone truly believes that 24 or Metro deserve access because they’re printed on paper and The Tyee doesn’t, some re-examination of belief systems needs to begin.

View from the Isles writer and photographer (now now working at Media2o) Tris Hussey offered his thoughts in “Raincity throws down the gauntlet to VANOC: Let citizen media in!” and asks what VANOC plans to do:

“Will VANOC step up to the plate where other host cities and Olympic Committees have not? That’s an open and excellent question. I for one would welcome social media participation at the games. I think we’d all be the richer for it.”

Raincoaster Lorraine (who teaches blogging workshops in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside) followed up with her thoughts:

“Vancouver’s citizen journalists have done an exceptional job of covering the last several Olympics, and have, in fact, become known worldwide for it. This is a creative proposal that would ensure that, rather than taking an oppositional stance, Vancouver’s citizen journalists take one in support of the Olympics and civic pride.”

Ianiv the Blogaholic (who also works at crowd sourced media site Now Public) writes about how ubiquitous recording devices have changed how media is created (and what media is) in, “Social Media and the Vancouver 2010 Olympics“, saying:

“With the prevalence of devices capable of recording video, still images and sound, it is almost impossible that a significant event will not be recorded in some way. And sometimes all this content created by the people is at odds with the interests of the corporations that produce or sponsor an event.”

… and Ianiv continues with concerns about the power of takedown notices which are often foisted at well-meaning and unsuspected fans …

“It remains to be seen what VANOC’s response will be, if any. It would be very nice if everyone could document their Olympic experience and share it with the rest of the world without the fear of getting takedown notices that would make all their efforts useless.”

Vancouver (really Victoria) blog-father, new PR ace, and theatre enthusiast Darren Barefoot posts his thoughts (complete with a geeky Venn diagram) in “Thinking About Social Media and the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver” and frames expectations of what social media makers seek to make their reportage.

“As Dave says, social media types aren’t expecting all-access passes to the gold medal hockey games. He’s right to point out that there’s a big hole to fill in the media coverage for such an event. I was thinking about it, and drew this little Venn diagram:

Venn Diagram about Social Media at the Olympics

The CTVs and CBCs are going to have the major, breaking news covered. It’s all that green space–that’s where social media creators can live. Through various channels, I’m seeing several ways forward for benefits for both parties. Social media creators get some tools, resources and access to help with their citizen journalism efforts, and VANOC enjoys a whole new layer of news coverage. Such a partnership would also highlight Vancouver’s place as a global for new media, citizen journalism and the like.”

BuzzNetworker Colleen Coplick sets the scene and asks for an update in “The Olympics Must Adapt to New Media” (in her usual witty style):

“Recently, the Vancouver Organizing Committee (aka VANOC – you know, the bigwigs in charge of all of the Olympic everythings in Vancouver) began a four-day “World Press Briefing” for more than 250 visiting journalists and media managers. There was some serious debate about how media coverage of the Olympics is changing dramatically due to new and emerging media.”

“So, Dave, Kris, Robert, where do we stand on this? Has VANOC gotten back to you? Have we come to any sort of conclusion here?”

Nothing yet Colleen, stay tuned for updates.

Out-Smarts Internet Marketing firm’s Mhairi Petrovic wrote “The Olympics and Social Media” speculates on the Olympic committee’s concerns and the unstoppable force of social media coming in 2010:

“Its no surprise that the Olympic committee is shirking this question.  Many organisations especially large traditional companies (those that vet each and every public communication to ensure it reflects the corporate line) view social media as a quandary and even a threat to their brand.  They think that encouraging community participation leads to loosing control of that branding process.  But the fact of the matter is that brands are out there in the public forum anyway. Isn’t it better to be part of the conversation to learn adapt and grow because of it than to be on outside throwing out press releases.

Social media journalism is undoubtedly going to be part of the Olympics in Vancouver with an army of bloggers, social network participants and online journalists all giving their perspectives.  Rather than stick their head in the sand the Olympic committee should be embracing this new way to entrench its brand with new generations and different communities.”

