VANOC adds top creative talent to team orchestrating the magic of the Opening, Closing and nightly Victory Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games; volunteer performers still needed

    VANCOUVER, April 7 /CNW/ - As recruitment of volunteer performers
continues, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) is ramping up the creative team behind the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Opening, Closing and nightly Victory
Ceremonies by adding superlative Canadian and international stars to the mix.
The team includes the Canadian brothers behind Dsquared2 who have created
lavish, over-the-top costumes for Madonna and Britney Spears, a composer fit
for the Queen and the sound designer who has mixed for both The King of Rock
'n' Roll and The Boss.
    They are just a few of the standouts among the 17 members - the majority
of whom are Canadian - announced today by VANOC. A list, including short
biographies, follows.
    Under the direction of executive producer and co-artistic director David
Atkins and Ignatius Jones, director, ceremonies strategy and co-artistic
director, the creative team will deliver on the creative vision for the
ceremonies, create mass choreography for the 4,500 volunteer performers,
design lighting and audio systems, select composers and musical arrangements,
design sets, costumes and props, and identify headline talent. The team will
also be responsible for the nightly Victory Ceremonies happening at BC Place,
where top Canadian musical acts will rev up athletes and spectators. Their
work will build on the planning started in 2007 by the initial creative team.
    "The expectations for David Atkins and the ceremonies' creative team are
monumental. They are tasked with creating life long memories - from the iconic
Opening and Closing Ceremonies to those golden moments that celebrate the
athletes' achievements," said John Furlong, VANOC Chief Executive Officer.
"Their work will be watched live by thousands at BC Place and billions
worldwide on television - and this team has both the talent and experience to
meet that challenge. They will embrace our country's rich culture and
innovative spirit, while revealing our incredible wealth of Canadian talent to
the world."
    "For the last 12 months, our creative process for the ceremonies has been
underway but as we move from the concept stage to the hands-on work, we've
sought out exceptionally talented people who know how to take big ideas and
breathe life into them," added David Guscott, executive vice president,
ceremonies and celebrations. "As we get closer to the Games, the team will be
expanded even further."
    David Atkins acknowledged the calibre of the creative team, saying, "This
world-class team is filled with artists who know how to wow audiences at
international events and are leaders in their fields, from creating magical
scores to designing opulent costumes and intricate footwork. Ceremonies
volunteers are going to be working with the best; this is a true opportunity
of a lifetime."
    Atkins pointed out that volunteer ceremonies applications are still being
sought and he encouraged enthusiastic potential performers to apply online at Previous experience is not a requirement for
the performers, dancers and athletes of all types and skills needed to stage
the productions. Volunteer performers must be 17 or older to apply; there is
no upper age limit. Auditions start May 1.
    "I'm proud that the Government of Canada is supporting the Opening
Ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games," said the Honourable Gary Lunn,
Minister of State (Sport). "The Opening Ceremony offers a unique opportunity
to showcase Canadian excellence and innovation to the world, while celebrating
our culture and traditions."
    The ceremonies' creative team members announced today are:

    Choreography Director: Jean Grand-Maître

    Quebec-born Jean Grand-Maître has been artistic director of Alberta
Ballet since 2002. He has collaborated with dance companies around the world,
as well as acrobats and circus performers for musicals, operas, television,
film and large outdoor events. He lives in Calgary, Alberta.

    Design Director: Douglas Paraschuk

    Over the last three decades, Douglas Paraschuk of Stratford, Ontario has
designed over 100 regional theatre productions across Canada, including
spending 21 seasons with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. In 2006,
Paraschuk was part of the ceremonies design team for the 15th Asian Games in
Doha, Qatar.

    Music Director: Dave Pierce

    David Pierce's extensive credits include musical theatre, sporting and
cultural events, commercial recordings and live mega spectacles. A resident of
Calgary, Alberta, Pierce has adapted scores for several hit Broadway national
tours and was recently commissioned to compose a new work for Queen Elizabeth

    Headline Talent Costume Designers: Dsquared2

    Dean and Dan Caten, Canadian twin brothers originally from Toronto,
Ontario, have worked in the high-end fashion industry since moving to Europe
in 1991. They are known for their playful, sexy clothing for men and women and
for staging theatrical runway shows. They were selected to design the official
uniforms for football team Juventus, and their designs have been worn by
Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, Usher and most recently Britney Spears
for her comeback Circus tour.

