My first posts about the Vancouver 2010 Olympics was in November of 2007 although I’ve been following the lead up to the Games ever since I heard the IOC announcement of “Vancouver” for 2010 from my desk in Boston back in 2003.
Can you believe it’s actually here? I wrote a tweet this morning that simply said, “Welcome to probably your biggest day ever, Vancouver.” My husband woke up even more excited than a child on Christmas morning.
After watching the torch relay come through a crowd of thousands on Georgia Street we headed over to the countdown clock in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. It reads, “Day 0000”. This is it. The Olympics are here.
A small group of colleagues stood in front of the clock and cheered, “Go Canada!” as their photo was taken. Within seconds more people joined in their photo. Complete strangers stood arm and arm to pose for another photo, together. Soon enough it became one massive photo opportunity with all participants chanting young and old chanting, “Go Canada!”.
To say I’m excited is an understatement and I told my husband already that I’m going to cry during the opening ceremony. The world’s eyes are now on my city and I’m lucky enough to be right smack dab in the middle of it all.
Across the city rounds of “O! Canada” are being sung and I’ve heard it at least twice already here at Robson Square. All I have to say is, Go Canada Go!
This is it, one of the biggest days ever in the history of Vancouver is upon us as the 2010 Olympic Winter Games kick off this evening. With the mysterious opening ceremony tonight at BC Place (including performances and the lighting of the torch) everyone wants to make sure they can catch the action.
Here are a few options for catching the opening ceremony:
Live television coverage starts at 4:00pm on CTV and it will also be streamed online on the CTV Olympics site.
As the official radio station of the Games, News1130 will stream live audio from tonight’s ceremony on air and on their website starting at 6:00pm.
On the big screens at LiveCity Yaletown they’ll be playing the opening ceremony from all Winter Games since Calgary 1988. At 5:30pm they’ll have a pre-show for Vancouver before the main event begins at 6:00pm. The first 1,000 people through the gates will get a pair of red mittens.
In Surrey they’ll have the opening ceremony on the big screens as well at 6:00pm and then fireworks at 9:00pm.
The Richmond O Zone will have live video coverage at 6:00pm and fireworks at 9:00pm.
ValleyFest in Lynn Valley will have live video coverage from 6:00pm as well.
Whether you’re at home, with friends, or at a public site, I have a feeling the entire Province, nation and maybe a big chunk of the world will have their eyes, hearts, and spirits focused on Vancouver tonight.
The Expression Wall
The digital Expression Wall is for anyone to colour, write, and create using an infrared marker.
Home of the Future
“A showcase for the latest in home conservation, from smart appliances and a solar garage housing a plug-in vehicle to a green wall and hybrid water heater.”
Featuring the Sustainable Dance Floor, an interactive floor that lights up the more you dance on it. “From Sustainable Dance Club, a company headquartered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. It generates its own power by translating the vertical movement of the floor into electricity. If you’ve ever been to a dance club, you know how much the floor moves when a popular song comes on.”
Chevrolet’s electric vehicle, the Volt, is also on display at the pavilion. I had the chance to ride in it the other morning and it was pretty amazing.
There will be daily dance lessons (from salsa to swing) and all out dance marathons for those who just want to get down and light up the floor. The Power Smart theatre will be showing daily Games coverage, there’s a featured Paralympic Games showcase, and a mobile conservation lab to teach you the ins and outs of saving electricity.
Re-Tweet the following text (1 entry)
Enter to win Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey tickets from @Miss604 & @PowerSmartBC http://bit.ly/a5VPCJ #van2010
You can combine A, B, and C for 4 entries or just enter individually however you choose. I’ll calculate all the entries and I’ll do a live draw at the Power Smart Village at 10:00am on Saturday February 20th at the Club Energy dance floor. Contest will close at noon Friday February 19th so that I have time to put all the entries together for the draw.
Update February 16, 2010 The re-tweet tracking system (Tweetmeme) only archives tweets for 7 days. Since the contest runs for 8 days, do not be alarmed if you see your original/early entry no longer on the re-tweet list. I have already archived the first 6 days so no entries will be lost at all.
Update February 19, 2010 The contest closed at 12:00pm today and all entries (by Flickr, Twitter or comment) were received. I will compile all participants into one master spreadsheet list and do the draw tomorrow morning from the Power Smart Pavilion at 10:30am. Feel free to stop by for the draw as the winner will have to collect their tickets from there regardless.
Update February 20, 2010 I have to stay close to home this morning so I’ll post video of the draw online at 10:30am so all can see the draw.
