Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

Wandering the streets of Vancouver in celebration of Canada's Gold Medal in Men's Hockey.

It has been seventeen days straight of excitement, madness, spending, gorging, drinking and screaming for Vancouver. The 2010 Winter Olympic Games are over. For some this is a non-issue. For thousands it is a close to an event that brought some of the most memorable Canadian pride-filled moments in recent history.

Never before have I witnessed Canadian pride like this in my hometown. Out here on the west coast, we are far removed from the nation’s centre of the universe, where July 1st Canada Day parties run rampant and cities spend hordes on breathtaking celebrations of the red and white kind. The Vancouver Olympics Games were seventeen days worth of July firsts. And now, we have to go back to work.

Canadian flag caught on screen at Yaletown LiveCity.

For those that embraced this cross-country party, there was a little emptiness felt when the Olympic flame was distinguished during the closing ceremonies as our homegrown boy Neil Young sang Long May You Run. The red and white, the camaraderie, the revelry and festivity will be missed.

It felt good to come together and focus on joy; to let our worries slip away. But now it is back to reality and the daily grind. The bills, debts, problems, issues, complaints, grumbles and grieves of our daily lives.

This isn’t the kind of hangover cured with Tylenol. This is more like a hot-air balloon deflating.

So what do we do now?

Well, we recover.

Celebrating the Olympic Gold Medal Men's Hockey Win - 2010

And then hopefully we get off our butts and maintain some engagement in our city and in our country. We don’t need a million dollar excuse to walk from one end of town to the other, to start conversations with people next to us in line or on the bus, to have a good laugh alongside complete strangers. We don’t need an organizing committee to convince us to get involved, hold our hands and lead us to events.

The real legacy of the Games will be a city that grows up, takes charge and keeps the stick out of its you know what. So here is to a speedy recovery and a Vancouver that is wiser, livelier, freer, more sociable and proudly Canadian.

In the meantime, here are some random things to do this month now that your calendar is freed up:

Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games; March 12 – 21, 2010

Vancouver International Dance Festival; March 12 – 21, 2010

Photographs by Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank; Through to March 13, 2010

21st Century Flea Market; March 14, 2010

2010 Vancouver Wine and Beer Fest; March 26th, 2010

Earth Hour; March 27th at 8:30pm

Free Bombardier train from Granville Island to Athletes' Village

If you missed out on Olympic activities, some things are staying open through the Paralympic Games such as:

 BC Pavilion (Vancouver Art Gallery)

Bombardier Streetcar

Canada Pavilion

GE Plaza at Robson Square

Ziptrek Vancouver

Canada’s Northern House

CentrePlace Manitoba

LiveCity Downtown

Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion

City Caucus seems to be the best place to keep updated on these Olympic and Paralympic-related activities.

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I have been a bit poor at posting regularily on here during the Winter Olympics here in Vancouver. This city has been crazy and I have been running myself ragged trying to see and do everything!

Starting earlier this month I picked up a gig blogging for Beyond Robson, a Vancouver city happenings kind of site. There are some great writers there and if you are unfamiliar with it, check it out!

In the meantime, here are some links to my latest Olympic-related posts on Beyond Robson.

What the EH is Canadian food?; Beyond Robson – Feb 23, 2010

LiveCity Yaletown Hosts Free Nightly Olympic Concerts; Beyond Robson – Feb 17, 2010

The Vancouver Poverty Olympics; Beyond Robson – Feb 8, 2010

The House of Switzerland; Beyond Robson – Feb 8, 2010

2010 Olympics Inspire Wave of Vancouver Books; Beyond Robson – Feb 5,

Happy readings and enjoy the men’s hockey semi-final tonight, 6pm against Slovakia!!!

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I know the 2010 Olympics are half over here in Vancouver, but here is some interesting food for thought on the amount of $$ that went into the Games and what else it could have been spent on:

From Mathew Good

The What Ifs…

“What could we have done with all that money? Well….

Healthcare: The cost of the Olympics could have funded the construction of 6 state of the art hospitals to replace St. Paul’s.


Seismic Upgrades For Schools At Risk: The cost of the Olympics could have funded the entire budget of the seismic-upgrading program four times over for schools in British Columbia. As it stands now, only 32 out of hundreds of elementary and secondary schools have been upgraded as of last year.

