Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad adds over 70 new projects to eclectic lineup

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VANCOUVER, Sept. 21 /CNW/ - The Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, presented by Bell, is adding more international flair to its impressive lineup of music, theatre, visual arts, dance, and digital programming in its largest announcement of 2010 projects to date - more than 70, including hardcore troubadour Steve Earle, an inspiring Ugandan dance troupe and an all-star lineup of emerging Canadian talent brought together by an American music producer, often called the inventor of the modern tribute album, saluting the godfather of grunge: Neil Young.

In addition to the more traditional stage and gallery presentations, Vancouver streets and unexpected nooks (such as a concrete plant) will buzz with a number of groundbreaking interactive public installations, like a thumping party with some of the best DJs in the world spinning electronic music into the early morning hours and a path of LED lights that react to a person's every move.

The third and final edition of the Cultural Olympiad festivals will start on January 22, 2010 and run throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, concluding on March 21. The extensive program will include more than 600 ticketed and free performances and exhibitions in 60 venues in Metro Vancouver and British Columbia's Sea to Sky corridor. The shows announced today join the 55 Cultural Olympiad projects previously announced for 2010, including highlights such as The Blue Dragon/Le Dragon Bleu by Robert Lepage, Delusions by Laurie Anderson, Moon Water by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, and Tundra Songs by the Kronos Quartet featuring Tanya Tagaq. Tickets and information are available now at

"A cultural celebration of this magnitude is the work of an outstanding partnership featuring our presenting sponsor Bell, the federal, provincial and territorial governments and a wide range of national cultural agencies and arts organizations," said David Guscott, executive vice president of celebrations and partnerships for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). "With their assistance we have assembled an unprecedented program of contemporary Canadian art and artists."

Burke Taylor, VANOC's vice president of culture and celebrations, added: "Our vision for Cultural Olympiad 2010 is that it be eclectic, bold and breathtaking. Whether it's onstage, online, in a gallery, or on the street we want people to have an extraordinary Olympic and Paralympic experience and feel a personal connection to the cultural program of the Games. It's part of the celebratory atmosphere we're creating with our many partners to welcome the world."

The hot new projects include:


If a theme can be applied to this diverse mix of artists, it is collaboration and connection between iconic artists with up-and-coming musicians. On January 23, country and rock musician Steve Earle pays tribute to an equally gifted songwriter in Townes Van Zandt, with Canadian alt-pop crooner Joel Plaskett opening, as he did for Paul McCartney this past summer. In Hal Willner's Neil Young Project, Willner uses Broken Social Scene, Joan as Policewoman, Ron Sexsmith, and Iron and Wine to illuminate the hits and obscurities from Young's massive catalogue of work.

The music list is rounded out by Juno-nominated breakout Canadian band Stars, known for its atmospheric, literary pop; the Hilario Duran Latin Jazz Band, led by a man who learned his craft at the centre of Cuba's vibrant Latin jazz scene, performing with saxophonist Jane Bunnett, pianist Phil Dwyer and master percussionist Changuito - all band leaders and international jazz icons in their own right; and the double-bill of K'Naan (a young Somali-Canadian rapper) and Tinariwen (a collective of poet-guitarists that has rocked the south Saharan since the late 1970s).

For something completely different, try Sound Gallery and its unique blend of improvised music and video mixing or Taiwan's Chai Found Music Workshop and its revival of Chinese chamber music called sizhu.

Performing Arts

Spain's Maria Pagés, lauded for her development of modern flamenco, reveals her Flamenco Republic at the Orpheum, while the Spirit of Uganda, a company of 22 young artists orphaned by AIDS or civil war, brings their uplifting and spirited East African dance and music to Canada for the first time. Go down the rabbit hole in Alice and Other Heroes, where Daniel Janke's Whitehorse-based ensemble plays a live score for a series of short films, including vignettes from the animated classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

For a taste of something closer to home, the National Arts Centre does the country and its more than 30 million inhabitants proud with Made in Canada, a concert celebrating the rich cultural landscape of the Great White North through music, dance and song.

Visual Arts

Step back in time and view a Vancouver Island Aboriginal family's history and stories through beautifully painted ceremonial curtains in Backstory: Nuu-chah-nulth Ceremonial Curtains and the Work of Ki-Ke-In, or watch cutting-edge videos and films by some of the world's best visual artists on a huge screen on the Vancouver Art Gallery's Robson Street façade during CUE.

For a unique meld of avant-garde music and art with a personal twist supplied by the audience seek out Metcalfe/Lewis: Ikons. In a forest walk like no other, be entranced by the provocative sculptures of Vancouver's Eric Metcalfe while listening to a composition of acoustic sounds by New York-based trombonist George Lewis. The forest and music respond to the actions of the people around it. Get lost and found again in Tracing Night, Ed Pien's maze-like installation that turns day into night, using fanciful creatures pulled from Chinese and Inuit mythology to confront uncertainty and fear.


For digital innovation look no further than CODE Live, an 18-day event that is part of CODE, the Cultural Olympiad's digital edition. It will showcase a diverse range of works fuelled by digital technology and audience interaction. The exhibitions and performances are in venues around Vancouver and most are free.

From around the world, these works draw the audience into the creative experience: a cellphone turns into a musical instrument, enabling the user to create a symphony of sound; a green thumb goes to new levels playing with virtual acoustic plants; paparazzi robots offer up 15 minutes of fame to passersby; a telepresence performance makes it possible to reach out to friends across Canada; and a pathway of reactive LEDs respond as audiences make their way to late night performances featuring DJs and electronic music.

About the Cultural Olympiad

The Cultural Olympiad, presented by Bell, is a series of multidisciplinary festivals and digital programs showcasing the best in Canadian and international arts and popular culture. Launched in 2008, the program culminates in the 60-day Cultural Olympiad 2010 (January 22 to March 21, 2010), which begins before and continues throughout the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. CODE is the Cultural Olympiad's digital edition, a series of programs developed to creatively engage national and global audiences through the use of digital technology.



Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business with solutions to all their communications needs, including Bell Mobility wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell TV direct-to-home satellite television, Bell Home phone local and long distance, and IP-broadband and information and communications technology (ICT) services. Bell is proud to be a Premier National Partner and the exclusive Telecommunications Partner to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For information on Bell's products and services, please visit For corporate information on BCE, please visit


The Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad is grateful for the support of the Government of Canada and the governments of all of Canada's provinces and territories and their respective cultural agencies: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon. In addition to the Cultural Olympiad's government and corporate partners, CODE is proudly supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the National Film Board of Canada. New Media BC and Wavefront Innovation Society are also both active participants in the project. The National Presentation and Touring Program is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Arts Partners in Creative Development

Arts Partners in Creative Development (APCD) is a strategic investment partnership to assist BC arts and cultural organizations create and develop new works or further develop existing works, with the intent of producing, presenting or exhibiting them at the highest standard. Organizations can apply for funding to create, commission and develop original work in the performing, visual, media or literary arts. With an initial investment of $6.5 million over three years, APCD facilitates the creation and development of new work to showcase both locally and worldwide. APCD funding partners include VANOC, the Province of British Columbia, 2010 Legacies Now, the City of Vancouver, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Vancouver Foundation.


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

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at Images are free to accredited members of the media/


For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Janet Miller, VANOC Communications, Tel.: (604) 403-3546, E-mail:; Erin Mikaluk, VANOC Communications, Tel.: (604) 403-2471, E-mail:

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