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Archive for April, 2009

Educacentre College joins VANOC Community Contributor Program; partnership builds on VANOC’s commitment to deliver bilingual Games – News Releases – Vancouver 2010

April 30th, 2009

Vancouver, BC — Educacentre College, the only French language college in British Columbia, will provide bilingual students to help the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) ensure both of Canada’s official languages are well represented and celebrated at the Games.

The partnership announced today falls under VANOC’s Community Contributor Program, designed to engage community groups in the 2010 Winter Games and invite their active participation in welcoming the world in 2010.

Educacentre College, a not-for-profit society, will place 20 bilingual students as employees in various roles within the Organizing Committee to help with the delivery of bilingual services and with hosting French speaking dignitaries and members of the Olympic and Paralympic Families between now and March 2010.

The college will also conduct online beginner, intermediate and advanced level French language training to VANOC’s workforce, including assigned volunteers, as well as provide meeting and training spaces.

“We’re delighted Educacentre College, known as a leader in French language education in Western Canada, is joining our team,” said Francine Bolduc, VANOC’s director of official languages. “This partnership will continue to build our capacity among staff and volunteers to welcome the world in both of this country’s official languages. Already, 15 per cent of VANOC’s paid staff is bilingual and more than 11,000 volunteer applicants have stated they possess a conversational level in French.”

“It is with great pride that Educacentre College brings its contribution to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” said Thomas Godin, chairman of Educacentre College. “It was of foremost importance for our institution to take part in ensuring the presence of both of Canada’s official languages during the Games. This partnership will also provide our students and staff with the opportunity to experience this unique event and become part of the celebrations and excitement surrounding the Games.”

In exchange for their support, community contributors receive a wide range of domestic rights and benefits that create a close association with the Games including various advertising, promotional and workforce opportunities.

For everyone who attends the 2010 Winter Games, whether it is a speed skating competition or the dramatic Opening Ceremony, VANOC is committed to ensuring the atmosphere and services for athletes, spectators and other visitors is warm, welcoming and bilingual. This means, for example, that both official languages will be provided on functional venue and operational signage in Victory Ceremonies and by volunteers taking tickets, driving vehicles, giving directions and selling merchandise.

About Educacentre College
Active since 1976 and incorporated as a non-for-profit society in 1992, Educacentre College is the only French language college in British Columbia. The college has four campuses in British Columbia: Vancouver, Victoria, Prince George, and Nanaimo, as well as a virtual campus for online access. It has an average annual student enrollment of 1,500 and 120 full- and part-time staff.

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 www.vancouver2010.com for more information.

Contact
If you are a member of the media, please contact mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

For all other inquiries, please contact info@vancouver2010.com

Vancouver 2010

Royal boost for walking and cycling plans

April 30th, 2009

Plans were officially launched today for a new 60km-long walking and cycling route, inspired by the London 2012 Games and Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which is to be celebrated in 2012.

London 2012

Cultural Olympiad 2010 First 20 Projects – Feature Stories – Vancouver 2010

April 29th, 2009

A broken bottle of maple syrup in luggage arriving from Canada; the elegant, dramatic strokes of Chinese calligraphy; the romantic Old World sails of a junk gliding past the hulking steel of a modern ocean-going vessel.

These seemingly disparate visuals are magically weaved together by Québécois theatre visionary Robert Lepage in his latest stage offering The Blue Dragon/Le Dragon Bleu to illustrate the ongoing cultural clash between East and West and the dramatic changes in the lives of three people — two French-Canadian, one Chinese — thrust together in the rapidly changing world of modern-day Shanghai.

The play, performed in both French and English, is among the first 20 visual art, dance, theatrical, circus, and musical projects announced this month as part of the third and final edition of the Cultural Olympiad festivals, presented by Bell.

The Canadian and international projects, which include an extended version of Joni Mitchell’s ballet The Fiddle and The Drum, a massive hand-painted mural on a downtown Vancouver landmark by Taipei-based artist Michael Lin and a rare live performance of a monumental Mahler masterpiece by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, will start on January 22, 2010 and run throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, concluding on March 21. The extensive program will include more than 600 ticketed and free performances and exhibitions in 50 venues in Metro Vancouver and British Columbia’s Sea to Sky corridor. Tickets are available now.

