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Premier Campbell on the Olympic Zipline

Yesterday I was able to catch Premier Gordon Campbell and Olympian Charmaine Crooks fly down the temporary Olympic Zipline at Robson Square. It took him some time to actually step off the platform and take the plunge, but eventually he did and here are some photos of the event.

Premier Gordon Campbell on the Zipline

Premier Gordon Campbell on the Zipline

Premier Gordon Campbell on the Zipline

Premier Gordon Campbell on the Zipline

Premier Gordon Campbell on the Zipline

In the interview following the zipline, the Premier told news crews that the hardest part was stepping off the platform (especially considering his injured foot), but once he was going it was a great experience. he even tried to do a backward somersault, but was unsuccessful…

The zipline itself crosses over Robson Square from the top of the law courts to the Vancouver Art Gallery. It will be up throughout the Games from February 12 to 28th, from 10am to 9pm, and is FREE to the public! If you are up for the adventure I highly recommend arriving early, as the lineups for this once in a lifetime activity will likely be long! They plan on shooting 70 people down the line each hour, so chances sound pretty good that the lineup will move quite quickly! So come early and have FUN!!

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House of Switzerland Opening Celebration

The House of Switzerland opened its doors to the public for the first time, in both Vancouver and Whistler on February 5th. I was privileged to be invited to the opening celebration.

The Swiss House is situated at Bridges Restaurant on Granville Island. The lineup to get a first look at the cultural House was out the door!

House of Switzerland Opening Celebration

The opening was celebrated with delicious Swiss foods, chocolate, wine, music and much more! The House will be serving meals, so make your reservations now!

House of Switzerland Opening Celebration

House of Switzerland Opening Celebration

The House also has a media room set up to cover the Games and will have several screens set up, covering events through the Swiss television station as well as local official Olympic television station, CTV. They bragged that the Swiss station would not show nearly as many commercials throughout their coverage, as North American stations would!

House of Switzerland Opening Celebration

The House of Switzerland will be open until February 28th. I highly recommend you go check it out and experience how the Swiss culture celebrates Olympic excitement!

For more information about the House of Switzerland, visit the Official Website!

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Code Live Opening Celebration

On February 4th, I was lucky to be invited to the Code Live Opening Celebration.

Code Live is part of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad and is a showcase for insteractove arts, cutting edge music and culture. It runs from February 4th to 21st.

There are two main locations for this Cultural Olympiad event. One is at Emily Carr University of Art and Design on Granville Island, the other is at the Center for Digital Media, on Great Norhtern Way. There are also other installations at various locations around Vancouver over the course of the 2010 Games.
Code Live Opening

ARTISTS AND PROJECT VENUES

Great Northern Way Campus: Centre for Digital Media

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

Code Live Opening

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

EmilyCarr University of Art and Design

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

Code Live Opening
Vancouver Central Library

The Sacred Touch: Ranjit Makkuni (India)
Seen: David Rokeby (Canada)
When the Gods Came Down to Earth: Srinivas Krishna (Canada)
Room to Make Your Peace: 2010 Olympic Truce Project

Around Vancouver

Vectorial Elevation: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Canada)
Fearless Mobile, OMG IM ON DOT TV, Untold Histories: W2 Community Media Arts Society (Canada)
Intersection 2010: Bright Light: Presented by the city of Vancouver (Canada)
NeoGrafik: NomIg (Ed Jordan, Stephanie MacKay), Alexis Laurence (Canada)
PacuBoxes: Tom Kuo, Rachel Vulliers, Jacqueline Nuwame and Anthea Foyer:
Canadian Film Centre (Canada)
Glocal Urban Screen Project: Surrey Art Gallery (Canada)

Code Live Opening

For more information, visit the CODE Live Website.

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)

Download the PDF version of this article

Arch-Bishop to Bless the Grand Opening of Irish House 2010

The Reverend J. Michael Miller (CSB) rings in the Olympic Eve with a blessing of Irish House February 11, 2010 at 4:30PM, marking the official Grand Opening of Irish House. His Grace will anoint each room with holy water and prayers to the melodious sounds of bagpipes provided by BC Regiment Irish Pipes and Drums, one of only five serving Irish regimental pipe bands in the world.

“We wish all of you who have come to our beautiful city a satisfying and rewarding competition during the 2010 Olympiad,” said His Grace from his headquarters at the Archdiocese of Vancouver. “Most of all, we hope you will experience the ‘radical hospitality’ of Vancouverites.”