Update February 20, 2010 I did the draw this morning and recorded a video of the process. Unfortunately the sound didn’t work but to avoid a re-draw here is the video anyway:
Thanks to my mom for helping me compile all 1405 entries that came in through Flickr, Twitter and comments. Also, thank you to everyone for entering and sharing some awesome tips. Congratulations to @WayneRacine on Twitter. Wayne, you have 24 hours to confirm your prize and I have sent you a Direct Message about this.
Fine print: Tickets are for the 12:00pm semi-final game on February 26, 2010. Commenters must enter a valid email address and confirm within 24 hours of notification that they can use their prize. Twitter users will also have 24 hours to confirm their winnings and will be notified by “@” or direct message. Tickets can be picked up from the Power Smart Village with valid government ID. Ticket may not be used in any other contests. If the winner cannot attend another name will be drawn.
Known to many as the “O! Canada Horns” the Heritage Horns that sound from atop Canada Place everyday at noon are a lunchtime staple for Vancouverites. Just as the Nine O’clock Gun in Stanley Park sounds the start of prime-time television, the 4 notes of our national anthem sounded by the Heritage Horns announce the rumbling of bellies hungry for their lunch break from work.
The horns weren’t always at Canada Place, they used to be on the top of the BC Hydro building (now condos) on the corner of Nelson and Burrard. I learned that much from my friend Laura and discovered a bit more with the help of the Spirit of Vancouver website:
The 10-cast aluminum horns point out towards the harbour and sound their notes every 12 noon.
The Heritage Horns were built as a BC Hydro Canadian Centennial project in 1967 and were designed by engineer and sound specialist, Robert Swanson.
They sounded every high noon for 20 years at Burrard and Nelson before moving out.
When BC Hydro vacated the building in the 1990s, the horns fell silent. Shortly thereafter, a permanent home was found at Canada Place.
Canada Place Corporation acquired and refurbished the horns, and placed them on the roof of the Pan Pacific Hotel.
On November 8 of 1994, the familiar sounding of the horns returned to Vancouver at noon.
As a special treat for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, the Heritage Horns will sound every time a Canadian wins a medal. For 16 days they will support our athletes and sound out the victory across Vancouver.
“At 115 decibels, ‘O Canada’ won’t be missed. The horns can be heard throughout downtown, on the North Shore, and sometimes, even a little beyond,” explains Robyn McVicker, Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Canada Place Corporation. “We are all proud Canadians, and Canada Place will be the orchestrator signaling a time for all of us to celebrate our great nation and our athletes who have worked so hard to represent Canada.”
In the midst of all the Olympic excitement there are two special days being recognized in Vancouver on February 14th. The first is the Chinese New Year Celebration, and the next is Valentine’s Day. Here’s a quick roundup of events taking place on Sunday that you can enjoy.
Richmond O Zone
When: February 14th from 12:00pm (concerts & fireworks)
Where: Richmond O Zone – Minoru Park
More info: Richmond O Zone
Chinese New Year at Plaza of Nations
When: February 14th from 3:00pm (120 different shopping, food & drink vendors)
Where: Edgewater Casino Celebration Village (Plaza of Nations)
More info: Edgewater Casino
Chinese New Year Parade
When: February 14th from 9:30am until 11:00am (Year of the Tiger festivities)
Where: Starting at Millennium Gate at Pender St and onto Chinatown
More info: Chinese Benevolent Association or About
When: February 14th from 6:00pm (featuring Silk Road)
Where: LiveCity Yaletown – David Lam Park
More info: LiveCity
Valentine’s Day at House of Switzerland Canada
When: February 14th from 11:45am until 1:00pm (chocolate contest)
Where: House of Switzerland Canada – Bridges Restaurant on Granville Island
More info: House of Switzerland
Molson Canadian Hockey House
When: February 14th from 8:00pm until 9:00pm (concerts & events)
Where: Molson Canadian Hockey House at Concord Pacific
Cost: Will require a pass for the Hockey House
More info: Molson Canadian Hockey House
Mountain View Cemetery
When: February 14th at 2:00 pm (with a lantern walk at 4:00pm)
Where: Mountain View Cemetery – 5455 Fraser Street
More info: Mountainview Cemetery
LunarFest 2010 Lantern-Making and Lantern Procession
When: February 14th from 12:00pm until 8:00pm (lantern procession at 7:15pm)
Where: Granville Pedestrian Corridor (between Georgia & Robson)
Surrey House – Chinese Parade
When: February 13th from 12:00pm (thanks to Gary for the tip)
Where: Surrey’s Celebration Site – Holland Park
More info: Surrey 2010
If you have a community event you would like to highlight on this list, please feel free to leave information in the comments or contact me.