Archive for July, 2009

Olympic Park venues set to take shape over coming year

July 27th, 2009

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has announced a new set of milestones, known as ‘the big build: structures’, to be achieved during the next phase of constructing the venues and infrastructure for the London 2012 Games.

London 2012

Three years to go and counting

July 26th, 2009

In exactly three years, the eyes of the world will be on London and the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

London 2012

First members of the public enter the Olympic Stadium

July 26th, 2009

London 2012 today welcomed 150 competition winners and their guests to the Olympic Stadium site for an exclusive preview of the construction progress made to date on the Olympic Stadium.

London 2012

Prince William helps to mark three years to go to the Games

July 25th, 2009

Prince William joined young homeless people to raise a London 2012 flag marking three years to go to the Olympic Games.

London 2012

London 2012 Open Weekend begins

July 24th, 2009

More than 750 events taking place across the country this weekend are part of London 2012 Open Weekend (24-26 July 2009).

London 2012

Limited edition ‘three years to go’ pin announced

July 24th, 2009

A limited edition London 2012 pin will go on sale to mark ‘three years to go’ to the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in 2012.

London 2012

London 2012 appoints ticketing services provider

July 23rd, 2009

London 2012 today announced that Ticketmaster has been appointed Official Ticketing Services Provider and will become a Tier 3 sponsor.

London 2012

Create your own 30-second digital vision of Canada with Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad Best of Canada CODE Remixes to be shown to the world on public screens at Games time – News Releases – Vancouver 2010

July 23rd, 2009

Vancouver, BC – The photographs of children playing in prairie grass are from a Saskatchewan woman, the words, superimposed on the sweeping blue sky, were written by a Quebec City teen and the music connecting them has an East Coast lilt.

Combine them and you have something wholly new, yet instantly familiar: a 30-second digital collage spliced together by Canadians like you through a brand new remix application making its debut today as part of Canada CODE at Canada CODE is part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad, presented by Bell.

“Canada CODE has broken new ground in the digital realm by giving Canadians an opportunity to creatively share with each other and the world,” explained Burke Taylor, vice-president, culture and celebrations, for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).”Our new remix application takes that potential to a whole new interactive level that’s designed to be as simple and inclusive as possible.”

“Canada CODE has also had the benefit of great support from our signature sponsor Bell and the National Film Board of Canada as we look to find new ways to involve Canadians,” he continued.

These Remixes are the next step in an invitation issued to Canadians earlier this spring by CODE, the Cultural Olympiad’s digital edition, to create an online portrait of the country. Since then, contributors from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador have uploaded photos and text to the website while thousands have viewed the content. By doing so, they have become a part of Canadian and Games history — the ambitious digital project is a first for the Games.

With the launch of the remix application, contributors can now create stories with each other’s content. A collection of these digital collages will be displayed on screens at Celebration Sites and venues during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.  

With the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) as a major collaborator, award-winning filmmakers Denys Arcand and Mina Shum, and legendary storyteller Roch Carrier are among those who share inspirational and practical tips to feed the creative spirit of Canada CODE contributors. To add to the mix, composer Dennis Burke used material from the NFB sound library to create over 30 musical soundscapes for contributors to use as audio tracks. The NFB tips can be viewed at

“With Canada CODE, Canadians can come out and show the world what we’re made of —  beyond those well-known images of imposing moose and snow-capped mountains,” said Rae Hull, director of CODE and originator of Canada CODE. “The remix application reflects a particular Canadian trait: getting together to make things happen. Through Canada CODE online and the Remixes on the big screens, we can show a little of that collective spirit to the world.”

How to use Canada CODE’s remix application

1.) After clicking through to Canada CODE from, launch the Explore button and you’ll find the Remix tab at the top. Use the cursor to select and drag a 30-second soundscape from the audio library into the mix zone.

2.) Select content, either your own or favourites from among the Canada CODE submissions, and drag them into the mix zone. The duration that you want content to appear on screen can be adjusted by pulling at the edges of each individual item.

3.) Text can stand on its own or be superimposed over a photo, Effects can be dragged in to alter the transitions between content and there are other available features to increase the creative possibilities.