The Blue Dragon/Le Dragon Bleu, presented in partnership with the Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts, is the long-awaited sequel to Lepage’s epic series The Dragons’ Trilogy, which toured the world to critical acclaim for its rich story, use of multimedia elements and innovative stagecraft.

All those elements are present once again along with the themes of cultural heritage and identity as Lepage picks up the story of Quebec expat artist Pierre Lamontagne, the trilogy’s main character, who is middle-aged, unhappy and running an art gallery in China. He’s involved in an unstable relationship with a much younger woman named Xiao Ling, who’s wrestling with a potentially life-altering choice. At the same time, Pierre must also deal with the sudden arrival of an old lover from back home named Claire Forêt. Claire, a Montreal ad executive, is in China to tap into its booming economy and find new meaning in her life by adopting a baby.

Film clips, an innovative two-tiered stage and a snow storm add to the dazzling visual feast Lepage has concocted in The Blue Dragon/Le Dragon Bleu, which was co-commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

The struggle with cultural identity and alienation is also poignantly explored in several other projects showcased by Cultural Olympiad 2010, including Where the Blood Mixes, written by emerging Canadian playwright Kevin Loring. The Playhouse Theatre Company production digs into the long buried and painful past of the Aboriginal residential school system and celebrates its survivors who struggled to cling to their culture, language and families in the face of staggering abuse and racism at church-run, government-funded schools.

Alienation is also a prominent theme in Globe Theatre’s production of Elephant Wake, a story of two Saskatchewan towns: a defunct francophone village and a neighbouring prosperous English township. Writer and performer Joey Tremblay shows the impact of the dying village through the eyes of a man angry about his own marginalized existence as he fights to keep his family and Prairie town relevant in a sea of sameness.

For more information and tickets to Cultural Olympiad 2010 events, visit vancouver2010.com/culturalolympiad.

Vancouver 2010

Series on Olympic Congresses: Prague 1925

April 29th, 2009
For his final Olympic Congress before retiring as president of the IOC, Pierre de Coubertin was determined to return to the broad Olympic themes of previous Congresses which discussed the role of sport in society and other such intellectual pursuits. However, given the now unavoidable necessity for the Olympic Congress to be of a technical nature, two simultaneous Congresses were organized, a pedagogical one and a technical one.

Heritage of Coubertin
Coubertin himself only attended the pedagogical Congress, which debated resolutions ranging from the revival of the ancient gymnasium to the idea that the sports press should be encouraged to give greater attention to pedagogical questions and to include science and arts in reports. The pedagogical Congress was not without its critics, but the IOC expressed its commitment to the heritage of Coubertin by putting the question of pedagogical education on the agenda of every IOC Session.

Successful work
The successful work of the Technical Congress was owed to J Sigfried Edström, president of the IAAF, who was presiding over an Olympic Congress for a second time. The discussion of a new amateur definition occupied much of the time but it remained unresolved. However, most notably, the majority of the delegates did recommend that the Olympic Games be limited to two weeks, a tradition which began at the subsequent Games in Amsterdam in 1928. Prior to that the Olympics had been sprawling affairs spread over several weeks, if not months.

 Discover photos and documents
 Learn more about the 2009 Olympic Congress

IOC

Training centre opens providing construction skills for major projects

April 29th, 2009

A new construction college has opened in east London providing thousands of training opportunities for local people.

London 2012

Olympic Park workforce breaks 4,000 mark

April 29th, 2009

The Olympic Park workforce is now over 4,000 strong with nearly one in ten of the workforce previously unemployed, and nearly one in ten a trainee, apprentice or on a work placement.

London 2012

Beijing 2008: IOC completes further analysis of Beijing samples

April 28th, 2009
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced today that it has received the results from the further analysis on the samples collected last summer during the Olympic Games in Beijing. Of 948 samples that were analysed, 7 resulted in an adverse analytical finding (AAF) concerning 6 athletes.

