Top Minds Gather for 2010 Winter Games Ceremonies Symposia

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - Over 100 respected leaders in Canada's artistic
scene, representing some of the country's most influential artists, cultural
and theatrical practitioners, directors, writers, designers and community
leaders, will gather in Vancouver over the course of the next three weekends -
starting February 1 to 4 - to participate in six Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter
Games Ceremonies Symposia.
    Designed to ensure the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the
Olympic Games present a new vision and understanding of contemporary Canada to
the world, the symposia will inform participants - both about the Ceremonies
themselves, and the venues where they will be staged. The symposia will also
offer a chance to gather pan-Canadian views of the country that can be
translated into general themes, images and highly memorable performances.
    Conducted under strict confidentiality to encourage open, unencumbered
discussion and a free exchange of ideas, each weekend of two symposia will
engage between 25 and 35 different participants, selected to represent
different artistic milieu and also to represent each Canadian province and
region. The program includes briefings on the VANOC brand and the required
elements of Olympic Ceremonies (such as the Lighting of the Olympic Flame, the
parade of athletes, the Raising of the Olympic Flag), as well as other
spectacular elements (such as pyrotechnics, costumes, music and anthems). Each
symposium will include a visit to BC Place Stadium and a session to present
feedback and ideas.
    "The 2010 Winter Games Ceremonies Symposia give Canada's cultural and
artistic community an opportunity to directly engage, inform, and actively
contribute to the Ceremonies process," said David Guscott, executive vice
president, Celebrations and Partnerships with the Vancouver Organizing
Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) "By
participating in the symposia, contributors are helping us reach our goal of
portraying the essence and soul of Canada to a worldwide television audience
of up to three billion . . . no small feat," said Guscott, adding, "We're
grateful for their help."
    On September 20, 2007, VANOC announced David Atkins, of David Atkins
Enterprises (DAE), as Opening/Closing Ceremonies Executive Producer to lead a
world-class team of Canadians. Atkins is the producer of numerous global
events, including the acclaimed Sydney 2000 Olympic Summer Games Opening and
Closing Ceremonies. He and his team will use feedback and ideas from the
symposia to inform the unique story of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. "In
our experience, this process of gathering input has been the most important
step in ultimately developing a Ceremonies concept that resonates both
nationally and internationally," said Atkins. "Input and contributions from
the talented and respected symposia participants are critical to helping us
identify the themes, concepts, icons and ideas that best reflect Vancouver,
Whistler, British Columbia and Canada."
    Following the symposia, Atkins and the Canadian creative team will use
the feedback and input to help build a creative concept that truly captures
the spirit of Vancouver/Whistler, Canada and Canadians through innovative,
engaging and, ultimately, spectacularly memorable Ceremonies. The detailed
final outcome of the symposia will remain a confidential ingredient of the
Ceremonies' design and development, so as to retain the elements of surprise
and theatricality of the Ceremonies.
    "Every great show begins with several great ideas," said Atkins. "With
our first symposia starting today, the creative process for the 2010 Winter
Games Ceremonies is now well and truly under way."
    More information about the Ceremonies team, including the biographies of
all the Canadian team members and a highlight video reel of past ceremonies
produced by DAE can be viewed online at
    Media may download a broadcast quality version of DAE's ceremonies
highlight reel from:
    Username: Ceremonies
    Password: 1nn0vat1v3
    File: Ceremonies

    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. Visit
for the latest information.

For further information:

For further information: Suzanne Walters, VANOC Communications, Tel:
(778) 328-6386,

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