4.) Submit your remix — it’s that easy and your digital creation could help welcome the world’s visitors to the Games in 2010. Submissions are welcome through to Games time.

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. CODE is the Cultural Olympiad’s digital edition, a series of programs developed to creatively engage national and global audiences through the use of digital technology.


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

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.

National Film Board of Canada
The world changes, our stories live on—that’s the National Film Board of Canada’s pledge to Canadians as it marks its 70th anniversary in 2009 with a new national online Screening Room and a slate of bold, innovative productions. Canada’s public film producer and distributor, the NFB produces and distributes social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, alternative drama and digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. In collaboration with its international partners and co-producers, the NFB is expanding the vocabulary of 21st century cinema and breaking new ground in form and content, through community filmmaking projects, cross-platform media, interactive cinema, stereoscopic animation—and more. Since the NFB’s founding in 1939, it has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To watch over 1,000 productions online or for more information, visit

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

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Vancouver 2010

VANOC and Architects Recognized for Leadership in Building Green Venues – Feature Stories – Vancouver 2010

July 22nd, 2009

Today the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) received the Excellence for Green Building award from the Globe Foundation and the World Green Building Council. The award — handed out during a ceremony at the newly constructed Trout Lake Arena — is in recognition of the Organizing Committee’s leadership in establishing green building criteria for the 2010 Winter Games venues. In addition, 15 architects who designed the venues also received awards of recognition for their excellence in green building practices.

Walter Francl is one of the leading venue architects to receive the award for work on the Trout Lake Arena, a figure skating training venue for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. His work there began approximately four years ago with several groups including the forward-thinking clients of the surrounding Trout Lake community and the Vancouver Park Board.

“They’re a very kind and giving community group that spends a lot of volunteer time organizing and fostering the recreational and social activities in the community,” says Francl. “The ability to deliver to them something that they really see as a big improvement and something that they, as a community, can be proud of is something that I take a lot of personal pleasure in. That’s the most satisfaction you can get in this profession. And there’s the fact that it happens to be related to the Olympics in some small way. That is nice as well.”

Francl says the biggest challenge in creating an environmentally low impact arena is exactly that: it is an arena. Ice rinks are essentially big refrigerators with a hungry appetite for energy and a producer of much excess heat. To alleviate the situation, the waste heat from the rink will be used to heat the soon-to-be-built swimming pool in the community centre next door. Francl is presently working on the plans for the new pool system and the community centre that will be revamped post-Games in 2010.

Sound Solutions

Much of the careful planning included tearing down the old arena structure and using the already existing footprint as the foundation for the new arena in the bog-like geology. Not only was it an environmentally sound solution, but more cost prudent also. And you wouldn’t know it by looking at it, but the wood beams spanning the ceiling inside the building come from salvaged trees that were blown down during wind storms in Vancouver’s Stanley Park almost three years ago.
For Francl, a building’s environmental footprint is a big responsibility, and as wisely as you can steward that consumption, the better you are.

“We are all responsible for what we consume and all that we do not consume, and what we leave to future generations,” says Francl. “That’s the attitude we take in our building style.”

British Columbia — World’s Greenest Olympic District

Dan Doyle of VANOC (L) and Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Village architect,
Roger Bayley (R). (VANOC photo)

VANOC and its venue partners, such as the City of Vancouver, Resort Municipality of Whistler and the City of Richmond, shared the commitment to find innovation solutions to deliver the 2010 Winter Games venues as environmentally friendly structures that the venue communities would be proud of. Following through on the bid commitment for the Games, every new venue is built to a minimum silver rating of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building standard. Not only that, but by design, green buildings have operational efficiencies that make the buildings cheaper for the community to operate as a legacy in the long term.

The venue program wasn’t possible without the support from VANOC’s government partners —the 0 million venue construction budget for the Games is equally funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

Mitigating Environmental Impacts

Canada and BC’s investment in the 2010 venue construction program also includes some overseeing of the Games environmental assessment process. Aside from construction, each Vancouver 2010 competition venue has undergone some level of environmental assessment to conserve natural environments to manage, mitigate and offset negative impacts. The Ministry of Canadian Heritage and the Province of BC’s Environmental Assessment Office have been working with VANOC and its venue partners to ensure environmental impacts for many of the key Games venues have been assessed, and plans are in place so impacts can be managed from the start of construction until the venues are decommissioned many years later. Visit the environmental assessment page at to learn more about the environmental assessment process for the venues.

