VANOC ends 2007 on track and ready for operational phase in 2008



    VANCOUVER, Dec. 18 /CNW/ - The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the
2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today released its report for
the first quarter of the fiscal year which includes a management discussion
and analysis and interim financial statements for the first quarter, ended
October 31, 2007. The report also includes a look ahead to initiatives planned
for 2008. VANOC's quarterly report is available at www.vancouver2010.com.
    VANOC's deferred operating revenue from sponsorship, the International
Olympic Committee (IOC) and other sources for the quarter ending October 31,
2007 was $6.7 million. Deferred operating expenditures were $6.4 million,
reflecting expenses of $25.7 million offset by a foreign exchange gain of
$19.3 million. In accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting
principles, all revenues and expenses are deferred prior to Games time.
VANOC's venue development expenditures for the quarter were $63.3 million and
now total $427.9 million on a project to date basis.
    The quarter was highlighted by a net increase in the venue construction
budget central contingency of $250,000 as a result of a deposit of
$2.5 million in savings from Pacific Coliseum at Hastings Park and a draw of
$2.25 million to Hillcrest/Nat Bailey Stadium Park. With the approved $250,000
contingency increase, the venue construction budget central contingency has
grown from its previous level of $26.8 million to $27.05 million.
    As part of issuing its financial report near the end of calendar 2007,
VANOC also reflected on a successful year that included the completion of
construction of five sport venues and a domestic sponsorship program that
exceeded VANOC's 2007 target of $65 million to reach $102.5 million for the
year. A summary of 2007 milestones is included in an attached backgrounder.
    "We're on track and on budget as we approach 2008 and the two-year
countdown to the 2010 Winter Games," said John Furlong, VANOC's Chief
Executive Officer. "The best athletes in the world will soon be here to train
for the 2010 Winter Games as construction of five sport venues will be
complete by the end of this month, including all three Whistler-based
competition venues. This will provide unprecedented training time for Canadian
athletes to become familiar with the venues prior to the Games."
    VANOC's overall venue construction schedule provides for the earliest
completion of competition venues in recent Games history. As of December 15,
construction is substantially complete at the competition venues that will
host: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, ice
hockey, figure skating, Nordic combined, ski jumping, snowboarding and short
track speed skating. Bobsleigh, skeleton and luge athletes will be able to
test at The Whistler Sliding Centre in the coming months following the
detailed fit-out and testing. Venues for curling and wheelchair curling, ice
sledge hockey and speed skating will be complete in 2008.
    Added Furlong, "Through the strong support of corporate Canada, we
exceeded our target of $65 million for 2007 to reach $102.5 million for the
year, giving us greater confidence that our overall sponsorship revenue goal
will be achieved. VANOC has now entered into domestic sponsorship agreements
worth approximately $691 million in total, or 90.5 per cent of the overall
$760 million target.
    "Milestone activities in all of VANOC's major functional areas are
increasing as the Games approach, and 2008 promises to be an intense year as
the countdown momentum and public engagement build," concluded Furlong.
    VANOC's next quarterly report, covering the three months ending January
31, 2008, will be available in March 2008.

    
                             2007 Year in Review
    

    Venue construction

    Venue construction continues on time and on budget. The venue
construction timeline ensures that most venues are competition-ready two
seasons before the Games - the earliest completion of competition venues in
recent Games history - providing unprecedented pre-Games training
opportunities for Canadian athletes. In particular, VANOC looks forward to
substantial completion of construction by the end of the 2007 calendar year on
a number of venues:

    
    -   Cypress Mountain - complete snowboard and freestyle venue and
        snowmaking system
    -   Pacific Coliseum at Hastings Park - complete renovations
    -   Whistler Creekside - complete snowmaking system and course
        improvements
    -   Whistler Olympic Park (formerly known as the Whistler Nordic Venue) -
        complete venue, roads and sport buildings
    -   The Whistler Sliding Centre - track commissioning and completion of
        buildings.
    

    Sponsorship and marketing

    Through the strong support of corporate Canada, VANOC exceeded its target
of $65 million for 2007 to reach $102.5 million for the year. VANOC has now
entered into domestic sponsorship agreements worth approximately $691 million
in total, or 90.5 per cent of the overall $760 million target.
    VANOC welcomed 15 new companies to its Official Licensee program in 2007,
bringing the overall total to 28.
    VANOC also launched the Olympic Store at vancouver2010.com in early
December. The online store stocks the widest range of Vancouver 2010 products
anywhere - from dog coats to hoodies to plush toys.