Jenn Lowther lays out our big mission with “Social Media and the 2010 Olympics” and peers into the future to how the possible scenarios might play out:

“Kris and Dave were there not only as representatives of Raincity Studios, but as ambassadors for Vancouver’s entire Social Media and Citizen Journalism community – their exclusion from the briefing sends a message that social media is not a welcome commentator when it comes to the 2010 Olympics.

Regardless of how VANOC feels about Social Media and Citizen Journalism, it needs to realize that we will be covering the Olympics for our various media properties. Ideally, we would like to work with VANOC, ensuring that we are aware of the basic guidelines that it has regarding our coverage, i.e. not showing a Telus ad when Bell is a sponsor.  By excluding us from the VANOC media briefing, the organization is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy – by not including members of the Social Media community for fear that we will not follow the rules, it is ensuring that we do not know what rules need to be followed.

Yes, currently we do not measure our readership levels at those of mainstream media, but in aggregate we do receive significant viewership. In my opinion, VANOC is being extremely myopic in their exclusion of Social Media and Citizen Journalism, when it has a perfect opportunity put in their laps – being the first Olympics to fully capitalize on the power of Social Media that is present in Vancouver’s thriving tech community. When the Olympics are over and the MSM’s coverage of the Olympics is relegated to a disk or hard drive in some storage area collecting dust, the coverage from Citizen Journalists will be alive online, gaining views daily, reminding people how truly awesome the Vancouver 2010 Olympics really were.”

Finally (for today at least) social media’s Clark Kent (and former Raincity Studios cohort) Will Pate offers kind words about us (thx bud) and words of advice for VANOC in Social Media’s Place in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games:

Several of the folks in question are colleagues of mine, and represent Raincity Studios, the web studio I’m proud to say I co-founded. Kris Krug, Robert Scales and Dave Olson are tireless social media practitioners, trainers, authors and conference organizers. They represent the best of what Canada does when it comes to the ongoing evolution of journalism through technology. They are treated with the respect due to recognized experts outside Canada, it would be a loss for the Vancouver games to overlook great talent in their own backyard. It would be a win to build on what they learned using social media to cover the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

Nor should social media as a force for good and bad PR be overlooked. The news has been filled in the last few years with stories of journalists, politicians and businesses tanked by bloggers and cameraphones. But my colleagues are not proposing to build a virtual lynch mob, interfere with the major networks who pay good money for exclusive coverage of the events, or otherwise tarnish the image of our beloved Vancouver.

My colleagues want to help the mass of people who will arrive to watch and create social media at the games. I would like to see VANOC and the IOC reconsider bringing them to the table, at least so their exclusion doesn’t become a story that detracts from what I expect to be a most successful event.

If I may humbly offer a piece of advice: a little love goes a long way with the social media crowd. You don’t need to give them the VIP treatment, a seat at the big kids table is enough. Recognizing the powerful voice of the people will do wonders for getting them to sing on key.

Well said Will, a seat at the big kids’ table *and* a tasty turkey drumstick will help us all ;-) .

My three cents

My personal reason for caring about all this starts from being a sports fan, a social observer and a documentarian and a belief that authentic media works better for many audiences. What I’ve found about the Olympics is what you see on TV is not like the experience on the ground.

The viewpoints and stories which are the richest and most compelling aren’t the ones getting the round-the-clock coverage. If i drift into anecdotes here I’ll never get this posted so I’ll save my loquacious stories for a fireside chat with a tasty beverage ;-) . Be sure to ask me about the impact of a :10 video clip of the first ever Nepali Winter Olympian.

I should point out for the record (since I am being transluscent here). I grew up in Whalley in the 70s, I lived in both Salt Lake City, Utah and Nagano, Japan prior to those regions hosting the Olympics and witnessed controversies aplenty. I’ve also seen the changes (good and bad but mostly good) resultant from hosting an event of this magnitude. I traveled and worked in 20+ countries and now live in North Vancouver and will be hosting all sorts of international friends at my place during the Games (well those who bribe me appropriately at least – hint: bring micro-brews).