Hosted by Irish House Ambassador Dave Abbott, visitors will also be treated to traditional Irish entertainment with performances by De Danaan Irish Dancers and Murphy’s Lagh Band. Doors open at Noon, with ceremonies commencing at 4:15PM. Minors accompanied by a parent or guardian are welcome to attend until 7PM.

After the ceremony, everyone is encouraged to experience the biggest craic (party) in the city with DJ Matt and live music by The Roxy’s house band Joe’s Garage.

(source: Pearl Lam, Granville Entertainment Group)

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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.

Read More »

Russian Tall Ship in Vancouver for Games

Vancouver is in for a rare treat when the Russian tall ship, the Krusenstern, is expected to arrive in the city, carrying the flag and delegates of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games organizing committee. The ship is expected to arrive at Vancouver’s Burrard Drydock on February 10th.

The ship will be open for public tours a few days a week and they are hoping to obtain a permit to offer short cruises to the public for a fee.

The ship’s intent is to promote the next Winter Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014. The Russians will be using the Telus World of Science, in False Creek, as their cultural house during the upcoming Games.

Russian / Sochi House

The Kruzenstern is a four-masted Russian barque and tall ship, built in 1926 in Germany. She was given to the USSR in 1946 as war reparation and renamed after the early 19th century Baltic German explorer in Russian service, Adam Johann Krusenstern.

If you have the opportunity to check out the ship while she is moored in Vancouver, I would highly recommend it. She is one of the tallest sailing ships in the world with a height of over 51 meters, requiring the captain to bring her into the inner harbour at low tide, in order to clear the Lions Gate Bridge with a 10 meter clearance.

Preparing the City for the World

Vancity is buzzing with activities in preparation and anticipation for the coming Winter Games.

In 22 days, Vancouver will host the world with Glowing hearts!

Flags and banners are starting to appear in all corners of the city.

Olympics flags popping up around the city Olympics flags popping up around the city

VANOC venue access tents (aka security check points) are being erected, these can be found just on the west side of BC Place, one of the main entrance for the 2010 Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as for the Nightly Victory Ceremonies.

The tents are going up!

Deliveries are arriving, as seen here on Pacific Avenue, across from BC Place.

Deliveries being delivered

Fan gathering places are starting to pop up all over the city. Two examples seen here at Library Square on Georgia and Homer as well as at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Robson and Hornby.

Viewing area at Homer and Georgia

Vancouver Art Gallery viewing area

Roads are being closed all over the city, these photos taken around GM Place.

Accredited access only

Abbott Street closed at GM Place Abbott Street closed at GM Place

Games sponsors are making themselves known as they manifest themselves on the sides of entire buildings and on various billboards. This one partially completed can be seen from the corner of Hornby and Georgia.

Buildings being covered in ads

Fences are going up and security is starting to tighten, as you can see here at GM Place, just outside the Costco entrance.

Security fences at GM Place

GM’s fleet of sponsored vehicles is ready to crawl the city.

GM sponsored vehicles

Stages are being built for upcoming entertainment acts. This one is found beside the skating rink at Robson Square.

Stage being built at Robson Square

And of course we have the Vancouver Police Department roaming the streets on horseback!

Vancouver Mounted Police on Mooseback?

With three weeks remaining before the world visits our beautiful city, I’m sure we will continue to see the city transform for this exciting world event!

Make sure you start planning, this is the perfect time to get your game plan sorted before the storm hits Vancouver… Plan your movement and your schedule wisely, it will be wild…

Winter Games Sponsors

With 24 days remaining on the countdown clock today, the city is quickly filling up with Winter Games sponsored advertising. Here are a few examples I captured on a short downtown photowalk this afternoon.

One sponsor has taken over two sides of the TD Building on the corner of Howe and Georgia. On the other corner we see the city’s patriotism, while we wait for the clock to count down the few remaining days until the festivities begin.

This rotating billboard on Seymour and Nelson, has all three sides showing games related sponsors.

Vancouver2010 sponsors: Visa

Vancouver2010 sponsors Vancouver2010 sponsors

Robson Square decked out with logos on the pillars, the glass and on the ice from the rink’s sponsor.

Vancouver2010 sponsors: GE Vancouver2010 sponsors: GE

Entire buses have been covered! This one was spotted on the corner of Howe and Nelson.

Vancouver2010 sponsor: Samsung

This entire building is plastered with advertising for the official Games clothing, on the corner of Granville and Georgia.

Vancouver2010 sponsors: The Bay

Great big displays, including event mascots, in the hallways of Pacific Center.

Vancouver2010 sponsors: Samsung

With the Games fast approaching, and the more sponsorship ads we start to see, Vancouver2010 fever and fan excitement will surely spread like wildfire soon enough!