 

Details of the results:
 
Substances
Total number of tests
Number of negative tests
Number of AAFs
CERA
New version of the endurance-enhancing hormone
847
840
7
Insulin
Hormone that can enhance performance by influencing the glycogen metabolism
101
101
0
 
 
“The further analysis of the Beijing samples that we conducted should send a clear message that cheats can never assume that they have avoided detection,” said Arne Ljungqvist, Chairman of the IOC Medical Commission. “The vast majority of athletes do not seek an unfair advantage. We intend to do all we can to ensure that they have a fair environment for competition.”

 

In accordance with the IOC’s usual procedures, the IOC is notifying the athletes of any AAF through their National Olympic Committee (NOC).

 

Any necessary disciplinary procedures, including hearings, will be conducted based upon the IOC’s Anti-Doping Rules applicable to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Pending the decision by the IOC, appropriate steps can be taken by the relevant International Federation, in particular with respect to provisional suspension.

 

Due to the presumption of innocence, the IOC will not comment on any individual case.

 

Background Information
 
As part of its zero-tolerance policy against doping, the IOC is storing samples collected during the Olympic Games for eight years. This allows the IOC to analyse samples retroactively should new fully validated tests to detect new prohibited substances/methods become available.

 

The latest round of testing, which began in January, focused primarily on endurance events in cycling, rowing, swimming and athletics. The testing took advantage of improved technology to seek evidence of the prohibited use of CERA (equivalent to the intake of EPO) and insulin. Most of the work was conducted at the WADA-accredited laboratory in Lausanne, in close collaboration with the accredited labs in Paris and Cologne.

 

More details are provided below.

 

Substances
Tests
Laboratory
CERA
New version of the endurance-enhancing hormone
Blood test recently developed by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Paris and used to retest samples from the Tour de France
Paris/ Lausanne
Insulin
Hormone that can enhance performance by influencing the glycogen metabolism
Urine test recently perfected by the WADA-accredited laboratory in Cologne
Cologne

 

The further analysis effort builds on the approximately 4,770 doping tests that were conducted in Beijing as part of the largest ever testing programme for an Olympic Games. The tests included 3,801 urine and 969 blood tests. Urine tests included 817 EPO tests, and blood tests covered 471 human Growth Hormone (hGH) tests. All the tests covered the 29-day period from 27 July until 24 August 2008. Athletes qualified for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games were tested by the World Anti-Doping Agency and BOCOG under the authority of the IOC. As a general rule, all top five finishers, plus a further two, were tested.

 

###

 

 

IOC

Museums work with young people to tell Stories of the World

April 28th, 2009

Major museums and libraries across the UK are preparing to host an unprecendented exploration of the past using young people as curators, inspired by the 2012 Games.

London 2012

Cultural Olympiad 2010 announces first 20 projects – News Releases – Vancouver 2010

April 28th, 2009

Cultural Olympiad 2010 announces first 20 projects; tickets on sale now at www.vancouver2010.com/culturalolympiad

Vancouver, BC – An explosive love story set in a theatre of ice, a massive hand-painted mural on a downtown Vancouver landmark and a cutting-edge theatrical production by a Québécois visionary are among the exciting Canadian and international artistic works coming to Cultural Olympiad 2010 presented by Bell. With less than 300 days to go until the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, tickets and information for the first 20 projects are available at www.vancouver2010.com/culturalolympiad.

The 20 projects being announced today include works by Robert Lepage, Alberta Ballet, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. The third and final edition of the Cultural Olympiad festivals will start on January 22, 2010 and run throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games concluding on March 21. The extensive program will include more than 600 ticketed and free performances and exhibitions in 50 venues in Metro Vancouver and British Columbia’s Sea to Sky corridor.  

“With the incredible wealth of talent and outstanding value these shows have to offer, we expect them to sell out and encourage people to go online now and get their tickets,” said David Guscott, executive vice-president, celebrations and partnerships for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). “This is just the first installment of the hundreds of artists who will participate next year as part of the Cultural Olympiad 2010 lineup. In the coming months, we’ll add even more projects to our program with the support of the Government of Canada and the home provinces and territories of the performers.”

Burke Taylor, vice-president, culture and celebrations, added, “Cultural Olympiad 2010 is the culmination of a three-year program of developing new work, building partnerships with the national and international arts community and delivering outstanding festivals of arts and popular culture. VANOC has helped create a lasting artistic legacy that will live beyond 2010 by commissioning major projects, such as Robert Lepage’s The Blue Dragon/Le Dragon Bleu, Compagnie Marie Chouinard’s world premiere of a new work and an extended version of Joni Mitchell’s ballet The Fiddle and The Drum.”