    Designer: Leslie Frankish

    Leslie Frankish of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, has designed over 130
Canadian theatrical productions for companies including the Shaw Festival,
Canadian Stage Company and Citadel Theatre.

    Designer: Anne-Séguin Poirier

    A set and costume designer based in Saint-Lambert, Quebec, Anne-Séguin
Poirier is currently working on set design and props for a new Cirque du
Soleil production to open in Los Angeles in 2010.

    Designer: Connie Watts

    Connie Watts of West Vancouver, British Columbia, is an Aboriginal mixed
media artist who has shown her artwork across North America. She is currently
project manager of the Vancouver 2010 Venues' Aboriginal Art Program for the
2010 Winter Games.

    Design Coordinator: John Powell

    A member of the Mamalilikulla band of the Kwak'wala-speaking Nation, John
Powell is primarily a designer working in fashion, costume, and interior and
graphic design. Some of his more recent projects include costumes for the
Vancouver Opera's The Magic Flute, Firehall Arts Centre's The Ecstasy of Rita
Joe and the Chinese/Aboriginal drum video for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

    Designer: Kevin McAllister

    Kevin McAllister of Vancouver, British Columbia, designs scenery,
lighting and costumes for theatre and opera. His portfolio includes work with
the Canadian Opera Company and Vancouver Opera.

    Choreography Associate Director: Marlise McCormick

    Marlise McCormick's international career began at Les Ballets Jazz de
Montreal and has taken her throughout North America, Europe and the Middle
East. She has worked as a designer, director or choreographer for large-scale
ceremonial events including the 1994 Commonwealth Games. Marlise splits her
time between Vancouver and Europe.

    Head of Audiovisual: Cyril Meusy

    Cyril Meusy has worked on projects for Vivendi games as well as the media
show for the British Columbia Canada Pavilion at the Torino 2006 Olympic
Winter Games. Meusy specializes in 3-D visualization, art direction and motion
graphics. He lives in Burnaby, British Columbia.

    Lighting Director: Bob Dickinson

    Bob Dickinson has won 16 Emmy Awards in his three-decade career in
lighting design and has more than 1,500 on-screen television credits including
the 1996, 2002 and 2004 Olympic Games, the annual Academy Awards show and nine
Super Bowl halftime shows.

    Audio Director: Bruce Jackson

    As sound designer and house sound engineer for Elvis Presley, Bruce
Springsteen and Barbara Streisand, Bruce Jackson has revolutionized stadium
sound. The resident of Culver City, California founded leading audio companies
such as JANDS Electronics in the 1960s as well as Apogee Electronics. He is
currently a vice-president at Dolby Laboratories.

    Headline Talent Producer: Samuel Leon Feldman

    Through two different companies, Sam Feldman represents more than 175
musical artists such as Nelly Furtado, Rush, Joni Mitchell and Elvis Costello.
Feldman is also a partner in The Characters Talent Agency, representing
Canadian actors such as Molly Parker and Ryan Reynolds.

    Headline Talent Producer: Dan Fraser

    Dan Fraser is the president and co-founder of Nettwerk Management, an
international recording artist management company based in Vancouver. He
manages the touring careers of artists such as Sarah McLachlan and the
Barenaked Ladies.

    Headline Talent Producer: Bruce Allen

    For more than 35 years, Bruce Allen has guided the careers of musicians,
producers and sports figures in the Canadian entertainment industry. His
current roster of talent includes Bryan Adams, Martina McBride, Anne Murray
and Michael Bublé.

    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
    The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies as
well as many of the nightly Victory Ceremonies will take place in Vancouver's
55,000-seat BC Place - the first time in Olympic history the ceremonies will
be staged in the comfort of an indoor venue.

    Government of Canada

    The Government of Canada is providing $20 million in support of the
Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games that will showcase Canada's
capacity for excellence, and reflect Canada's diversity, Aboriginal
participation, and linguistic duality.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Suzanne Walters, VANOC
Communications, Telephone: (604) 403-2386, E-mail:

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