VANOC announces an all-Canadian lineup of creative talent behind Opening and Closing Ceremonies of Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games

    VANCOUVER, Aug. 31 /CNW/ - Fifteen Canadians with expertise in costumes,
lighting, music, and stage direction are joining the creative team tasked with
orchestrating the magical and awe-inspiring moments celebrating the dramatic
achievements of Paralympians at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the
Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
    They include a choreographer who strutted on stage with Janet Jackson,
one of the world's foremost B-boy dancers and an audio designer who captured
the blissful "I do's" at the wedding of the world's richest man.
    "We scoured the country for the last six months to find a great Canadian
creative team to help bring alive the vision we have for inspiring the world
to celebrate the possible by watching the top Paralympians reach for the
performances of their lives here in Vancouver and Whistler," said David
Guscott, executive vice president, celebrations and partnerships for the
Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games (VANOC).
    "It is with great pleasure today that we are announcing these 15 artists
- many of whom are from right here in British Columbia - chosen by ceremonies
producer Patrick Roberge Productions to help stage Canada's Games," he added.
    Under Patrick Roberge's direction, the creative team will deliver on the
creative vision for the ceremonies, create mass choreography for the 5,000
volunteer performers, including performers with a disability, design lighting
and audio systems, select composers and musical arrangements, as well as
design sets, costumes and props.
    "The team is already hard at work on creating all the elements we need to
put on exciting and memorable shows - one indoor, one outdoor - in two
different locales over 100 kilometres apart in less than seven months time,"
said Roberge. "Our first big challenge will be to find the hundreds of
volunteers we need to perform in the ceremonies before audiences around the
world. We'll be launching this search in a manner of weeks so stay tuned for
more details."
    Tickets are still available for both Paralympic ceremonies and can be
purchased later this fall when Phase 3 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games
ticketing program is launched. Tickets are $30 to $175. For more information,
    The ceremonies' creative team members announced today are:

    Associate Director and Head Choreographer: Jocelyn Peden

    An accomplished dancer, choreographer and director, Peden has
choreographed and directed the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Los
Angeles Lakers and Vancouver Grizzlies dance teams, choreographed music videos
and performed with artists such as Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, Paul McCartney,
and Canadian Olympian Emanuel Sandhu. She has also staged multiple live sport
productions for VANOC.

    Music Director: Paul Airey

    Airey has composed and produced music for radio, TV, film, and special
events for more than 20 years. Co-owner and operator of Avenue Music
Productions Inc. and Sound Kitchen Studios in Vancouver, his themes, scores
and jingles for clients such as Warner Bros. and the National Hockey League
have been heard worldwide.

    Art Director: Daniel Planko

    Planko, who specializes in the concept, design and implementation of art,
exhibit and event installations, has worked with photographer Annie Leibovitz,
actor Alan Cumming, singer and actress Bette Midler, and was a stylist on
HBO's The Sopranos. A sitescape designer for countless production, Planko was
responsible for installations at New York's Gering & López Gallery.

    Production Director: Nik Von Schulmann

    For more than 20 years, Von Schulmann's extensive experience in
production, design and staging have been utilized in many large-scale
productions, including the 2007 Canada Games, The Phantom of the Opera,
Ragtime, Show Boat, Riverdance, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,
as well as Vancouver Opera's productions of Carmen, Aida and La Bohème.

    Headline Director: Shaw Saltzberg

    Saltzberg is an integral part of S.L. Feldman & Associates, Canada's
largest talent agency. He has travelled the world representing his roster,
which includes Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan and Diana Krall. He has also
provided cultural programming for the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games and
Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

    Segment Director: Luca (Lazylegz) Patuelli

    Patuelli has captivated audiences with his unique breakdancing for more
than a decade. Born with arthrogryposis and diagnosed with scoliosis as a
child, Patuelli incorporates strength with crutches to excel at dance
competitions. He has performed with Kanye West and appeared on America's Got
Talent and NBC's Today Show.

