VANOC board of directors approves updated balanced budget



    VANCOUVER, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - The updated budget for the Vancouver
Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC)
received approval today by its board of directors. The budget is balanced with
contingencies to manage challenges in the final year before the Games. It will
be released publicly in the coming days.
    "We are pleased with the excellent work VANOC's management team has done
on the updated budget for the Games," said Jack Poole, Chairman of the Board.
"They have carefully refined it to protect the project as much as possible,
given the worldwide financial uncertainties, but they've also tempered the
budget changes to ensure Canada can deliver spectacular Games for the world in
2010."
    Last year, VANOC conducted an extensive project review to update the
budget, as committed to in the Organizing Committee's Version 2 business plan
released in May 2007. The updated budget, while not significantly changed, is
designed to strengthen VANOC's ability to manage challenges in the face of the
global economic downturn or other unforeseen circumstances in the final year
before the 2010 Winter Games.
    Each function area reviewed its operating plans and updated its budget
twice - once in the spring/summer and again in the fall after the world
financial slump sharpened. VANOC has also created a new internal Financial
Oversight team as an additional measure and safeguard during the economic
downturn to review potential issues and to find creative financial solutions.
    Last month, the board approved the revised budget in principle and asked
the Organizing Committee to conduct additional fine tuning and further
development in certain areas and functions, including revenue development.
    "Our first goal was to develop an updated budget that is balanced with
contingencies to help us overcome challenges in our final year," said John
Furlong, VANOC Chief Executive Officer. "With this in mind, our team has
looked at everything from top to bottom that we've promised to deliver in
2010, and found ways to do things in more creative ways at reduced cost,
without sacrificing our key commitment to athletes and the public to stage
great Games with lasting legacies.
    "We also want to reaffirm that we remain in a positive financial position
despite the downturn in the economy. With this budget, we believe we are in a
good position to weather the challenges we may yet face."
    The next meeting of the VANOC board of directors is scheduled for March
18, 2009.

    

    Background

    In addition, the board received the following updates:

    -   One-Year Countdown Celebrations: Extensive planning is continuing
        with VANOC's government and corporate partners, as well as with
        grassroots communities across the country to celebrate Canada's
        Games. The celebrations started January 16 with the first day of
        World Cup competition at Whistler Olympic/Paralympic Park and will
        run until March 21. Several key events will take place on February
        12, including the unveiling of the Olympic Torch design and
        torchbearer uniform, International Olympic Committee President
        Jacques Rogge's official invitation to athletes around the world to
        attend the Games and the Cultural Olympiad 2009 countdown
        celebration. A full list of activities will be released in the near
        future. Many of VANOC's partners are also planning extensive
        activities during this period.

    -   Sport Events: VANOC has completed four of 18 Sport Events it is
        staging to test the venues and their operation in advance of the
        Games. Last weekend, World Cup cross-country skiing and Nordic
        combined competitions were held at Whistler Olympic/Paralympic Park.
        Overall, the events demonstrated solid teamwork and problem solving
        by VANOC's workforce. The International Ski Federation (FIS) has also
        been pleased with venue preparations, field of play, and timing and
        scoring. The next Sport Event is the ski jumping World Cup this
        weekend.

    -   Finance Committee: City of Vancouver board appointee Dr. Penny Ballem
        was welcomed to the Finance Committee meeting held last week where
        the committee approved a number of contracts in principle. VANOC will
        post information to its website once details are finalized. At
        today's meeting, Ballem was appointed to the Finance Committee.

    -   Governance: The board approved bylaw amendments that will provide a
        governance model for decision making that ensures key decisions can
        be made promptly and effectively as they arise in the final year.

    -   Venue Construction: All competition venues in the City of Vancouver
        are substantially complete. All mountain competition venues are up
        and running and in full preparation mode for upcoming Sport Events
        this winter. Significant progress continues to be made on all
        buildings at the Olympic and Paralympic Village Vancouver and the
        Olympic and Paralympic Village Whistler. The training venues for
        short track speed skating and figure skating at Trout Lake Centre and
        Killarney Centre are also expected to be largely finished by this
        summer.

    -   Venue Construction Contingency: The balance remains at
        $11.62 million. There are no draws forecasted for this period. As
        previously stated, it is expected this contingency fund will
        gradually be used for a variety of items, including minor
        enhancements required after feedback from athletes and coaches
        following testing of the venues during Sport Events.

    -   Olympic and Paralympic Village Vancouver: The City of Vancouver
        provided an update on the status of the project that will house
        thousands of athletes during the 2010 Winter Games and leave a long-
        term sustainable housing legacy afterwards for the city. VANOC
        remains confident the Village will be delivered on schedule for the
        Games.

    -   Accommodation: VANOC is continuing to make progress on finding client
        and workforce accommodation in Vancouver and the Sea to Sky corridor.
        A new homestay program, designed to identify additional workforce
        accommodation near Whistler, will be launched on Thursday in
        Squamish.

    -   Sponsorship: COLD-FX officially joined VANOC as a new sponsor on
        Tuesday. To date, VANOC has signed $751.5 million in sponsorship
        revenue against a budget of $760 million. Negotiations are continuing
        with a number of additional potential sponsors.

    -   Contributing Province/Territory Program: VANOC is continuing
        negotiations and discussions with provinces that have yet to sign on
        through this program. The Organizing Committee expects to announce
        its latest partnership in the near future.

    -   Sustainability: The third of five annual VANOC reports on
        sustainability will be released on Thursday. The report covers the
        Organizing Committee's performance against its commitments for the
        period of August 1, 2007 to July 31, 2008.

    -   Anti-Doping: Completion of laboratory construction at the Richmond
        Olympic Oval is expected by the end of the month with the Institut
        national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) taking occupancy in
        February. The Anti-Doping team is in the midst of carrying out doping
        controls at Sport Events taking place over the next 10 weeks.

    -   IOC Executive Project Review: Instead of a full project review as
        originally scheduled, the IOC will conduct a more limited executive
        review next month with VANOC.

    -   National Olympic Committees/National Paralympic Committees: Thirteen
        NOCs and three NPCs have visted VANOC since November. They include
        Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Korea, New Zealand,
        Ukraine and the United States. To date, 76 NOCs and 23 NPCs have
        visited.

    VANOC Board of Directors 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.

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





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Sébastien Théberge, VANOC
Communications, (604) 403-2261, sebastien_theberge@vancouver2010.com; Chris
Brumwell, VANOC Communications, (604) 403-1869,
chris_brumwell@vancouver2010.com

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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