Like many British Columbians, I am bombarded with negative Olympic-related news from loan guarantees gone wild to security budget chaos and street closures. I work next to the heart of DTES and see daily the lives of the disenfranchised and addicts and homeless. These are very real problems but also beyond the Olympic mandate. Certainly though, pausing to consider their point of view will cause the most calloused to think twice about how we spend public money.

I have a 14 year old son who is stoked for Aerials and Moguls and Snowboard at Cypress Mtn. I saw 4 out of 6 Team Canada men’s hockey games in SLC and saw every hockey team (men’s and women’s) in the tournament at least once. Heck, Don Cherry even wore my hat! and i held the torch a few times … ooops i am starting on the stories …

Anyhow, this time, I am personally most excited to meet more Latvian hockey fans and watch Jeremy Wotherspoon fulfill his Olympic potential at the glorious new oval – where I also hope to see my friends from Thuringen, Germany again set records and party afterwards. Like I said, i’ts a whole different Games on the ground compared to the TV coverage of superstars and scandals.

Indeed, there are huge social problems facing residents of our fair region, but they won’t improve by complaining, instead we must use this platform judiciously and show that Vancouver has the ability to shine a light towards the possibilities of what we can accomplish as a progressive, creative and cooperative society – the Games are coming and I am ready in many ways.

Note from the Resistance

Ready to wow the world

As for protesting the Olympics, … the Olympic Resistance Network‘s press conference didn’t get too much International coverage as hoped but some Canadian sources took notice of their various concerns: Canadian PressThe TyeeGlobe and Mail.

These concerns are express by people who frankly have a hard time getting their message heard by the “suits” and as such, feel disconnected from the process and a bit ornery about the Games to say the least. I recorded audio to go along with photos and video of the Olympic Resistance Network event and will try to get that posted to share their important stories and concerns.

Keeping the conversation going

I’ve also pinged the erudite Olympic scholar Dr. Andy Miah in the UK for his comments so hope to hear from him for the next update, along with sharing whatever response we receive from VANOC. As rumoured, we are planning for a meeting next week to riff ideas about creating social media centres in Vancouver and Whistler (perhaps with sponsors?) – whew.

Mainstream media who wish to speak with Kris Krug, Robert Scales or myself (Dave Olson) about this topic, contact details are at the Raincity Studios media kit. Social media makers already know how to find us ;-) .

PS If I missed including your coverage, please leave a comment. Ditto if you have something to say about the role of Social Media in the Olympics.

Posted in Culture, Fans, Vancouver 2010Comments (0)

Open Letter to VANOC Media Relations and Press Operations from Social Media Makers


NOTE: Sent to VANOC {mediarelations@vancouver2010.com, pressoperations@vancouver2010.com} Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008.
Cross-posted at: urbanvancouver.com, 2010.dailyvancouver.com, nowpublic.com, etc.

Hello VANOC Media Relations and Press Operations,

I am writing today on behalf of Raincity Studios, a Vancouver-based social media company who owns and publishes a suite of media properties. We had hoped to talk about social media (blogs, podcasts, twitter, wikis etc.) at the World Press Briefing this week, however we did not receive any response from the applications we submitted to participate in the event. So, as per Mr. Furlong’s suggestion at the Vancouver Board of trade meeting last week, we are liaising with VANOC.

In brief, we’d like to have a conversation about how to allow fans and amateur media makers to document their Olympic experience while keeping out of the way of the IOC IP lawyers. As a company and as individuals, we’ve produced extensive, non-accredited coverage of Beijing 2008, Torino 2006, SLC 2002, and Nagano 1998. With the next games literally in our neighborhood, we’ll be hosting an independent, international media centre at our Gastown loft office. As part of this, we’ll organize events like photo walks and aggregate fan-made content for the enjoyment of a worldwide audience. We’d like to work with you to do this for mutual benefit.

As you likely know, Vancouver is a hub of innovative journalism with companies like ourselves, Now Public, and others plus renowned conferences like Northern Voice. Raincity Studios/Bryght is also an “official weblog service provider.” My colleagues Robert Scales and Kris Krug were published in the academic paper “Pathway: Critiques and Discourse In Olympic Research,” participated in the 9th International Symposium on Olympic Studies in Beijing and will be presenting about the experiences at the noted SXSW Interactive conference in 2009.