Education: The cost of the Olympics could cover the four-year tuition fees of 345,383 UBC arts students – or 314,004 UBC science students – or 287,853 UBC engineering students – or 100,963 UBC medical students.
The cost of the Olympics could pay the salaries of UBC’s 587 full professors for 73 years.
The cost of the Olympics could cover the cost of educating every elementary and secondary student in the Province for roughly a year and a half.

Government: The cost of the Olympics could fund the Premier’s office for 500 years.
The cost of the Olympics could have paid the entire public service payroll of British Columbia for 2 years.
The cost of the Olympics could have allowed the Provincial government to waive property tax for 6 years and sales tax for over a year.
The cost of the Olympics could have funded all of the social welfare programs on the Lower Eastside – including food banks and social housing – that receive Federal, Provincial, and Municipal funding for more than 16 years.
The cost of the Olympics could have built roughly 20,000 units of social housing.
The cost of the Olympics could have afforded the city the ability to hire 3,000 new police officers and pay them, with full benefits, for 20 years.

Security: On average, every family in British Columbia will be paying $300 towards security costs during the games. Spread out over the country’s entire population of 34 million, every Canadian would be paying $26 dollars.
During the games, the military presence in Vancouver will be the largest since the Second World War.
The total cost of security is more than VANOC’s initial assessment of what the Olympics as a whole would cost.
$79 million dollars of the security budget is being used to house military and police personnel on three cruise ships.
Security costs include $29 million dollars for new computers and $6 million dollars for new radios.
BC Ferries will receive $15 million dollars for security upgrades even though no events are taking place on any of the coast islands to which they sail.
The Canada Border Services Agency is receiving $15 million dollars in supplemental funding.
The original security budget for the games was $175 million. It is currently hovering around the billion dollar mark.”

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Ok, someone cool emailed this to me and I have to say its the best piece of info I have seen on Olympic-related events. It is a day-by-day list of the free concerts…might be missing a couple, but here it is anyways! ENJOY!