    Visuals Director: Sean Nieuwenhuis

    Owner of Sensory Overload Productions, Nieuwenhuis supplies multimedia
design and visual presentation services to corporations, festivals and
charitable organizations, including the Vancouver 2010 Olympic bid. In the
theatre world, his projection design work has contributed to the Stratford
Shakespeare Festival, Vancouver Opera and Theatre Calgary.

    Costume Designer: Sheila White

    White has created costume designs for nearly 25 years and worked for Jil
Sander and the English Theatre of Hamburg. In Vancouver alone, she has
designed for over 100 theatrical productions, most recently for Vancouver
Playhouse's The Miracle Worker. Her work has been featured in film and TV,
including Da Vinci's City Hall and The Score.

    Production and Lighting Designer: Robert Sondergaard

    Founder of Electric Aura Lighting Design, Sondergaard has designed
lighting for theatre, TV and event productions, including the opening
ceremonies of the British Columbia Canada Pavilion in Beijing in 2008, Kidd
Pivot's Dark Matters, the 2007 Canada Games, the 2007 Rankin Family Canadian
tour, the 21st Gemini Awards, and the Canadian Football League's 2005 Grey Cup
halftime show.

    Interactive Visual Designer: Roger Parent

    Parent has been involved on the cutting-edge of the entertainment and
architectural design industries since the early 1970s and has collaborated on
more than 5,000 shows in America, Europe and Asia. As president of
Montreal-based, he produces interactive moving architecture
for public spaces, exhibits and museums. He also helped Cirque du Soleil
transform from a single touring show troupe into a multi-show company.

    Interactive Visual Designer: Louis-Pierre Morin

    Morin's expertise in video projection, show control programming, sound
mixing, and video editing spans many years and countless TV shows and galas.
Based out of Montreal, he has worked on the Closing Ceremonies at the Torino
2006 Olympic Winter Games and installations at Tabù, Liquidity and Eyecandy
nightclubs in Las Vegas.

    Stage Designer: Mark Patterson

    Owner of Eclipse Productions, Gemini Award winner Patterson has produced
sport and news production designs for all Canadian TV networks. He has worked
on international events such as the opening and closing ceremonies for the
2006 World Figure Skating Championships and 2006 World Urban Forum.

    Host Broadcast Liaison: Tim Lewis

    With more than 30 years of TV and event production experience, Lewis's
credits include the 2004, 2006 and 2009 gala fundraisers An Evening with Diana
Krall & Friends and the 23rd Gemini Awards. Lewis was the audio designer for
the wedding of Bill Gates and sound director for the 1999 Pan American Games
and the 1994 Commonwealth Games.

    Associate Producer: Heather Connell

    Connell started her career as a stage manager at the 2003 Western Canada
Summer Games and later oversaw the ceremonies, medal presentations and
protocol portfolios for the 2005 Canada Summer Games and 2007 Canada Winter
Games. She previously worked with VANOC on the mascot launch.

    Associate Producer: Anna Bond

    Bond has managed and coordinated talent, performers and VIPs for a wide
variety of large-scale, high profile events, including the British Columbia
Canada Pavilion in Beijing in 2008 and opening and closing ceremonies at the
2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse.

    The Abilities Arts Festival, a Toronto, ON-based disability arts
organization and forum for creative and artistic excellence, will act as the
disability arts talent consultant for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for
the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Abilities Arts Festival serves as
a leader, catalyst and resource to bring together artists, arts and cultural
organizations and a diverse public by promoting an inclusive and vibrant arts
and culture sector.
    On March 12, 2010, a thousand of the world's top winter sport Paralympic
athletes and team officials from more than 40 countries will gather in BC
Place in downtown Vancouver for the indoor Opening Ceremony. Nine days later,
the Games will draw to its official end in the Host Mountain Resort of
Whistler in a unique outdoor amphitheatre designed especially for the two-hour
Closing Ceremony.

    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

    About PRP

    PRP Inc. is a live entertainment and show production company that
specializes in creating spectacular, large-scale shows and events. Based out
of Vancouver, BC, PRP's award-winning team boast more than 22 years of
high-profile international events and entertainment production. Visit

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Erin Mikaluk, VANOC
Communications, (604) 403-2471,; Ruth Knoop,
Patrick Roberge Productions, (604) 251-7796,

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