Among my colleagues and myself, we’ve posted thousands of photos, dozens of audio and video podcasts along with hundreds of blog posts, updates etc. from several Olympics. Additionally, we’ve cooperated with mainstream media and published Olympic-related coverage in the LA Times, BBC online, plus outlets in Poland, Brazil, Shanghai, and so on.

In Torino, Scales and Krug (and others) tested cutting edge equipment for Comvu and produced a cross-ocean symposium “Athletes and Social media” between Turin and Vancouver. In Beijing, they tested camera for Qik and contributed to many mainstream media outlets. Our own media properties include DailyVancouver.com, UrbanVancouver.com, Hockeynw.com, plus dozens of other presences, and we are allied with dozens of other media properties in BC and around the world.

Mr. Scales is China desk editor for Now Public and has presented to numerous international business groups about Olympics and business. Mr. Krug is ranked #4 on Vancouver Sun’s “Internet Most Visible in Vancouver” list, both Krug and Scales were included on Tech Vibes “Vancouver Digital Media People to Watch 2008″ list and appear on various other “best of” lists.

As for myself, I’ve produced extensive photo essays of event venues and published interviews with Canadian athletes like Duff Gibson, Ross Rebagliati and Crispin Lipscomb and written magazine articles about Olympians. I also appear on CBC Radio One discussing sports culture and new media as the producer/host of the Canucks Outsider podcast.

Bear in mind, aside form the occasional stipend, we do this work for no pay.

We are aware of your obligations to media rights holders and are seeking to provide an entirely different sort of coverage than the accredited media provide. We are not looking to cover events per se but are instead interested in covering the cultural stories, athletes’ families’ stories, and stories from fans who saved and traveled from around the world for this experience. In other words, we plan to encourage and aggregate fan coverage of the individual’s “on the street” experience of the Games. We are locals who have watched (and helped pay for) the development of the Games since before the Plebiscite – as a result, we are tuned in to the issues and excitement surrounding the Games.

To begin our liaison relationship, we would like to attend the media briefing portion of the Worldwide Press Briefing on Thursday. We would also schedule a follow-up conversation with the appropriate point of contact to discuss how we as a weblog vendor company, and as individuals, can be involved in providing amateur coverage of Vancouver/Whistler 2010.

With Best Regards,

daveo (and Robert Scales and Kris Krug)

Dave Olson
Community Evangelist
Raincitystudios.com


PS These links will provide a flavor of our point of view:

* Raincity Studios Olympics posts: http://raincitystudios.com/search/node/olympics
* Olympic overage at Daily Vancouver: http://2010.dailyvancouver.com
* Beijing kick off post: http://raincitystudios.com/blogs-and-pods/daveo/beijing-2008-social-media-backpack
* Krug’s Flickr Olympics photos: http://flickr.com/photos/kk/tags/olympics
* Scales’ Flickr Olympics photos: http://flickr.com/photos/raincitystudios/tags/olympics
* Olson’s Flickr Olympics photos: http://flickr.com/photos/uncleweed/tags/olympics
* You Tube videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/robertscales
* Olympic Outsider podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/olympicoutsider
* Scales’ Olympic coverage on Now Public: http://my.nowpublic.com/user/6247/assignments
* SLC 2002 photo/video essay: http://olsonboys.org/galleries/olympic-gallery.html

Posted in Culture, Fans, Vancouver 2010Comments (2)

High-Flying Canadian Snowboarder Crispin Lipscomb ~ Olympic Outsider podcast #9


Recorded at the post-Turin Olympic flag tour in May 2006 at Vancouver Art Gallery Robson Square, top-placing Canadian half-pipe snowboarder Crispin Lipscomb talks about his Olympic experience, pre-race rituals and 2010 plans – plus offers insight into the Whistler lifestyle, future of the sport, and how to help young boarders.

Download: High-Flying Canadian Snowboarder Crispin Lipscomb
Olympic Outsider podcast #9 (.mp3, 8MB, 9:53)

crispin lipscomb

Posted in Podcast, Torino 2006Comments (0)

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