Seven of the 20 projects announced today have been commissioned by VANOC or co-commissioned with Arts Partners in Creative Development, indicating a major investment in the arts in Canada. These new works highlight the innovative spirit and diverse character of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad – a diversity that stretches beyond the imagined boundaries of an artistic discipline, cultural tradition or geography. “The end result,” said Taylor, “is a global dialogue where artists and audiences can connect and embrace the creative spirit we all share.”

The first 20 projects of Cultural Olympiad 2010, featuring dancers, musicians, playwrights, and visual artists, are:

The Blue Dragon/Le Dragon Bleu – Robert Lepage

Quebec’s Robert Lepage continues his internationally celebrated imaginative and innovative stagecraft with this sequel to his acclaimed series The Dragons’ Trilogy, set in modern China. Co-commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

Moon Water – Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
Lauded worldwide for its innovation and grace, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan’s Moon Water is a contemporary exploration of Tai Chi Tao Yin movement, an ancient Chi Kung exercise, set to Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello. It will be the troupe’s first performance in Vancouver since 1997.

NiX
Canada’s first theatre of ice and snow comes to Lost Lake in Whistler. NiX follows an arsonist through the fireworks at the end of the world. It features a flaming tuba, snowman death scene and an explosive love story. Commissioned by Arts Partners in Creative Development.

Nunavut  – Kronos Quartet featuring Tanya Tagaq
Performed by Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet and featuring Inuit vocalist Tanya Tagaq, the centrepiece of Nunavut is Tundra Songs – a new work by Canadian composer Derek Charke that paints a mesmerizing Arctic soundscape.

Michael Lin: A Modest Veil
Taipei-based artist Michael Lin will create a massive mural covering the Vancouver Art Gallery’s northern facade using the patterns and exuberant colours found in traditional Taiwanese fabric designs and decorative art. It will mark the first presentation of his work in Canada.

Where the Blood Mixes – Playhouse Theatre Company
Emerging Canadian playwright Kevin Loring goes beneath the surface of the Aboriginal residential school system and celebrates its survivors. Co-commissioned by Arts Partners in Creative Development.

Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and The Drum – Alberta Ballet
This extended, full-length collaboration production of the dazzling ballet features four additional Joni Mitchell songs, illuminated by her latest artwork and the choreography of Alberta Ballet’s artistic director Jean Grand Maître. Commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Tickets on sale soon.

Laurie Anderson: Two Sided Plays
Renowned multimedia artist Laurie Anderson will premiere her newest work, a compelling series of 10, two-character plays in which Anderson plays both roles defined through the use of audio and visual effects and set design. Co-commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

Nevermore – Catalyst Theatre
Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, the great master of the macabre, this whimsical, chilling musical fairytale by Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre reveals the psychology of a man whose haunting writings continue to resonate.

Compagnie Marie Chouinard: World Premiere
This newly-commissioned group piece by Canada’s reigning queen of contemporary dance is based on the notion of time recaptured. For the first time, Marie Chouinard will create an accompanying vocal score. Co-commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

Nixon in China – Vancouver Opera
Vancouver Opera presents the Canadian premiere – and a new production – of John Adams’s modern masterpiece about U.S. President Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China. Canadian coloratura soprano Tracey Dahl, as Madame Mao, joins opera greats Robert Orth as Nixon and Alan Woodrow as Mao Tse-tung under the musical leadership of Maestro John DeMain who led the 1987 premiere of the opera.

Rain – Cirque Éloize
Montreal’s Cirque Éloize brings the wonder of childhood to vivid life in this amazing circus arts performance. The company expresses its innovative nature by combining circus arts with music, dance and theatre.

Mahler Symphony No. 8: Symphony of a Thousand – Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Maestro Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra will give a rare live performance of Mahler’s monumental masterpiece, featuring hundreds of musicians, eight vocal soloists and three choirs, including soprano Measha Brueggergosman, the Vancouver Bach Choir and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

Beyond Eden– Theatre Calgary
Written by Bruce Ruddell and starring John Mann, this spellbinding new rock musical was inspired by Wilson Duff and Bill Reid’s 1957 groundbreaking and controversial expedition to Haida Gwaii. Beyond Eden will have its world premiere during Cultural Olympiad 2010.

