Vancouver 2010's Board of Directors meets, reviews impressive construction progress of the Richmond Oval

    RICHMOND, BC, Nov. 21 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors for the Vancouver
Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC)
met today in Richmond, BC to review and receive updates on a series of key
2010 Winter Games topics. The meeting agenda included a management update from
the CEO's office, Board authorization of a number of contracts that will
continue to support the planning and staging of the 2010 Winter Games, a venue
construction update and a tour of the Richmond Oval.
    The final roof arch was recently erected on the Oval, scheduled to open
in late summer 2008. Home to long track speed skating during the 2010 Olympic
Winter Games, the Oval will host up to 12 medal events, with 36 medals to be
awarded. Beyond the 2010 Winter Games, the Oval will become an international
centre of excellence for sports and wellness. The Oval's flexible design will
allow it to be used for a wide variety of sport and community uses.
    Immediately following the Board meeting today, the 2007 Annual General
Meeting (AGM) of the Members of VANOC was held. The meeting included the
re-appointment of Jack Poole as Board Chairman through to the next AGM, in
2008, in addition to confirming the officers of the Corporation: John Furlong,
Chief Executive Officer; Ken Bagshaw, Chief Legal Officer; Dorothy Byrne, Vice
President & Corporate Secretary; Ward Chapin, Chief Information Officer; Dave
Cobb, Executive Vice President; Dan Doyle, Executive Vice President; David
Guscott, Executive Vice President; John McLaughlin, Chief Financial Officer
and Executive Vice President; Cathy Priestner Allinger, Executive Vice
President; Donna Wilson, Executive Vice President; and Terry Wright, Executive
Vice President.
    The audited financial statements of the corporation for the period ending
July 31, 2007 were received by the Members at the AGM. Ernst & Young, LLP,
Chartered Accountants were re-appointed as auditors of VANOC for the ensuing

    Reports, updates and decisions taken at the November 21, 2007 VANOC Board
    meeting included:

    CEO Report

    Mascot Update

    VANOC is now in the final stages of intense planning and preparation for
the launch of the mascots on November 27. The launch itself will consist of a
35-minute live show that incorporates animated video, dance, song, special
effects and, of course, the live characters themselves. More than 800
schoolchildren will be the first to meet the mascots, while the rest of Canada
and the world will meet them simultaneously through

    Venue Construction Update

    Construction of the Whistler Nordic Venue, the Whistler Sliding Centre
and Whistler Creekside will be completed in less than a month. The Whistler
Sliding Centre reached a significant milestone on October 27 when the
refrigeration plant and track pipe work passed all tests and, subsequently,
the ammonia refrigerant was loaded into the system. The ski jump at the
Whistler Nordic Venue passed the preliminary homologation inspection (a
technical inspection by the International Federation). Both the alpine venue,
at Whistler Creekside, and the snowboard and freestyle venues, at Cypress
Mountain, are ready for snowmaking this month.
    All city venues have progressed well throughout the reporting period. The
final roof arch was erected at the Richmond Oval, and the main arena at the
UBC Winter Sports Centre has been "closed in." Erection of the steel structure
at Hillcrest/Nat Bailey Stadium Park has begun.

    Cultural Olympiad

    The Cultural Olympiad's first public program, the Cultural Olympiad 2008
Celebration, will be announced on November 29. More than 600 members of the
arts community, major arts and entertainment media and key government
partners, sponsors and stakeholders will attend the event. Details on the call
for proposals for events in 2009 and 2010 will also be made public.

    Ceremonies Update

    VANOC's plans for the Olympic Games Opening, Closing and BC Place Stadium
Victory Ceremonies continue to progress well. Throughout the month of October,
David Atkins Enterprises (DAE) and VANOC Ceremonies staff held a series of
productive working sessions to define the structure, roles, inter-functional
support and overall working relationship between the parties.

    Sport Update

    VANOC will present the 2010 Winter Games "day-by-day" competition
schedule to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive board for
approval in early December. Also, pre-Games operations will officially begin
in early December at the Whistler Nordic Venue, and in January at the Whistler
Sliding Centre. Operational staff has begun working at the venues under the
direction of the Nordic and Sliding sport directors.

    UN Relations

    In late October, VANOC Chief Executive Officer John Furlong travelled to
New York City to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between VANOC and the
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). As the voice for the environment
within the United Nations system, UNEP has global reach. More information
about how VANOC and UNEP will work together is available at

    Volunteer Program Update

    VANOC is now in a full planning mode for the Call for Volunteers "Launch
Event," taking place in February 2008, locally, with high national reach to
all provinces and territories. A pre-call awareness strategy is underway. The
strategy includes discussions with volunteer organizations, multicultural
groups, Aboriginal groups, educational institutions, seniors, the business
community and more, with the goal to inspire Canadians to apply for a
volunteer position, beginning in February 2008. VANOC is also designing an
exclusive volunteer web portal that includes news and information about the
2010 Winter Games.


