As 2008 gets underway, VANOC Board of Directors reviews plans for February 12 "Call for Volunteers" and two-year countdown activities schedule



    VANCOUVER, Jan. 16 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors for the Vancouver
Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC)
met today in Vancouver for its first meeting of 2008. The meeting agenda
included a management update from Chief Executive Officer John Furlong, a
review of plans for the Call for Volunteers on February 12 and two-year
countdown activities, and Board authorization of contracts/agreements that
will continue to support the planning and staging of the 2010 Winter Games.

    Reports, updates and decisions taken at the January 16, 2008 VANOC Board
meeting included:

    CEO Report

    Volunteer Program Update

    For 25,000 volunteers, the first step in taking part in the Vancouver
2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games begins February 12, 2008 when the
volunteer application process launches - exactly two years before the Games
begin. VANOC is now in a full implementation mode for the Call for Volunteers;
advance work has included discussions with volunteer organizations,
multicultural groups, Aboriginal groups, educational institutions, seniors,
the business community and more, with the goal to inspire Canadians to apply
for a volunteer position. VANOC is also finalizing a volunteer web portal that
includes news and information about the 2010 Winter Games. Announcements
regarding the Call For Volunteers will be made in the coming weeks and
applicants will be able to sign up at www.vancouver2010.com and through
www.workopolis.com.

    Two-Year Countdown Activities

    Planning is underway for one of VANOC's first key milestones of 2008:
celebrations marking the two-year countdown to the Games. VANOC is working
with partners, sponsors and other stakeholders to finalize plans that will
extend the February 12 celebration period through existing local, regional and
national events and activities. The two-year countdown celebration period will
provide the platform for VANOC to launch initiatives including the Call for
Volunteers program and the 2008 Cultural Olympiad, while generating further
awareness of 2010 Winter Games programs - and giving Games enthusiasts in
Canada and around the world tangible opportunities to participate in the
Vancouver 2010 experience (see accompanying Backgrounder for comprehensive
activity list).

    2008 Cultural Olympiad

    The 2008 Cultural Olympiad will begin on February 1st and run through
March 21, including more than 300 performances and 10 exhibitions. A major
highlight will be an evening of entertainment on February 12, at Vancouver's
Orpheum Theatre, featuring Grammy Award-nominee Feist, and including Ron
Sexsmith, Suzie McNeil, Jorane, Leela Gilday, and the Vancouver Symphony
Orchestra. An audience of approximately 2,700 people is expected.

    Venue Construction Update

    The end of construction at the Whistler-based competition venues was
celebrated in mid-December. Over the holiday period, the first test jumps,
training jumps and competitions were held at Whistler Olympic Park (formerly
the Whistler Nordic Venue) and the first bobsleigh test runs took place at The
Whistler Sliding Centre. Cypress Mountain is competition-ready and has hosted
training for the Canadian freestyle team. Renovations on the Pacific Coliseum
at Hastings Park are complete and a major competition is currently underway.
Whistler Creekside is set for the World Cup Alpine Sport Event in February.
Venues still under construction, with anticipated completion dates, include:
Hillcrest/Nat Bailey Stadium Park (fall 2008); the Whistler Athletes' Centre
in Whistler (fall 2008); UBC Winter Sports Centre (summer 2008); Richmond Oval
(summer 2008); and the Olympic and Paralympic Villages in Whistler and
Vancouver (fall 2009).

    IOC Executive Board approvals in December included the following:

    Sport Competition Schedule (by Day) and Sport Event Schedule (previously
known as the Test Event Schedule)

    The schedule completion resulted from extensive consultations with all
International Sport Federations, Olympic Broadcast Services (OBS) and the
International Olympic Committee. The final Olympic Competition Schedule
(including specific session times) will be sent to the IOC Executive Board for
approval in August 2008. The schedules are available at www.vancouver2010.com.

    2nd Visit of IOC President Jacques Rogge

    IOC President Jacques Rogge will visit Vancouver and Whistler from
February 26-28, in conjunction with the next IOC Coordination Commission
meeting to review progress and planning for the 2010 Winter Games.

    Sponsorship Update

    To date, VANOC has signed domestic sponsorship agreements worth
approximately $691 million in total. This represents 90.5 per cent of our
overall $760 million target. Only several weeks into the new year, VANOC has
announced Sun Microsystems of Canada as an Official Supplier. Discussions
continue with a series of potential new partners; VANOC expects to announce a
number of new sponsors in the coming months.

    Operational Updates

    Accommodation Update

    Plans for securing the remaining required accommodation for the
Sea-to-Sky corridor are ongoing. VANOC is at approximately 80 to 85 per cent
of its overall target. Planning for workforce accommodation will be a 2008
priority.