Powering the Venues with Minimal Carbon Impact

The power for the 2010 Winter Games will have little to no net carbon impact. BC Hydro will provide clean power for the Games, which means carbon dioxide emissions from power generation for the venues will be reduced close to zero net carbon emissions, the lowest level yet for an Olympic Winter Games.

About the Award

Award recipients. (VANOC photo)

The award for Excellence in Green Building Practices is a one-time award being presented to architects in the form of a handcrafted parallam clock. Vancouver woodworker David Gilmore was commissioned to create the clock, which is made from salvaged British Columbia wood. Representatives from the following architectural firms received awards in connection with 2010 Winter Games venues: Walter Francl Architecture, Acton Ostry Architects, Hughes Condon Marler Architects, Nick Milkovich Architects, Merrick Architecture, GBL Architects Group, IBI/HB Architects, DA Architects + Planners, MCM Partnership, LMN Architects, Cannon Design, CJP Architects, Stantec, Hottson Bakker Boniface Haden architects + urbanistes, and Burrowes Huggins Architects.

Vancouver 2010

Two gold medals for the Bird’s Nest in Beijing

July 22nd, 2009
Almost one year after the event, medals are still being awarded for the Beijing Games. Three of its state-of-the-art venues have been awarded two gold medals and a bronze medal, respectively, at the 2009 IOC/IAKS Awards (IAKS: International Association for Sport and Leisure Facilities), as well as two International Paralympic Committee (IPC)/IAKS Distinctions. And the big winner is the Olympic stadium in Beijing, better known worldwide as the “Bird’s Nest”, which took the  gold medal in the “Stadia” category and the IPC/IAKS Distinction for Accessibility for its outstanding facilities for athletes and spectators with a disability. The National Aquatics Centre, also known as the Water Cube, took the other gold, while the Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Centre was given bronze.


Creating a lasting environmental legacy
Architecture contributes to the success of the Olympic Games and, by extension, to the creation of a sustainable sporting, city and cultural legacy which benefits the community, region, host country and city, and, ideally, other countries. A report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) entitled “Beijing 2008 Olympic Games – Final Environmental Assessment” concludes that the Beijing Games marked a step forward in terms of eco-friendly mass-spectator sporting events. The Beijing Games significantly raised the bar of incorporating sustainability in planning, design and construction principles for Olympic venues.  In close partnership with UNEP, Beijing’s Green Olympics Commitment was achieved through its action for environmental technologies, policies, ozone layer protection, and the promotion of environmental education and awareness, among others. The UNEP report also said the Olympic Games accelerated the introduction of energy-efficient infrastructure in Beijing, and the Games’ showcasing of best practices in clean energy and energy efficiency “provided a basis for the organisers of other mass events to learn from”.


Sport, a source of inspiration for architecture
Beside the competition itself and the achievements of the athletes, sport can also be home to human ingenuity and creativity. There are great examples of Olympic venues that demonstrate how sport can inspire architects to create fascinating constructions, where technical innovation meets creative imagination. Indeed, sports facilities are no longer just landmarks in a city but have also become historic places, real works of art, that one can visit and whose names resonate worldwide thanks to the genius of the architect and engineers behind them. In Beijing, a conscious choice was made to choose spectacular designs that would undoubtedly become international architecture icons, such as the Bird’s Nest and the National Aquatics Centre.


Record number of entries
The IOC/IAKS Award is the only international architecture competition for sports and leisure activities. After 20 years of existence, in 2009 this competition set a new participation record, with 117 teams of operators and designers from 26 countries. This reflects the increasing awareness of how quality sports facilities can be constructed and served as the best catalyst to regenerate and develop sport and sports-related leisure activities in the world. It also highlights the importance of sports and leisure facilities for human enjoyment, health and education, and reiterates that the best sports facilities should be made available in the sports world. For the IPC/IAKS Distinction, 54 entries were received – also a new all-time high. The international jury included, beside IAKS representatives, architects, engineers, landscape designers and sports scientists, including IOC member Ching-Kuo Wu, an architect by training.
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