Vancouver 2010 announces programming for Cultural Olympiad 2008; call for 2009/10 proposals; major two-year countdown concert

    VANCOUVER, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the
2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today announced the
programming for Cultural Olympiad 2008. 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.
    The Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad will showcase contemporary
imagination through a series of three festivals of pop culture and fine arts.
As the kick-off event, Cultural Olympiad 2008, running from February 1 to
March 21, 2008, launches this multi-year celebration. A similar program will
take place in 2009, followed by the Olympic Arts Festival (from January 22 to
February 28, 2010) and the Paralympic Arts Festival (from March 12 to 21,
    Working in partnership with the artistic community, which had strong
representation at today's announcement, Cultural Olympiad 2008 will highlight
some of the most dynamic talent from BC, Canada and the world, and will
feature contemporary, classical and Aboriginal music, theatre, dance, film,
new media, literary, visual and multi-disciplinary art.
    The three festivals will deliver 160 days of celebration with more than
1,000 performances - hundreds of them free of charge. From 2008 through 2010,
these arts and cultural events will reach more than two million spectators.
    "An important part of the Vancouver 2010 mission is to touch the soul of
the nation. The Cultural Olympiad is key to expressing that soul - both within
our borders and around the globe," said John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer
of VANOC. "We're thrilled that our 2008 programming will showcase exceptional
talent through a diverse range of events and performances that will inspire
and entertain."

    Unique Programming

    "From 2008 through 2010, our goal is to provide something for everyone
and create celebrations that allow the entire community to share the thrill of
the Olympic and Paralympic experience," said Burke Taylor, VANOC's vice
president, Culture and Celebrations. "With this in mind, we have built our
program on principles of artistic excellence, innovation and diversity, with
the goal of achieving broad community participation through stellar
performances and exhibitions that inspire, challenge and entertain."
    Performances for Cultural Olympiad 2008 will be diverse, and include a
new interpretation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, staged by Ballet BC; One Icy
Urban Spire, an aerial dance performance balanced on the ledges and colonnades
of the Vancouver Public Library; Treasures of the Tsimshian from the Dundas
Collection, featuring important cultural pieces hidden away for more than a
century; high-energy concerts from the Spanish Harlem Orchestra and Balkan
Beat Box; Wheelchair Dancesport featuring dancers, including those with a
disability and those who are able-bodied, in a competition that challenges
barriers; and Scrap Arts Music 2, staged at Britannia Beach's Museum of
Mining, which uses instruments crafted out of scrap metal to create powerful
percussive performances.
    For a complete list of Cultural Olympiad 2008 events, visit
    Cultural Olympiad 2008 will make use of many of the prime cultural
venues, as well as non-traditional spaces, within and around Metro Vancouver
and Whistler. To help reach the widest possible audience, city streets, parks
and public spaces will also become performance spaces.
    "Arts and culture truly open doors of discovery. The Cultural Olympiad
provides artists with an opportunity to have their voices heard, and to
collectively tell this amazing story that is Canada," said Robert Kerr,
VANOC's program director, Cultural Olympiad.
    "The Cultural Olympiad is an extraordinary opportunity for the public to
be engaged with, and participate in, the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
experience well before the Games period - and over a much broader period of
time," continued Kerr.
    Ticket information for all Cultural Olympiad 2008 events is available at

    Participating in the Cultural Olympiad

    Participants in the Cultural Olympiad 2008 program were chosen in
response to an open call for proposals. In June 2007, 188 responses were
received from interested artists and organizations from across Canada - and as
far as New York City. The proposals were reviewed by the Cultural Olympiad
programming team. Following extensive consultations, 79 projects by 60
organizations were selected, forming Cultural Olympiad 2008.
    VANOC will act as co-producer and co-presenter for these 79 diverse
projects. As part of this collaboration, VANOC will invest financial and
promotional resources in these partnerships to help build cultural legacies
that will last beyond 2010.

    Open Call for Cultural Olympiad 2009 and 2010 Programs

    As part of the programming process for the Cultural Olympiad 2009 and
2010 programs, today VANOC also announced an open call for proposals by
not-for-profit arts organizations and educational institutions, with similar
criteria to requirements for the 2008 program.
    For both programs, proposals will be accepted beginning on February 1,
2008. For the 2009 program, final submission deadline is April 30, 2008. For
the 2010 program, the deadline for submission is September 30, 2008. In
addition to the open call, the Cultural Olympiad programming team is embarking
on a parallel 'curatorial process,' with the goal of researching and selecting
a wide variety of local, national and international artists for the 2009 and
2010 Cultural Olympiad programs, and developing targeted co-production and
co-presentation partnerships for many of these projects. The programming and
partnerships for the Cultural Olympiad 2009 program will be announced in
September 2008.

    Major Cultural Olympiad Concert for the Two-Year Countdown

    Also announced today were details of a special concert that will mark the
two-year countdown to the 2010 Winter Games.
    The concert will be a spectacular evening of music, featuring leading
young singer-songwriters from across Canada performing with their bands, and
with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The evening will combine symphonic
soundscapes with the cutting edge of indie rock, rhythm and blues, folk and
acoustic punk. It will take place at the Orpheum Theatre on February 12th.
Tickets will be available for sale, beginning on December 1st at 10:00 am, at
    Headlining the concert will be the incomparable Feist. Over the past few
years, Feist has become one of Canada's leading indie artists - with a rapidly
growing worldwide following. Feist will perform with her internationally
acclaimed band. Her performance will include five songs with the Vancouver
Symphony Orchestra, featuring world premier orchestral arrangements
commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad.
    The concert will also include performances by Toronto-based
singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith; Montreal singer-cellist, Jorane; Leela Gilday
(2007 JUNO Award Winner for Aboriginal Album of the Year); and Suzie McNeil,
who released an "Olympic- and Paralympic-inspired" video of her hit song


    The 2008 Cultural Olympiad program has been enhanced through the
contributions by individual provinces supporting their artists, in partnership
with the Cultural Olympiad. The Province of BC, The Government of Alberta
(through the Alberta Foundation for the Arts) and the Government of Ontario
(through the Ontario Arts Council) have each helped to assist the
participation of their artists in Cultural Olympiad 2008. Vancouver 2010
gratefully acknowledges this support.
    The Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad enjoys a strong working partnership
with the Government of Canada and all provinces and territories, serving to
ensure showcasing opportunities for a vibrant and diverse range of Canadian
talent in the celebrations culminating in 2010.

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

For further information:

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

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