    Games-Time Planning Update

    The model venue operating plan has been approved by the Games-Time
Operations Steering Committee.

    Transportation Update

    Transportation is a top priority for the coming months. VANOC is working
closely with the City of Vancouver, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the
BC Ministry of Transportation and TransLink on the Olympic and Paralympic
Transport Team that will oversee 2010 joint transport-related projects. VANOC
expects to complete a first version of the detailed transportation plan in the
latter part of 2008 and commence a series of community engagement meetings.
The plan will continue to be refined up to December 2009.

    Provincial and Territorial Relations

    VANOC continues to make good progress on Memoranda of Understanding with
the remaining provinces and discussions are ongoing to identify areas of
collaboration to ensure all Canadians can be involved and inspired by the
Games.

    Report of the Finance Committee

    A report of the Finance Committee meeting, held on December 10, 2007,
included recommendations that today required approvals from the VANOC Board,
as noted below. The Finance Committee report also included updates on
previously approved contracts not requiring Board approval. Following their
completion, contract awards are posted on www.vancouver2010.com.

    Finance Committee updates and recommendations approved by the Board:

    
    Venue Construction

    -  No resolutions were submitted for Board approval
    

    Other venue updates included:

    In November 2007, the BC Auditor General commenced a review of the venue
construction program. A number of meetings have been held with the auditors
and their consultant to review financial and other data.
    The venue construction central contingency remains at $27.1 million. The
balance remaining in the central venue contingency is within the allowable
limits as defined in the Performance and Accountability Agreement between
VANOC and the Province.
    On November 19, 2007, the Construction Advisory Committee visited the
Whistler venues. The committee was impressed by the progress made this year
and complimented the venue teams on their work.

    Operations

    The Board approved a resolution that management be authorized to
negotiate, finalize and execute on contracts with Sun Microsystems of Canada
Inc. for the purchase of Unix and Windows servers and support, maintenance and
professional services.
    The Finance Committee approved a resolution regarding the VANOC Rate Card
Program, including a pricing approach.

    
    Planning and Oversight

    -   No resolutions were provided for Board approval.
    

    Report of the Audit Committee

    The Board received a report of the Audit Committee meeting, held December
10, 2007. The Committee had approved the financial statements and Management
Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) for the first quarter, ending October 31, 2007.
The financial statements and MD&A were released to the public on December 18,
2007 and are available at www.vancouver2010.com. At a December 10 joint
meeting of the Audit and Finance Committees, an annual review of VANOC's risk
management program was undertaken in accordance with VANOC's corporate
governance policy.

    Report of the Strategic Communications Steering Committee

    The Strategic Communications Steering Committee provided an update from
its January 9th meeting, including a ceremonies update and a torch relay
update.

    Background:

    The Vancouver 2010 Board of Directors is made up of 20 members nominated
by: the Canadian Olympic Committee (seven); the Government of Canada (three);
the Province of British Columbia (three); the City of Vancouver (two); the
Resort Municipality of Whistler (two); the Canadian Paralympic Committee
(one); a joint appointment by the Band Councils of the Lil'wat and Squamish
Nations (one); and one member nominated by the other 19 members. The Board is
scheduled to meet six times per year, and more often at the call of the Chair
as required. The meetings are generally held at the Vancouver 2010 offices in
Vancouver, although they are occasionally hosted by our Games partners in
other locations. The Board's responsibility is to oversee the conduct of the
business of VANOC as it works toward achieving its Mission, to touch the soul
of the nation and inspire the world by creating and delivering an
extraordinary Olympic and Paralympic experience with lasting legacies. As part
of its commitment to public transparency and accountability, the Vancouver
2010 Board of Directors has made today's agenda, discussion topics and
decisions available to the public on www.vancouver2010.com, subject to
conditions of confidentiality related to personal information and/or
competitively sensitive or privileged information. VANOC is also committed to
hosting media briefings following each Board meeting with the Board Chairman,
the CEO and other director(s) or members of the VANOC senior management team
to elaborate further on matters.

    Next Meeting

    The next meeting of the VANOC Board of Directors is scheduled for March
19, 2008

    VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging
of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The
2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from
February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the 2010 Paralympic
Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010.


    
    BACKGROUNDER

                         Two-Year Countdown to 2010
                              Summary of Events
                           February and March 2008
    

    Beginning the Month of February: 2008 Cultural Olympiad
    Lead: VANOC

    The 2008 Cultural Olympiad launches its multi-year celebration with
dynamic programming from more than 300 performances and 10 exhibitions staged
in more than 40 diverse venues. The celebration is shaped by a bold spectrum
of local, national and international artists. For more information visit
www.vancouver2010.com/en/CultureEducation/CulturalOlympiad

    February 6: Ottawa Two-Year Countdown Celebration
    Lead: VANOC

    This event is a celebration of the 2010 Winter Games in Canada's capital.
These events will take advantage of the festive atmosphere of Winterlude along
with the two-year countdown to the Games. More information to come leading up
to the event.

