Alberta confirms commitment to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver-Whistler

    CANMORE, AB, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - Alberta and the Vancouver Organizing
Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) have signed
an accord that lays out the province of Alberta's role leading up to and
during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver-Whistler. The accord outlines
Alberta's actions in three areas - sport, tourism and culture.
    "The road to 2010 travels through Alberta," said Alberta Premier Ed
Stelmach. "We are the only province to have hosted an Olympic Winter Games -
we have the expertise and the facilities to help make the 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games a great success for VANOC and Canadian athletes. There
will be tremendous opportunities for Alberta in sport, tourism and culture
when the world's spotlight shines on Canada in 2010."
    Some of Alberta's actions outlined in the accord include establishing a
committee of volunteers and an 'Alberta House' for the Games, and providing
Canadian athletes priority access to Olympic venues in Alberta for training.
The province will also promote Alberta's literary, visual and performing
artists before and during the Games.
    "As we all prepare to remember and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the
Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games, what better time to create this link
between Alberta and the 2010 Games," said John Furlong, VANOC CEO. "The
legacies of the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games are impressive. Alberta is
the training ground for many Canadian athletes who hope to win a medal in 2010
and we are pleased to see such strong support for their Olympic and Paralympic
dreams. We welcome Alberta to the team and look forward to learning from your
successes to deliver Games that will inspire the world and make all Canadians
proud in 2010."
    The Alberta-VANOC Accord is the latest facet of the province's support
for high performance sport. "This accord will strengthen sports, tourism and
culture in Alberta," added Cindy Ady, Associate Minister of Tourism Promotion,
with responsibility for Alberta's involvement in the 2010 Olympic Winter
Games. "With the Alberta government's commitment of close to $100 million to
renew our Olympic legacy facilities, our province is well positioned to be an
international winter sport destination."
    The recently completed renovations at the Canmore Nordic Centre totaled
$25.6 million, and the province is a major partner in the Calgary Olympic
Development Association's Olympic legacy renewal and Centre of Sport
Excellence project in Calgary ($69 million).
    "We're pleased to welcome Alberta to the 2010 team. As a fellow host
province, Alberta can share a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be
invaluable as B.C. prepares to host the Games," said Premier Gordon Campbell.
"Alberta is also currently home to the majority of the Canadian Olympic team
and we look forward to serving as their home away from home as they come to
train and prepare for 2010."
    Prior to this announcement, VANOC signed memoranda of understanding with
a number of Canadian provinces including: Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba,
Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the Northern
Territories, in the areas of language, culture, sport development,
volunteerism, tourism and economic development. Discussions are ongoing with
the remaining provinces to identify areas of collaboration that will ensure
all Canadians can be involved and inspired by the Games in 2010. VANOC's goal
is to sign memoranda of understanding with all provinces and territories, so
as to make the 2010 Winter Games truly Canada's Games.

    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.
    Ensuring Alberta has a key role in the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games is part of Premier Ed Stelmach's plan to secure Alberta's future by
building communities, greening our growth and creating opportunity.

    Backgrounder: details on the accord

    Details of the Alberta - VANOC Accord

    The accord is structured around three pillars - sport, tourism and

    -   Establish a committee of volunteers for the 2010 Games
    -   Promote Alberta as a sport tourism destination
    -   Establish an "Alberta House" during the 2010 Winter Games

    -   Prior to 2010, provide Canadian athletes priority access to Olympic
        venues in Alberta for training
    -   Provide support for hosting competitions prior to 2010
    -   Host foreign team training
    -   Support volunteer involvement
    -   Participate in the 2010 Torch Relay
    -   Promote Alberta's future Olympians and Paralympians
    -   Support high performance athlete development
    -   Support legacy planning

    -   Promote Alberta's literary, visual and performing artists before and
        during the Games
    -   Support Alberta cultural events during the Games
    -   Support the planned Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad

    Implementing the accord in Alberta will be managed by a soon-to-be
created Olympic Secretariat. The secretariat will operate within the ministry
of Alberta Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture.
    The full accord is available at

    Media enquiries may be directed to:
    Chris Bourdeau              Tom Olsen                Chris Brumwell
    Alberta Tourism, Parks,     Office of the Premier    Media Relations
    Recreation and Culture      Phone: 780-422-4905      VANOC
    Phone: 780-292-3752         Cell: 780-718-3034       Phone: 778-328-6269

For further information:

For further information: Media enquiries may be directed to: Chris
Bourdeau, Alberta Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture, Phone: (780)
292-3752; Tom Olsen, Office of the Premier, Phone: (780) 422-4905, Cell: (780)
718-3034; Chris Brumwell, Media Relations, VANOC, Phone: (778) 328-6269

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