Elephant Wake – Globe Theatre
Globe Theatre’s production digs deep into the pain and anger of a man trying to come to terms with his own marginalized existence and the struggle to keep his culture, family and town relevant in Saskatchewan. Tickets on sale June 15, 2009.

Fear of Flight – Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland
This music and movement spectacle tracks 14 nervous passengers on a bumpy transcontinental flight. The production by Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland combines monologues, choral text and movement – all performed by an ensemble of singing travellers. Tickets on sale June 15, 2009.

Tear the Curtain! – Electric Company Theatre
Murder, mayhem and movies take centre stage in this stylish new thriller from Vancouver’s innovative Electric Company Theatre. Inspired by the true history of the Stanley Theatre, which opened as a movie house in 1930, this multimedia spectacle offers a new twist to the classic whodunit.

Kidd Pivot: Dark Matters
Created by Kidd Pivot artistic director Crystal Pite, this new work brings together six dancers for a moving exploration of human significance in the wake of catastrophe and planetary frailty. Co-commissioned by Arts Partners in Creative Development.

Juste pour Rire 2010
Three brilliant evenings of fun and laughter with la crème de la crème of Canada’s francophone comedians, the hottest emerging and internationally acclaimed artists on the scene today. Co-presented by Le Centre Culturel Francophone de Vancouver and the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Tickets on sale September 1, 2009.

Martha Wainwright and Jorane: Chanteuses modernes
Powerfully raw singer/songwriter Martha Wainwright and award-winning singer/cellist Jorane, known for her unique “cello rock,” weave their musical spell in an evening of emotionally frank and unforgettable songs. Tickets on sale June 12, 2009.

The full slate of Cultural Olympiad 2010 events, along with ticket information, will be available online at www.vancouver2010.com/culturalolympiad as soon as events are announced.

Background

About the Cultural Olympiad
The Cultural Olympiad, presented by Bell, is a series of multidisciplinary festivals and digital programs showcasing the best in Canadian and international arts and popular culture. Launched in 2008, the program culminates in the 60-day Cultural Olympiad 2010 (January 22 to March 21, 2010), which begins before and continues throughout the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Partnerships

Bell
Bell is proud to be a Premier National Partner, and the exclusive Telecommunications Partner to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and the presenting sponsor for the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Bell is Canada’s largest communications company, providing consumers and business with solutions to all their communications needs, including Bell Home phone local and long distance services, Bell Mobility and Solo Mobile wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell TV direct-to-home satellite and VDSL television, IP-broadband services and information and communications technology (ICT) services. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For information on Bell’s products and services, please visit www.bell.ca. For corporate information on BCE, please visit www.bce.ca.

Government
The Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad is grateful for the support of the Government of Canada and the governments of all of Canada’s provinces and territories and their respective cultural agencies: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon. In addition to the Cultural Olympiad’s government and corporate partners, CODE is proudly supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the National Film Board of Canada. New Media BC and Wavefront Innovation Society are also both active participants in the project. The National Presentation and Touring Program is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Arts Partners in Creative Development
Arts Partners in Creative Development (APCD) is a strategic investment partnership to assist BC arts and cultural organizations create and develop new works or further develop existing works, with the intent of producing, presenting or exhibiting them at the highest standard. Organizations can apply for funding to create, commission and develop original work in the performing, visual, media or literary arts. With an initial investment of .5 million over three years, APCD facilitates the creation and development of new work to showcase both locally and worldwide. APCD funding partners include VANOC, the Province of British Columbia, 2010 Legacies Now, the City of Vancouver, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Vancouver Foundation.

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 www.vancouver2010.com

Contact
If you are a member of the media, please contact mediarelations@vancouver2010.com

For all other inquiries, please contact info@vancouver2010.com

Vancouver 2010

Musueums work with young people to tell Stories of the World

April 28th, 2009

Major museums and libraries across the UK are preparing to host an unprecendented exploration of the past using young people as curators, inspired by the 2012 Games.

London 2012