    
    February 8 to February 16: Spirit of BC Week
    Lead: 2010 Legacies Now        Contact: Natasha Vander Wal, 778.327.5189

    Held every year in February, Spirit of BC Week is a celebration of our
province and its unique communities. This year, Spirit of BC Week celebrates
the countdown to the 2010 Winter Games.

    February 11: Countdown to 2010 Luncheon
    Lead: Vancouver Board of Trade        Contact: Anna Grimes, 604.641.1222
    

    The Vancouver Board of Trade, 2010 Legacies Now and VANOC will be hosting
their fifth annual Countdown Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Premier
Gordon Campbell and VANOC Chairman Jack Poole will speak at the event and
present training equipment to five young athletes to support their sport
development. www.boardoftrade.com
    Hyatt Regency Hotel - 12:15 pm to 2:00 pm

    February 12: Call For Volunteers Launch
    Lead: VANOC

    Canadians from coast to coast have the chance of a lifetime to join the
team of volunteers as Canada welcomes the world in 2010. The volunteer
application process will launch at www.vancouver2010.com and through
www.workopolis.com.

    February 12: Countdown to 2010 Community Celebration in Whistler
    Lead: VANOC and Whistler Arts Council

    The 2010 Information Centre in Whistler will host its popular annual
countdown cake celebration. The Whistler Arts Council will join the
celebration with performances by local entertainers.
    2010 Info Centre, Whistler - 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

    February 12: Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad Countdown Concert
    Lead: VANOC

    To commemorate the two-year countdown event, the 2008 Cultural Olympiad
is producing a spectacular evening of music featuring leading young
singer-songwriters from across Canada performing with their bands and also
with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The concert brings together the
grandeur of symphonic soundscapes with cutting edge indie rock, rhythm and
blues, folk and acoustic punk. Headlining the concert is Grammy-award nominee
Feist, Canada's up-and-coming female indie artist.

    February 16 to February 17: Carnaval de Québec
    Lead: VANOC

    The Carnaval de Québec will take place between February 1 to 17, 2008 in
Québec City with the city's 400th anniversary as the theme. The Vancouver 2010
mascots will be on site to join the celebration.

    
    February 20 to February 24: Alpine World Cup
    Lead: Alpine Canada                     Contact: Kyle Marr, 403.777.3204
    

    Competitors of the FIS World Cup series attempt to achieve the best time
in four disciplines: slalom, giant slalom, super G, and downhill. The fifth
event, super combined, incorporates downhill and slalom. Whistler Mountain
will host the women's downhill and super combined on Wild Card/Jimmy's
Joker/Lower Franz's runs. The men's super G and giant slalom will take place
on the Upper and Lower Dave Murray track.

    February 24 to February 26: President Rogge Visit and the 6th IOC
    Coordination Commission meeting
    Lead: VANOC

    IOC President Jacques Rogge will visit Vancouver and Whistler from
February 26 to 28 in conjunction with the next IOC Coordination Commission
meeting. The purpose of President Rogge's visit is to review progress and
planning for the 2010 Winter Games and the progress made since his last visit
in February 2005.

    March 12: Countdown to 2010 Paralympic Winter Games - Cake and Cultural
    Cabaret
    Lead: VANOC and Whistler Arts Council

    The two-year countdown to the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Paralympic
Winter Games will be celebrated in Whistler with countdown cake at the
Vancouver 2010 Information Centre - Whistler and with an evening cultural
cabaret as part of Celebration 2010.
    2010 Info Centre, Whistler, 3:00 pm
    Millennium Place, Whistler, 7:30 pm

    
    March 16 to March 23: Canadian National Championships Cross-Country
    Lead: Cross Country Canada           Contact: Chris Dornan, 403.247.5423

    The first opportunity to see Canada's national cross-country team compete
at Whistler Olympic Park during the Canadian National Championships.

    March 24 to March 30: Canadian Championships Biathlon
    Lead: Biathlon Canada                Contact: Chris Dornan, 403.247.5423

    The first opportunity to see Canada's national biathlon team compete at
Whistler Olympic Park during the Canadian National Championships.

    VANOC Media Contacts

    Margaret Nevin              Katie Green
    Vancouver 2010              Vancouver 2010
    778.328.6475                778.328.6473
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Chris Brumwell, VANOC Media
Relations, (778) 328-6269; Margaret Nevin, VANOC Media Relations, (778)
328-6475

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VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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