Solid progress noted as VANOC Board of Directors reviews activities and operations during second meeting of 2008



    VANCOUVER, March 19 /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 second meeting of 2008. The meeting included: a
management update from Chief Executive Officer John Furlong; Board
authorization of contracts and agreements that will continue to support the
planning and staging of the 2010 Winter Games; and reports, updates and
decisions on various topics, including VANOC's Carbon Management Strategy. The
Board also approved the framework and objectives that will be used to finalize
the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay torchbearer selection program, details of which
will be announced this fall, and endorsed the appointment of both a new Ethics
Commissioner and an Associate Ethics Commissioner.
    "The past two months have included an impressive level of activity as
VANOC marked the two-year countdown to the 2010 Winter Games and welcomed
winter athletes from around the world to the mountain venues," said Jack
Poole, Chairman of the Board. "It was particularly gratifying to receive the
recent 'seal of approval' by the international sport federations at The
Whistler Sliding Centre, a track that is already seen to be one of the fastest
and most technical in the world. We continue to be encouraged by the
discipline and focus that VANOC's management team continues to take as it
transitions out of venue construction and into a fully operational mode."

    Managing the carbon footprint of the 2010 Winter Games

    At the meeting, the Board was briefed on the details pertaining to
VANOC's 2010 Carbon Management Strategy. The goal of this initiative is to
know how much carbon VANOC is emitting to stage the Games, publicly track and
report on it; to reduce as many emissions as possible at source; to be
responsible in offsetting emissions that cannot be reduced or eliminated; and
to align with and activate others by using the 2010 experience to increase
awareness of and participation in climate change solutions. The desired
outcome is to create a legacy that will generate long-term benefits and
reflect positively on British Columbia, and on Canada as a whole. The Board
commended VANOC's management team on its approach, and directed it to continue
pursuing development of this strategy. VANOC expects to release details on its
2010 Carbon Management Strategy in late spring.
    At the Board meeting, it was also announced that the Organizing Committee
will release its Vancouver 2010 Sustainability Report 2006-07, the second of
five such reports that will be published, on March 31.

    
    Report of the Finance Committee

    The Board received reports from two meetings of the Finance Committee,
held on February 11 and March 10, and approved recommendations made by the
Committee as follows:

    Operations

    a) Resolutions recommended by the Finance Committee and approved by the
       Board included:

    -   Delegation of authority to the Finance Committee to review and
        approve a contract with Bell Canada for radio communications
        equipment and services. VANOC requires a variety of two-way radio
        equipment and related radio services for a wide area network (WAN)
        spanning the geographic area of the Games. The realization of such a
        contract will enable effective and timely communications at each of
        the competition and non-competition venues during Sport Events and at
        Games time.

    -   Delegation of authority to VANOC management to finalize a contract
        with Olympic Broadcast Services Vancouver to provide Host Broadcast
        Services for the Paralympic Games. In keeping with VANOC's objective
        of providing comparable levels of services to both the Olympic and
        Paralympic Games, it is proposed that all Paralympic sports will be
        covered live.

    -   Delegation of authority to VANOC management on Whistler Olympic Park
        and The Whistler Sliding Centre asset transfer. Authority has been
        provided to execute an agreement with the Whistler Legacies Society
        for the transfer of the assets at the Whistler Olympic Park and The
        Whistler Sliding Centre to the Whistler Legacies Society following
        the 2010 Winter Games. It is necessary to conclude the agreement now
        in order to finalize the long-term Crown Tenure Agreements related to
        these venues.

    b) Resolutions approved by the Finance Committee
       The Board also received an update from the Finance Committee meeting
       (held on March 10) on the following topics that did not require Board
       approval:

        -   Anti-doping laboratory: VANOC is currently evaluating a number of
            options for the location of a 2010 Winter Games anti-doping
            facility and is also in ongoing discussions with the
            International Olympic Committee on this matter. Once it has been
            finalized, VANOC will announce the location of the laboratory.

        -   Construction contract approvals for both the Vancouver and
            Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Villages: Authority has been
            provided to VANOC's management team to finalize various contracts
            for design, landfill and civil works.

        -   Venue technology managers: Authority provided to VANOC's
            management team to finalize a contract with Atos Origin for venue
            technology managers who will manage the delivery of all
            technology solutions at major 2010 Winter Games venues.
    

    Venue Construction update to the Finance Committee:

    Dan Doyle, executive vice president of VANOC's Venue Construction
    division, reported to the Finance Committee on January 30, 2008. In his
    report he noted that in fall 2007, construction activities at the
    mountain venues focused on completion of those elements required to stage
    competitions, enabling the venues to be put into use during the 2007-08
    winter season. This spring, each venue will be reviewed to identify any
    deficiencies in past work, and possible upgrades to further improve the
    infrastructure. The review will also consider the results of the
    homologation of all mountain venues. Following these reviews, a program
    of construction activities will be put in place for summer 2008.

    The Richmond Oval's installation of the pre-cast concrete floor panels is
    complete, while the final section of the roof was erected in January
    2008. Hillcrest/Nat Bailey Stadium Park has begun roofing over the
    curling venue. Construction of the High Performance Centre at the
    Whistler Athletes' Centre continues.

    Contingency Update

    The Board approved a transfer of $3.5 million from the venue construction
    central contingency account to the general venue construction account;
    this will meet venue construction human resource requirements through the
    end of the construction program. The central contingency (now $23.6
    million, following the transfer) is sufficient to fund the remaining
    venue construction budget, particularly given that the major venues are
    ompleted and/or close to completion, and that construction procurement is
    over 90 per cent complete.

    Report of the Governance and Ethics Committee

    The Board received a report of a meeting of the Governance and Ethics
Committee, held on March 12. With the recent passing of Allan McEachern, and
based on the Committee's recommendation, the Board appointed current Associate
Ethics Commissioner, Martin Taylor, Q.C., as the new Ethics Commissioner,
while Tom Braidwood, Q.C., has been appointed as Associate Ethics
Commissioner. The Board also accepted a recommendation of the Governance
Committee to increase the level of financial authority delegated by the Board,
both to management and the Finance Committee.

    Report of the Audit Committee

    The Board received a report of the Audit Committee meeting, held
March 11, 2008. The Committee had approved the financial statements and
Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) for the second quarter, ending
January 31, 2008. The financial statements and MD&A were released to the
public on March 14, 2008 and are available at www.vancouver2010.com.

    Report of the Strategic Communications Steering Committee

    The Board received a report from the Strategic Communications Steering
Committee meeting, held March 10, 2008, and approved the framework and
objectives that will be used to finalize the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay
torchbearer selection program. The Board also received an update on the
Cultural Olympiad, and recently completed Ceremonies symposia.

    Management update from John Furlong, VANOC Chief Executive Officer

    VANOC CEO John Furlong provided a report summarizing a host of
announcements and public events that occurred since the last Board meeting,
held on January 16.
    Among those items cited in the CEO's update included: the recent visit of
the IOC President and Coordination Commission; the FIS Alpine World Cup; the
launch of the Cultural Olympiad, the Call for Volunteers and initiatives
relating to the strategy to make the 2010 Winter Games "Canada's Games;"
updates on the Sponsorship Program and the Contributing Province and Territory
Program; federal funding for Ceremonies and the Torch Relays; and references
to the current status on accommodation, transportation and venue completions.

    Background:

    The VANOC 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
VANOC 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
May 21, 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. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.





For further information:

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

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

More on this organization

VANOC

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890