VANOC reports on official languages progress for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

    Board Advisory Committee on Official Languages holds first meeting

    VANCOUVER, April 28 /CNW/ - Following the inaugural meeting of a new
Board Advisory Committee on Official Languages, the announcement of
French-Canadian talent as part of Cultural Olympiad 2010, the addition of a
French language newspaper as an Official Partner, the Vancouver Organizing
Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) will today
make a presentation to the Standing Committee on Official Languages. The
presentation will update Parliament on progress towards the staging of the
2010 Winter Games to celebrate Canada's two official languages and its
cultural diversity. Representing VANOC before the House of Commons Committee
on Official Languages will be VANOC board member Jacques Gauthier and director
of Official Languages Francine Bolduc.

    Official Languages Advisory Committee inaugural meeting April 24
    At their inaugural meeting last Friday, members of VANOC's Board on
Official Languages for the 2010 Winter Games made recommendations for how the
Organizing Committee can best meet its commitment in ensuring both of Canada's
official languages are well represented and celebrated at the Games.
    The advisory committee, chaired by Jacques Gauthier, includes prominent
French Canadians with a proven track record and expertise in the field of
bilingualism, as well as Jean-Pierre Raffarin, a former prime minister of
France, who was appointed "Grand Témoin" by the Organisation internationale de
la Francophonie for the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Committee
members will report regularly to VANOC's board of directors and will reconvene
again later this summer.
    "I can say with confidence that all of the distinguished experts at the
table share the objective of not only meeting our official languages
obligations but also setting an example for future Games," said Gauthier.
"VANOC has made significant progress recently in its commitments towards
showcasing Canada's rich cultural diversity and linguistic duality. All
members have agreed we can succeed in this undertaking and we will devote all
of our energies to that end."
    "The 2010 Winter Games offer an historic opportunity for Canada to
promote and reaffirm its linguistic duality and cultural diversity for which
it is known around the world," said Raffarin. "Obviously, the expectations for
Vancouver are higher than past host cities, but I have no doubt VANOC and its
partners will succeed in ensuring the French language enjoys the presence, the
visibility and the usefulness up to and even beyond the criteria established
by the Olympic Charter. Delivering bilingual Games is a huge undertaking and
one to which I am proud to make a contribution."
    Further background on VANOC's commitment to official languages and the
creation of the Advisory Committee are below.

    French-Canadian talent key part of Cultural Olympiad 2010 lineup
    Among the first 20 projects announced today as part of Cultural Olympiad
2010, several are from prominent French-Canadian artists, including Quebec's
Robert Lepage, who continues his internationally celebrated, imaginative and
innovative stagecraft with The Blue Dragon/Le Dragon Bleu, the sequel to his
acclaimed series The Dragons' Trilogy. La Compagnie Marie Chouinard will
unveil the world premiere of a newly commissioned contemporary dance piece,
Montreal's Cirque Eloize will bring Rain to the Games, and Juste pour rire
2010 will present three brilliant evenings of fun and laughter with la crème
de la crème of Canada's francophone comedians. Jorane will join Martha
Wainwright for "Chanteuses modernes" on what promises to be an unforgettable

    La Presse on the Vancouver 2010 team
    VANOC will report today to the House Committee on its April 8, 2009
announcement of La Presse as its Official French Language Newspaper Supplier.
This fulfills another recommendation made by Graham Fraser, Canada's official
languages Commissioner in his December 2008 report. The sponsorship provides
VANOC with greater regional advertising avenues through print and online
publishing in Gesca Ltée's eight publications, including La Presse.

    Background: the VANOC Avisory Committee on Official Languages and VANOC
    commitment to official languages
    The Board Advisory Committee members include: former French prime
minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Judith A. LaRocque, deputy minister, Department
of Canadian Heritage; Michel Matifat, associate member, Canadian Foundation
for Cross-Cultural Dialogue; Serge Corbeil, vice president, Fédération des
francophones de la Colombie-Britannique; and Donna Wilson, VANOC's executive
vice president, workforce and sustainability, Jacques Gauthier, member of
VANOC's board of directors and Francine Bolduc, Director, official languages
    The creation of the panel was among the recommendations made by Graham
Fraser in his report late last year on VANOC's progress in its commitment to
deliver the Games in both official languages. The Advisory Committee will
provide strategic advice to the Organizing Committee on the delivery of its
official languages objectives, francophone culture in the context of the
Games, as well as assist in collaborations between key stakeholders and
Canada's French-speaking community partners to ensure their full participation
in Canada's Games.
    For everyone who attends the 2010 Winter Games, whether a figure skating
competition or the dramatic Opening Ceremonies, VANOC is committed to ensuring
the atmosphere and services for athletes, spectators and other visitors will
be warm, welcoming and bilingual. This means, for example, that both French
and English will be used on venue signs, in medal ceremonies and by volunteers
taking tickets, driving vehicles, providing directions and selling

    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. Please visit for
more information.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Sébastien Théberge, VANOC
Communications, (604) 403-2261,

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