Part of the Cultural Olympiad

ALL showtimes are PM

Fri Feb 12th – Venice Queen – 10:15 @ Ozone
Fri Feb 12th – Bedouin Soundclash – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Fri Feb 12th – Blue Rodeo – 9:15 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 13th – Matthew David – 3:15 @ Ozone
Sat Feb 13th – Jet’s Overhead – 8:00 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 13th – Five Alarm Funk – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 13th – Daniel Wesley – 10:00 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 13th – Califone! – 7:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sat Feb 13th – Hey Ocean – 8:00 @ Ozone
Sat Feb 13th – Bedouin Soundclash – 9:30 @ Ozone
Sat Feb 13th – Jessie Farrel – 10:00 @ Livecity Downtown
Sat Feb 13th – Default/Wilco – 6:15/10:00 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sun Feb 14th – Keisha Chante – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Sun Feb 14th – Mother Mother – 8:00 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sun Feb 14th – Rich Hope – 8:00 @ Livecity Downtown
Sun Feb 14th – Daniel Wesley – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sun Feb 14th – Elliot Brood – 9:30 @ Livecity Downtown
Sun Feb 14th – Serena Ryder – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Mon Feb 15th – Sloan – 10:30 @ Atlantic Canada House
Mon Feb 15th – Serena Ryder – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Mon Feb 15th – Jet’s Overhead – 9:30 @ Livecity Downtown
Mon Feb 15th – Matisyahu – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Tue Feb 16th – Fresh IE – 7:30 @ Livecity Downtown
Tue Feb 16th – Alexisonfire – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Tue Feb 16th – Buck 65 – 9:30 @ Livecity Downtown
Tue Feb 16th – Eliot Brood – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Tue Feb 16th – The Trews – 10:30 @ Atlantic Canada House
Wed Feb 17th – DRUM! – 5:00 @ Livecity Yaletown
Wed Feb 17th – Corb Lund – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Wed Feb 17th – The Arkells – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Wed Feb 17th – Hawksley Workman – 9:30 @ Ozone
Wed Feb 17th – Hot Hot Heat – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Wed Feb 17th – Ivy League Brawlers – 10:00 @ Plaza Of Nations (Edgewater)
Thur Feb 18th – Jully Black – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Thur Feb 18th – Keisha Chante – 8:00 @ Livecity Yaletown
Thur Feb 18th – Corb Lund – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Thur Feb 18th – Rumba Calzada – 9:30 @ Livecity Downtown
Thur Feb 18th – The Arkells – 8:30 @ Ozone
Thur Feb 18th – Our Lady Peace – 9:45 @ Ozone
Thur Feb 18th – Marianas Trench – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Fri Feb 19th – Deadmau5 – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Fri Feb 19th – DRUM! – 8:00 @ Ozone
Fri Feb 19th – Jully Black – 10:00 @ Holland Park
Fri Feb 19th – The Arkells – 7:00 @ Holland Park
Fri Feb 19th – Dan Mangan – 8:00 @ Holland Park
Fri Feb 19th – Sam Roberts – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 20th – The Arkells/ Sam Roberts – 6:30/9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sat Feb 20th – Marianas Trench – 9:30 @ Ozone
Sat Feb 20th – Mother Mother – 10:00 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 20th – DRUM! – 6:30 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 20th – Hey Ocean – 8:30 @ Holland Park
Sun Feb 21st – The Odds – 7:30 @ Holland Park
Sun Feb 21st – 54-40 – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Sun Feb 21st – Jully Black – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Mon Feb 22nd – Colin James – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Tue Feb 23rd – Wintersleep – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Wed Feb 24th – Wintersleep – 10:30 @ Atlantic Canada House
Wed Feb 24th – Damian “Jr.Gong” Marley – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Thur Feb 25th – Illscarlett – 6:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Thur Feb 25th – Wintersleep – 9:30 @ Ozone
Thur Feb 25th – Inward Eye – 11:30 @ Livecity Downtown
Fri Feb 26th – Tokyo Police Club – 9:45 @ Ozone
Fri Feb 26th – Inward Eye – 6:00 @ Holland Park
Fri Feb 26th – Illscarlett – 8:00 @ Holland Park
Fri Feb 26th – Marianas Trench – 9:00 @ Holland Park
Fri Feb 26th – TBC – 8/9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sat Feb 27th – Matt Mays – 6:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sat Feb 27th – Matt Mays – 10:30 @ Atlantic Canada House
Sat Feb 27th – The Stills – 10:15 @ Ozone
Sat Feb 27th – Illscarlett – 10:00 @ Ontario Pavillion
Sat Feb 27th – Blue Rodeo – 9:30 @ Livecity Yaletown
Sat Feb 27th – Wide Mouth Mason – 9:30 @ Holland Park
Sat Feb 27th – Tokyo Police Club/Wintersleep – 9/10:00 @ Holland Park
Sun Feb 28th – Five Alarm Funk – 9:30 @ Ozone

ALL showtimes are PM

TBC is to be confirmed, the act hasn’t been announced yet.

There are more shows in and around Vancouver, but these are the free ones!

Livecity Yaletown:
David Lam Park, Vancouver

Livecity Downtown:
Cambie St between Dunsmuir St and W Georgia St, Vancouver

Holland Park:
13428 Old Yale Rd., Surrey

Minoru Park, Richmond

Ontario Pavillion:
Concord Place, False Creek, Vancouver

Atlantic Canada House:
Granville Island

Plaza Of Nations:
750 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver

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Vancouverites’ grumpiness and lack of enthusiasm over hosting the Olympic Games are making headlines as international media take note off the somber atmosphere in a city set to host the world in a matter of days.

In many social circles, Olympic excitement and support is whispered with an apologetic shrug, for fear of incurring the wrath of those louder folks unhappy with the whole spectacle. Tales of visits to the official Olympic store and plans for taking in the events and celebrations are shared with hesitance.

Laughs are being had, but in many cases, at the expense of the Games over lack of snow, the politics, spending, transportation, security and pretty much anything that can be poked fun at.

In a city very much divided over the world’s largest sporting event, the back-and-forth sentiment is cause for whiplash. I for one, am starting to feel schizophrenic over my own bandwagon nature, finding myself torn between excitement and outrage over the fanfare and its “issues”. But despite my moments of irritation and cries for social justice, I find myself wondering in disappointment if this is it?

Other than the coordinated official displays of Olympic activity at Robson Square and along Granville Street downtown and the 100-foot high Olympic advertisements plastered up the sides of sponsoring skyscrapers, Vancouver is lacking the decoration of a city about to display itself on TV’s around the world. I am waiting for the crowds dressed in head-to-toe national colours, seas of red mittens, flags hanging in the windows of houses and banners hanging from every lamp post, hydro pole and street sign.

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