Last night we attended the Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay celebration in Prince George. I don’t want to give away too many details as the crew of 250+ is currently on the road to the Lower Mainland. What I can say is that this traveling act that have been going for about 4 solid months sure can get a community pumped.
About an hour before the Olympic Torch came into the venue to light to local cauldron a Coca-Cola truck was making its way through town pumping beats and announcing the arrival of the flame. Standing along the street corner the flame was passed from torch to torch as it winded through the streets of Prince George.
At the exhibition grounds the RBC and Coca-Cola teas setup camp. The emcee on stage compared their production to a circus as the caravan rolls into town one night, sets up the big top, then cruises on out.
There was a ceremony as the flame entered the grounds and was walked on stage. The final torch runner of this leg was Alix Wells, who got to light the cauldron.
Premier Campbell, who is traveling with the group, said a few words as did VANOC CEO John Furlong (who used to live in Prince George) and other local delegates.
At every stop along the Torch Relay the same song is performed but by community children and youth choirs. After a bit more fanfare, stops at the swag booths, and photos taken at the BC You Gotta Be Here display, the crowd was dazzled with a fireworks show. The spectacle that this group puts on within 24 hours of rolling into a city is impressive.
Torch bearers milled about through the crowd with their families and were all treated like white track-suit wearing rock stars. There is a nice assortment of activities for kids, plenty of community involvement, and lots of pumped up music.
To find out more about the community Torch Relay celebration in your area you can check your city’s main website or browse this post I put together with a big event and location listing.
Yesterday I hopped a flight up to Prince George as a guest of Northern BC Tourism to check out the Olympic Torch Relay as it passes through along with some of the seasonal activities the region has to offer.
One of our first stops was over at the Outdoor Ice Oval. A crisp, slick rink located in a bowl next to the exhibition grounds.
This community rink is open to the public 7 days a week for families, skaters, kids and clubs. I’m not sure where the hot chocolate came from but it was a very nice touch.
We showed up as the local speedskating club is practicing, and lucky for us, members of the Prince George Blizzards were willing to give us a skating tip or two.
I learned the difference between short and long track skates, the proper positioning, and also that Kris Krug is probably the only person I know who could pull off the ‘leather chaps with speedskates’ look.
Facilities like this rely on community support (and that honour system) and they have recently invested quite a bit into keeping the Oval up and running. This includes getting better mechanisms in place to get the ice frozen and now there’s even have a Zamboni to surface the ice.
All of this care and dedication has certainly paid off. For a community rink it’s not only huge but it has also built its own community around it. You can stop by for a skate, take the stroller with you, practice your skills, or sit on the sidelines with a cup of hot chocolate.
Parents, children, and recreational users converge in this chilly oasis as giggles, mix with the sound of blade metal slicing the ice, quick and clean. The Oval seems like a fantastic place to get exercise, spend time with family, or hone your skating skills.
Update: Kris has his photos up on Flickr – they’re pretty amazing except I don’t think I have the correct speedskating posture quite right…
I’m currently up “North” (and by North I mean but half way up our lovely province of BC) to take part in some Olympic Torch Relay celebrations in the city of Prince George.
The itinerary is full of winter-time activities, from speed skating to dog sledding, so I won’t have much time to post today. As such, I thought I would offer up the latest photos that have been submitted to the Miss604.com Flickr Group. This week’s theme is night scenes.
As always, please be sure to click on the images to explore more fabulous snaps from these talented photographers.
Back in November I was at the launch of the ABSOLUT Vodka Vancouver-themed bottle. Aside from featuring a logo created by a BC artist, a portion of sales from each bottle are also going to fund a public art project in the city.
Over the last few months the public have been voting on their favourite project proposal and the five finalists have been announced.
Project: Absolut City of Glass
Shrapnel Design, Considered and Scott Roberts
Project: The Vancouver Outdoor Art Gallery
Project: The Cheaper Show
David John Suggitt
Project: Daily Time Lapse
Project: Inner Analogue
Visit the ABSOLUT Vancouver Art contest page to view all the entries and vote on the one you would most like to see in our city. Voting is open until March 16th, 2010 (limit 1 vote per person/email address during the voting period). The winner will have $120,000 to then fund their art project courtesy of ABSOLUT Vodka.
With the arrival of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in just over two weeks many are already aware of the disruption to traffic patterns around the City. However, there will also be changes to local services such as parks and recreation programs.
In order to be better prepared, here is a rundown of impacts on local public parks and programs coming this February (via the Vancouver Parks Board).
Coal Harbour Community Centre
Impact: Full closure
Date: January 1 – March 31
Notes: Some programs will move to West End Community Centre. Continue reading this post 〉〉