VANOC introduces 2010 Olympic Winter Games Ceremonies team

    VANCOUVER, Sept. 20 /CNW/ - In 876 days, billions of people around the
globe will tune in to watch the lighting of the Olympic Torch officially open
the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games at BC Place Stadium for one of
Canada's biggest international spectacles. The Vancouver Organizing Committee
for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today introduced the
Ceremonies team that will lead the development of the Olympic Games Opening
and Closing Ceremonies, and nightly Olympic Victory Ceremony presentations.
    "Our goal is to create spectacular Ceremonies of which all Canadians can
be proud," said John Furlong, VANOC Chief Executive Officer. "This incredible
team has the proven passion and talent to develop magnificent Ceremonies that
will celebrate the possible and share our great country with the rest of the
    David Atkins Enterprises (DAE) of Australia, producer of the Opening and
Closing Ceremonies for the Sydney 2000 Summer Games and the 15th Asian Games
Doha 2006, in Qatar, has been selected as Executive Producer for the Vancouver
2010 Olympic Winter Games Ceremonies.
    The company's founder, David Atkins, and DAE's Catherine Ugwu and
Ignatius Jones, will collaborate with a world-class team of Canadians to tell
the unique story of Canada through the Games Ceremonies. The Ceremonies team
will also feature leading figures drawn from Canada's music, producing,
creative and events industries including Sam Feldman, Bruce Allen, Nettwerk
Records' Dan Fraser, Canadian College of Performing Arts cofounder Jacques
Lemay, Director and Image Creator Erick Villeneuve and VANOC Ceremonies' staff
members Ian Pool and Marti Kulich.
    This Canadian team has created, produced, written, directed and presented
many of Canada's most memorable events. These include some of Canada's largest
concerts and touring music shows, major Games Ceremonies including the Calgary
1988 Olympic Winter Games; the 1999 Pan American Games; the 1994 Commonwealth
Games; Canada Games; theatre spectacles; television shows; Royal Visits; and
iconic special events, such as the Opening Ceremony of Prince Edward Island's
Confederation Bridge.
    "The creation of a strong Canadian team is essential in the realization
and successful delivery of the Ceremonies. We are thrilled to be working with
VANOC to tell Canada's story using the breadth of talent and expertise that is
so evident across the country," said David Atkins.
    "Our search for the Executive Producer was extremely rigorous because
this is our opportunity to show the world what we can do, and what we can be,"
said Terry Wright, VANOC's Executive Vice President, Service Operations and
Ceremonies division. "DAE was selected as Executive Producer based on its
expertise and experience in staging all aspects of extremely successful
international events. We're delighted to be working in collaboration with
David Atkins Enterprises and a Ceremonies team that includes many of the very
best Canadian creative and production minds."
    "The 2010 Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony will be the greatest
opportunity British Columbia has ever had to show the world why this is the
best place on earth," said Premier Gordon Campbell. "We're pleased to see the
level of talent and expertise assembled for VANOC's Ceremonies team and we
look forward to a spectacular ceremony that will capture the imagination of
viewers worldwide."
    "The Government of Canada is proud to support the 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games. The opening and closing ceremonies will capture both
the spirit of our country and British Columbia's unique personality. We, and
all Canadians, look forward to a global event that Canada can be proud of in
2010," commented David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister
for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics.
    Viewed by a worldwide audience of approximately three billion spectators,
the Games Ceremonies are mandated by the International Olympic Committee to
promote international peace and understanding, honouring the world's greatest
athletes and celebrating humanity.
    "Beyond the sports competitions, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies are
among the most memorable events of the Games and are some of the most complex
events to create and deliver. They typically set the scene and offer the first
'wow' moments of the Games," concluded Wright. "Historic ceremony protocols
must be integrated into unforgettable shows that translate well to live
audiences - both in the stadium and watching on television around the world."
    The 2010 Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony will take place in
Vancouver's 55,000-seat BC Place Stadium on February 12, 2010. The Closing
Ceremony, on February 28, 2010, will also be held at BC Place Stadium. This
will be the first time in Olympic Games history that the Olympic Ceremonies
will be staged in the comfort of an indoor venue. The Paralympic Games Opening
Ceremony will be held on March 12, 2010, also at BC Place Stadium, followed by
the Closing Ceremony on March 21, 2010, in Whistler.

    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 the latest

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Chris Brumwell, (778) 328-6269;
Mary Fraser, (778) 328-3667

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