Cultural Olympiad 2009's seven-week celebration of the arts kicks off this weekend!



    
    Massive cultural program part of one-year countdown festivities to the
    2010 Winter Games
    

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - Some of the world's best will be in Vancouver
to play, dance, sing and create as part of the sprawling artistic showcase
known as Cultural Olympiad 2009, presented by Bell. It all starts this Sunday
with a magical sea of lights and lanterns ushering in the Lunar New Year, and
a music-fuelled trip through the zodiac following the Chinese New Year Parade.
    More than 400 free and ticketed performances and exhibitions will take
place from Sunday, February 1 to March 21 at over 70 venues in Metro Vancouver
and British Columbia's Sea to Sky corridor.
    The full slate of events is listed in the Cultural Olympiad 2009 Program
Guide, distributed as an insert in the local editions of The Globe and Mail
and Vancouver Sun newspapers last weekend and available for free at cafés,
cultural centres, public libraries and Bell stores throughout the Games
region. The program guide, as well as information about tickets, is also
available online at www.vancouver2010.com/culturalolympiad.
    "We're partnering with some of the best and brightest in the Canadian
creative community to produce an extraordinary festival of arts and popular
culture," said Burke Taylor vice president, culture and celebrations for the
Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games (VANOC). "These events are the perfect antidote to long winter days;
those who get out to explore these new experiences will be richly rewarded."
    Robert Kerr, program director for the Cultural Olympiad added: "The
program spans music, dance, visual arts, literary arts, theatre, film and new
media representing Vancouver, British Columbia and Canadian creative
communities. But we've also reached out to include some of the most exciting
artists on five continents."
    The 2009 program also extends the celebration across Canada through the
National Presentation and Touring Program and into the digital sphere with a
ground-breaking new suite of programs called CODE (the Cultural Olympiad
Digital Edition). Eighty-five per cent of Cultural Olympiad 2009 content is
Canadian - half of which is from British Columbia, the host province of the
2010 Winter Games.
    "Bell is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Vancouver 2010
Cultural Olympiad, a celebratory showcase of Canadian and international arts
and popular culture," said Loring Phinney, Bell vice president for corporate
and Olympic marketing. "Our support of the Cultural Olympiad will help make it
possible for even more Canadians to experience the 2010 Winter Games through
the delivery of unique and compelling cultural content."
    One of the program highlights is the One-Year Countdown Celebration on
February 12, headlined by multiple Grammy and Juno award winner Sarah
McLachlan at Queen Elizabeth Theatre. A special Cultural Olympiad collectors'
pin will also be issued and will be available for purchase at the concert in
honour of the One-Year Countdown to the 2010 Winter Games.
    The first ever "Lantern-A-Mania" - a display of uniquely decorated
twinkling lanterns - helps kick off Cultural Olympiad 2009 on February 1. The
LunarFest event at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza is inspired by the ancient
traditions of the lunar new year. Another notable event is the Talking Stick
Festival, where the artistic wealth of Canada's First Nations will be
honoured. In its eighth year, this week-long event starts February 9 and
features over 30 offerings at multiple venues throughout Vancouver.
    Other must-sees include: Quebec band Bell Orchestre, featuring members of
Arcade Fire, at the Commodore Ballroom on February 19, and the four-night
series New Songs, New Voices at the Waterfront Theatre, starting February 25,
where the next wave of great Canadian singer-songwriters will be showcased.
    Tickets and details about these shows and other Cultural Olympiad events
are available at www.vancouver2010.com.

    
    Background

    About the Cultural Olympiad

    The Cultural Olympiad is a series of multi-disciplinary festivals and
digital programs showcasing the best in Canadian and international arts and
popular culture. Launched in 2008, this multi-year celebration features an
expanded program in 2009 (February 1 to March 21, 2009). The program
culminates with the 60-day Cultural Olympiad 2010 (January 22 to March 21,
2010), which begins before and continues throughout the Vancouver 2010 Olympic
and Paralympic Winter Games.

    Partnerships

    Corporate
    

    Bell is proud to be a Premier National Partner and the exclusive
Telecommunications Partner to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games, and the presenting sponsor for the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers with
solutions to all their communications needs, including telephone services,
wireless communications, high-speed internet, digital television and
voice-over IP. Bell also offers integrated information and communications
technology (ICT) services to businesses and governments, and is the Virtual
Chief Information Officer (VCIO) to small and medium businesses (SMBs). Bell
is wholly owned by BCE Inc. For information on Bell's products and services,
please visit www.bell.ca. For corporate information on BCE, please visit
www.bce.ca.

    Government

    The Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad is grateful for the support of the
Government of Canada and the governments of all of Canada's provinces and
territories and their respective cultural agencies: British Columbia, Alberta,
Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince
Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and
Yukon. In addition to the Cultural Olympiad's government and corporate
partners, CODE is proudly supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the
National Film Board of Canada. New Media BC and Wavefront Innovation Society
are also both active participants in the project. The National Presentation
and Touring Program is generously supported by the Canada Council for the
Arts.

    About VANOC

    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 Paralympic
Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.





For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Erin Mikaluk, VANOC
Communications, Tel.: (604) 403-2471, E-mail: erin_mikaluk@vancouver2010.com

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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VANOC

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