    Introduction of Miga, Quatchi and Sumi - the Vancouver 2010 mascots

    In November, the Vancouver 2010 mascots were introduced to 800
schoolchildren in Surrey, BC. At the same time, people across Canada and
around the world also met the mascots and their sidekick through a special
website at www.vancouver2010.com. The site includes exciting child-friendly
features such as an animated video, character profiles, an online game, a
personality quiz, interactive e-cards and much more.

    Mascot merchandise

    In November 2007, mascot merchandise was first made available exclusively
at select Hbc stores across Canada, at hbc.com and at www.vancouver2010.com.
Plush toys are selling extremely well, and more have been ordered to meet
demand for early 2008. Also, in the early part of 2008, a full assortment of
licensed merchandise featuring the mascots will be made available broadly at
retail locations across Canada, including toy, gift, specialty, duty free and
sporting goods stores, in addition to Hbc stores, at hbc.com and at
www.vancouver2010.com.

    Ticketing

    Details were unveiled about how Canadians and visitors from around the
world can have the experience of a lifetime by attending an Olympic event in
2010. The www.vancouver2010.com website offers a full range of information on
2010 Winter Games sport disciplines, events, ticket prices, and the
opportunity to sign up to receive the latest ticket information as it becomes
available. In 2007, VANOC achieved its target, now exceeding 70,000
subscribers to the Organizing Committee's Ticketing and Merchandise
e-newsletter.

    Cultural Olympiad, Ceremonies

    David Atkins Enterprises (DAE) of Australia was chosen as Executive
Producer of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Opening, Closing and
Victory Ceremonies. DAE will collaborate with a world-class team of leading
Canadian figures drawn from Canada's music, producing, creative and events
industries.

    Own the Podium

    Last season, winter athletes from all across Canada competed in events,
earning 135 medals at World Cups and 27 medals at World Championships. In both
World Cup and World Championship circuits, Canada ranked second among all
nations that competed. Canadian athletes with a disability performed well on
the World Cup circuit, winning 50 per cent of the medals in Para-Alpine and
four medals in Para-Nordic, and were undefeated in Ice Sledge Hockey at the
inaugural Four Nation World Challenge in Kelowna, BC.

    Paralympic Games

    VANOC launched a Paralympic School Day pilot program pilot in 2007,
directed at elementary school children, to raise awareness of the Paralympic
Games and the elite athletes who compete in the Games. More than 3,000
students in 10 schools, in British Columbia, met some of Canada's top
Paralympic athletes and tried select winter Paralympic sports. This program
was extremely well received and will continue in 2008 and 2009 to share more
Paralympic stories and experiences with an even greater number of students and
teachers.

    RONA Vancouver 2010 Fabrication (Fab) Shop

    Working in collaboration, RONA and VANOC partnered with community
organizations to launch the RONA Vancouver 2010 Fabrication Shop in East
Vancouver. It has been common practice at major multi-sport events to
establish a Fabrication Shop to manufacture and supply many of the items that
bring the Games venues to life and complete the athlete and spectator
experience. What sets this Fab Shop apart is the development and delivery of a
community-based training program that provides carpentry skills training and
supported job experience to individuals who have yet to successfully enter the
workforce.

    /EDU Portal

    Launched in September, /EDU connects teachers, students and schools
across Canada to Vancouver 2010, the Olympic and Paralympic Movements and the
three pillars of sport, culture and sustainability. This new portal serves as
the foundation for what is rapidly becoming a lively online interactive
community.

    Workforce

    VANOC's employee team doubled in 2007. Recent engagement survey results
were highly positive.

    Canada's Games

    VANOC completed an annual national tour in 2007 with a visit to Canada's
three Northern Territories. The Organizing Committee is also well on its way
to engaging all provinces and territories in the Games, with memoranda of
understanding now signed with most provinces and territories.

    www.vancouver2010.com

    vancouver2010.com received nearly 15 million page views in 2007 - a 25
per cent increase over the previous year. VANOC responded to over 2,000
general e-mail enquiries at info@vancouver2010.com. By the end of November
2007, the online 'General Updates' subscription list doubled to 80,000.

