Games-time readiness focus of VANOC board of directors meeting

    19 new torch relay route communities; over 150,000 Olympic tickets on
    sale June 6

    VANCOUVER, May 20 /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 third meeting of 2009. In addition to standing
agenda items, discussions also covered VANOC's intensive Games-time readiness
planning and ongoing financial management in the current economy. Updates were
also provided on Phase 2 of Olympic ticket sales and on new communities added
to the Olympic Torch Relay route.
    "With less than nine months to go, important milestones are now around
every corner and Games-time planning is a key focus for management," said Jack
Poole, chairman of the board. "As with all companies, the economy continues to
be a big focus. Planning for and operating Olympic and Paralympic Games in
this uncertain climate calls for daily scrutiny. VANOC's management team
continues to review costs and revenues with a relentless focus on prudence."
    The board also received an update today on Phase 2 of Olympic ticket
sales. Over 150,000 Olympic tickets will go on sale at
on June 6, including several thousand tickets for each of the Opening and
Closing Ceremonies. The lion's share of sport tickets are for ice hockey and
curling but tickets will be available for all sports. Tickets will be
available on a first-come, first-served basis so the public is encouraged to
set up an account in advance at if they have not
previously done so. Ticket prices remain unchanged from Phase 1 pricing.
    "We were pleased today to confirm to the board that thousands of tickets
will be available to the Canadian public next month and that the Olympic Flame
will pass through more Canadian communities than originally planned. Canadians
will continue to have more opportunities like this to engage in the Games in
the coming months," said VANOC Chief Executive Officer John Furlong.
    "We're continuing to try and strike the right balance between fiscal
realities in these difficult times and our overarching commitment to deliver a
great experience for everyone at the Games," he added.
    With only 165 days until the start of the Olympic Torch Relay, VANOC
confirmed today the route has been finalized with the addition of 19 more
communities. Three previously announced stops along the route have also been
promoted to hosting Olympic Flame celebrations.
    The communities are: Lac La Hache, BC, Pender Harbour, BC, Qualicum
(FN/PN), BC, Qualicum Bay, BC, Xaxli'p, BC, Gleichen, AB, Torrington, AB,
Cochin, SK, Creemore, ON, Iskatewizaagegan No. 39, ON, Kakabeka Falls, ON,
White River, ON, Upsala, ON, Vermilion Bay, ON, Blainville, QC, Masson-Angers,
QC, Saint-Prosper-de-Beauce, QC, Hopedale, NL, and Ausuittuq (Grise Fiord),
NU. The three new celebration communities are: Cold Lake, AB, Canadian Forces
Station Alert, NU, and Qausuittuq (Resolute Bay), NU. For information on
specific dates, visit

    The board also received the following updates:

    -   Report of the Finance Committee: A number of contracts were approved
        in principle and management was delegated authority to finalize the
        details of such contracts. VANOC will post further information at once the contracts are finalized.

    -   Venue Construction: Dr. Penny Ballem provided an update to the
        Finance Committee on the positive progress being made on construction
        of the Olympic and Paralympic Village Vancouver. VANOC expects to
        start its tenant fit-out of commercial spaces in August. At the
        Olympic and Paralympic Village Whistler, occupancy permits have been
        obtained for 60 of the townhomes and final finishing is underway on
        three of the four core apartment buildings. The Trout Lake training
        venue achieved substantial completion and received its occupancy
        permit in April, while the Killarney training centre is also
        substantially complete and expected to receive its occupancy permit
        within the next two weeks.

    -   Paralympic Torch Relay: The Paralympic Torch Relay route will be
        announced in late June at an event in Vancouver with Sir Philip
        Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee. The
        announcement will focus on the lighting ceremony location,
        torchbearer uniform and torch designs, as well as the unveiling of
        the first ever Paralympic Torch Relay logo.

    -   Litigation Update: An update was provided to the board regarding the
        recently completed women's ski jumping trial. A decision by the
        presiding judge is expected in the coming months.

    -   Sport: Along with transferring knowledge between functions and
        debriefing senior management on key learnings from sport events, the
        ice hockey department is planning for the final sport event: Hockey
        Canada Cup - Women's Hockey at Canada Hockey Place from August 31 to
        September 6. Tickets are on sale now at

    -   Venue Management: Walkthroughs are currently being conducted at all
        venues to establish consistent and economic planning, validate levels
        of service and study challenges.

    -   Venue Leadership: Good progress has been made by VANOC in appointing
        key leadership positions for the pre-Games and Games-time operations
        of all venues including sport venues and the Vancouver and Whistler
        Villages. More details will be provided in the coming weeks.

    -   Workforce: More than 21,000 Games-times volunteers have been
        interviewed and offers for confirmed Games-time roles have started.

    -   Sponsorship: VANOC has signed $753.3 million in sponsorship revenue,
        achieving 99 per cent of its revenue target.

    -   Contributing Province/Territory Program: The Northwest Territories
        joined the program in April. VANOC is continuing negotiations and
        discussions with the remaining provinces and expects to announce them
        in the near future.

    -   Strategic Communications Steering Committee: The board received an
        update on the sale of Paralympic tickets, as well as the
        communications strategy for Phase 2 of Olympic ticket sales. They
        also received an update on the Games-time website concept for

    The next VANOC board meeting will be held on July 15, 2009.

    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 VANOC
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, 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

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Chris Brumwell, VANOC
Communications, (604) 403-1869,; Jennifer
Young, VANOC Communications, (604) 403-3589,

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