    On September 25, VANOC's online education program for teachers and
students, /EDU, was officially launched in conjunction with a meeting of the
Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. Only one month after the launch,
subscriptions had increased greatly, from 150 to over 1,700. The BC Sports
Hall of Fame reported that it also saw a significant jump in the number of
teachers accessing its online resources following the launch of /EDU, and that
these teachers were coming to the BC Hall of Fame website directly after
visiting /EDU.

    Two-Year Countdown Activities

    Planning is underway for one of VANOC's first key milestones of 2008 -
the two-year countdown celebration. VANOC is working with partners, sponsors
and other stakeholders to identify opportunities to extend the celebration
period around February 12, the date that the Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games will begin in 2010, through existing local, regional and national events
and activities.
    VANOC will also be intensifying its national presence for the two-year
countdown by capitalizing on its website (at and key
stakeholder events in Ottawa and Quebec City in order to realize VANOC's
Canada's Games objectives. The two-year countdown celebration period will
provide the platform for VANOC to launch: its Call for Volunteers program; the
2008 Cultural Olympiad; and further the 2010 Winter Games' ticketing and
mascot programs, giving Games enthusiasts, both in Canada and around the
world, tangible opportunities to participate in the Vancouver 2010 experience.

    Report of the Finance Committee

    A report of the Finance Committee meetings, held on October 8th and
November 13th, included recommendations that required approvals today from the
VANOC Board as outlined below. The Finance Committee report also included
updates on previously approved contracts not requiring Board approval.
Contract awards are posted on following their

    Finance Committee recommendations approved by the Board:

    Venue construction

    Approved deposits and draws from VANOC's venue development capital budget
contingency: A deposit of $2.5 million in savings from Hastings Park and a
draw of $2.25 million to Hillcrest/Nat Bailey Park resulted in a net deposit
and increase in the capital budget central contingency of $250,000.
    With the approved $250,000 contingency increase, the capital budget
central contingency has grown from its previous level of $26.8 million to
$27.1 million, which is $5.1 million above the allowable balance required by
the Performance and Accountability Agreement with the Province of BC. The
central venue development budget contingency is contained within the overall
$580 million construction budget. Including the contingency deposit and draw,
VANOC's venue development program remains on target for completion within the
$580 million budget. VANOC will formally report on its financial results as
part of its next quarterly report, scheduled for release in December 2007.
    The Board also approved, on recommendation of the Finance Committee,
VANOC's operating agreement with Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA) for the 2008 Alpine
World Cup.
    The Board also examined and approved contracts related to operational
activities and received a report on recent activities of the Finance
    The Finance Committee authorized management to contribute up to $260,000
to non-profit organizations, to be applied towards costs relating to the
recruitment, support and wages of trainee participants at the RONA Vancouver
2010 Fabrication Shop, which officially opened on November 19.

    Report of the Audit Committee

    The Board received an update from the Audit Committee meeting held on
October 1, 2007. The Committee had approved the financial statements and
Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) for the year ending July 31, 2007.
The financial statements and MD&A were released to the public in October 2007
and are available at The Committee also recommended
that Ernst and Young, LLP, be approved again as auditors for the upcoming

    Report of the Governance and Ethics (G&E) Committee

    The Board received an update from the G&E Committee meeting held on
October 10, 2007, where the Committee had reviewed a status report on how
VANOC's Board of Directors is performing in relation to enhanced transparency
measures introduced earlier in 2007. It was determined that the Board is in
compliance with those commitments.

    2010 Games Operating Trust

    The 2010 Games Operating Trust Fund was established in 2004 to support
the operating and capital maintenance costs of three facilities being built
for the Games: the Whistler Nordic Venue, the Whistler Sliding Centre and the
Richmond Oval. As previously committed and announced, the Province of BC and
the Government of Canada each made a contribution of $55 million to the fund,
which has now grown to approximately $130 million.
    With the beginning of operations next month at the Whistler Nordic Venue,
the fund will begin supporting the operating costs associated with these
venues, as athletes are provided training and testing opportunities.

    Report of the Strategic Communications Steering Committee

    The Strategic Communications Steering Committee provided an overview of
the 2008 Cultural Olympiad and Look of the Games concept. The Look of the
Games is the visual image and identity that is applied to the Games
environment during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The application of "Look"
treatments creates a consistent backdrop for the Games-wide theatre of events.
The scope and creativity involved with the Look make it a very distinct
element of any Olympic or Paralympic Games. As with previous Games, the Look
of the 2010 Winter Games will be unveiled in the final days before the Games


    The Vancouver 2010 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
Vancouver 2010 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
    As part of its commitment to public transparency and accountability, the
Vancouver 2010 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.

    Next Meeting

    The next meeting of the VANOC Board of Directors is scheduled for January
16, 2008.
    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.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Chris Brumwell, Vancouver 2010,
(778) 328-6269; Margaret Nevin, Vancouver 2010, (778) 328-6475

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