Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremony "To Inspire the World" Thanks to Top Canadian Creative Talent and Financial Support from the Government of Canada



    VANCOUVER, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - The Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Olympic
Winter Games is an event of historic importance that presents Canada with a
once-in-a-generation opportunity to tell a story that inspires a world
audience of three billion. In recognition of this, the Honourable David
Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway
and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, today announced that the Government of
Canada will contribute $20 million of VANOC's total $40-million Opening and
Closing Ceremonies budget to ensure the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010
Olympic Winter Games exceeds expectations of Canadians from all parts of the
country. This decision was made following the conclusion of a series of recent
creative planning meetings on the opening ceremonies.
    Thanks to valuable creative input of more than 100 of Canada's leading
cultural figures over the past month, and the contribution from the Government
of Canada today, the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter
Games will capture the heart and spirit of Vancouverites, British Columbians,
and Canadians. VANOC's overall budget for all Olympic Ceremonies elements,
including victory and welcome ceremonies, is $58.5 million.
    "The Government of Canada is a proud supporter of the 2010 Winter Games.
We, and all Canadians, look forward to a memorable Opening Ceremony that will
allow the world to see the best that Canada has to offer," said Minister
Emerson.
    Many of Canada's best creative minds gathered in Vancouver at a series of
ceremonies planning meetings to brainstorm, learn, and provide feedback, which
will help develop ceremonies that will make all Canadians proud.
    "The Opening Ceremony is our biggest chance to speak to a global audience
and tell the story of a contemporary Canada that will inspire the world. So
many talented Canadians have shared their thoughts and hopes for the
ceremonies over the past six weeks and we are most grateful," said John
Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the
2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). "We'd like to thank the
Government of Canada for its generous contribution and their tremendous
support in putting on spectacular ceremonies of which all Canadians can be
proud."
    "We knew that Canadians were passionate about this country, but the level
of energy and excitement and the positive response our team received from
symposia participants were truly inspiring," said David Atkins, Vancouver 2010
Executive Producer, Ceremonies. "The input we received will be an
indispensable resource as we collaborate to deliver spectacular, truly
Canadian Ceremonies in 2010."
    Atkins and his team of noted Canadian producers have now established an
extensive inventory of symbols, stories, messages, and themes that will
influence the progress of the planning process. Detailed findings of the six
planning meetings held this month will, understandably, remain confidential so
as to retain the traditional element of anticipation and surprise.
    "After widely canvassing the opinions of practitioners from across so
many fields, we now have solid, pan-Canadian input on how to proceed with
capturing the essence of Vancouver, Whistler, B.C., and Canada," added Jacques
Lemay, Vancouver 2010 Ceremonies Team member and Canadian College of the
Performing Arts founder. "Representing every region of the country, the
participants brought forward fantastic ideas that will help us develop
Ceremonies that will best reflect Canadian values, diversity, and creativity."
    The Games Ceremonies are mandated by the International Olympic Committee
to promote international peace and understanding, honouring the world's
greatest athletes, and celebrating humanity. The Opening Ceremony will take
place in Vancouver's 60,000-seat BC Place Stadium, on February 12, 2010, and
will welcome members of the Olympic Family and guests from around the world.
    The Government of Canada will collaborate with VANOC to ensure that the
Opening Ceremony is truly representative of Canada's cultural diversity and
linguistic duality, by highlighting the excellence and richness of the
performances of leading Canadian artists.
    Further information, photos, and videos related to the 2010 Winter Games
Ceremonies are available in the media centre at www.vancouver2010.com

    (This news release is available on the Internet at
    www.canadianheritage.gc.ca and www.canada2010.gc.ca under Media Room.)





For further information:

For further information: Lynn Meahan, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the
Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, (613) 992-7332; Chris Brumwell, VANOC,
Communications, (778) 328-6269; Donald Boulanger, A/Chief, Media Relations,
Canadian Heritage, (819) 994-9101

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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