    Games Time Sport Schedule by Day

    After extensive consultations with the International Sport Federations,
Olympic Broadcast Services (OBS), and the IOC, VANOC's Sport Schedule by Day
was approved by the IOC Executive Board in December. The review and
consultation process will continue until the final Olympic Competition
Schedule (including session times) is sent to the IOC Executive Board for
approval in August 2008.
    The IOC also approved VANOC's Sport Event schedule in December for each
of the Olympic Winter Games sport disciplines. The goal of Sport Events is to
test the venues, including the field of play, technology, operating plans and
workforce prior to the Games.

    Business Plan

    VANOC released its Vancouver 2010 Business Plan and Games Budget on May
8, with a balanced operating budget of $1.63 billion and a venue construction
budget of $580 million. The plan updates the planning and financial
assumptions made in the Vancouver 2010 Games Bid and maps out what is required
to stage the Games in 2010. It was approved by the VANOC Board of Directors,
the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

    
                             2008: A Look Ahead
    

    Two-Year Countdown

    Plans are currently in development for two-year countdown activities in
the Games region, with a particular focus on Vancouver, Whistler and Richmond.
A highlight of the celebrations will be Cultural Olympiad 2008 programming,
including a special concert to be held February 12th at the Orpheum Theatre in
Vancouver. Discussions also continue on the development of countdown events in
Ottawa and Québec City.

    Call for Volunteers

    The Call for Volunteers will be issued on February 12 - exactly two years
before the Games begin. The call will welcome 25,000 volunteers to apply,
through on online process, to be part of the team that welcomes the world to
Canada and helps stage the 2010 Winter Games.

    Venue Construction

    In 2008, venue construction will be completed on all sport venues for the
2010 Winter Games, providing access for both high-performance athlete training
and recreational use - more than two years before the Games.

    Cultural Olympiad 2008

    Launching the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, this celebration of arts
and culture will present more than 300 performances and 10 exhibitions staged
in over 40 diverse venues, delivered in partnership with 60 arts and cultural
organizations from British Columbia. Running from February 1st to March 21st,
Cultural Olympiad 2008 will highlight some of the most dynamic talent from BC,
Canada and the world.

    Vancouver 2010 Sustainability Report

    The release of the Vancouver 2010 Sustainability Report 2006-07, the
second of five such annual reports, is targeted for public distribution in
early 2008. The report details VANOC's sustainability objectives and its plans
and performance relating to six strategic sustainability objectives,
including: accountability; environmental stewardship and impact reduction;
social inclusion and responsibility; Aboriginal participation and
collaboration; economic benefits; and sport for sustainable living.

    Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays

    In 2008, VANOC will provide details about the Torch Relays, including the
routes, themes, partners, and public application processes.

    Licensed Merchandise

    Beginning in January 2008, a full assortment of licensed merchandise
featuring the mascots and Games emblems will be made available broadly at
retail locations across Canada, including toy, gift, speciality, duty free and
sporting goods stores, in addition to Hbc stores, at hbc.com and at
www.vancouver2010.com.

    Ticketing

    Tickets to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games will go on sale on
October 11, 2008.

    Mascot Microsite

    The second phase of the vancouver2010.com mascot program is scheduled for
2008, when additional online games and interactive features will be added.

    Mascot Appearances

    Miga, Quatchi and Sumi will be busy in 2008 with appearances across
Canada, including visits to schools, fairs, festivals and Vancouver
2010-related special events.

    Government Partners

    VANOC is well on its way to involving all provinces and territories in
the Games, with memoranda of understanding now signed with most provinces and
territories. Discussions are ongoing with the remaining provinces to identify
areas of collaboration to ensure all Canadians can be involved and inspired by
the Games in 2010.

    Public Engagement Program

    In conjunction with its municipal partners, VANOC will be in the Games
venue communities in the spring of 2008, sharing high-level information about
operations, transportation, and venue operations.
    Speaking engagements will continue, across the country, as the Organizing
Committee shares information about the Games with all Canadians.
    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.




For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Chris Brumwell, Vancouver 2010,
(778) 328-6269; Katie Green, Vancouver 2010, (778) 328-6473

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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