Published: February 9th 2010February 9th 2010
Countdown Clock All Aglow with 5 Days to Go!
Olympic & Paralympic Clock in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, next to Robson Square is a magnet for Olympic enthusiasts.
With 3 days to go before the cauldron is lit and the 21st Winter Games open in Vancouver, we're so excited, we can hardly wait for the Games to begin! Excitement is finally in the air, not just in our heads. Red mitten clad Vancouverites are jumping on the Olympic bandwagon as the Olympic Torch Relay winds its way around Metro Vancouver. The Travelling Canucks, all aglow, have been busy getting a head start on the 17-day long party since it will be over before we know it. Here's what we've been up to: Ice Lights
Vancouver City Hall's new permanent outdoor light installation titled Ice Lights, designed by German artist Gunda Förster, features large LED strips throwing an icy glow onto each of the Art Deco building’s four terraces. Since the lights cascade for one minute, every time the clock strikes the hour, we headed down to 12th & Cambie for 8pm on Wednesday, February 3rd to see the spectacle. Ice Lights is one of the most spectacular permanent public artworks that are part of Vancouver's Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program. Olympic and Paralympic Flags
After watching the Ice Lights glow, we took photos of
Flying high at Vancouver City Hall.
the Olympic and Paralympic flags that have been flying at Vancouver City Hall for the past three years. It's unbelievable to think that Vancouver will be hosting the 21st Winter Games in 3 days and we will soon be handing over the flags to Sochi, Russia, the next host city of the Winter Games in 2014. Vectorial Elevation
On Thursday, February 4th, 20 robotic searchlights lining Sunset Beach and Vanier Park started illuminating the skies over English Bay. Vectorial Elevation is an interactive public art installation that allows internet users from around the world to design light shows that will transform Vancouver’s skyline until February 28th.
Using a virtual model of Vancouver, participants can design “light sculptures” by angling 20 robotic searchlights located along English Bay every night from dusk to dawn that can be seen as far away as 15 kilometres. A personal webpage is automatically created for each participant, documenting his or her virtual contribution with views from 4 project webcams. The installation, considered one of the world’s largest interactive artworks, was conceived by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and is part of CODE, the Cultural Olympiad’s Digital Edition. Diamond Gala
On Thursday, February 4th, Papa
Matt Bell, Jewellery Designer
Diamond Gala at Canada's Northern House
Canuck attended Rare in Nature, a high-end fashion and jewellery show. This invitation-only event capped off the week at Canada's Northern House, which showcased the diamond mining industry from early exploration through to the production, marketing of the final end product. Matt Bell of Voda Design, one of the top local jewellery designers featured at the event, showcased his collection that wowed the crowd. Furs, diamonds and arctic cuisine made for a truly Northern Canadian experience. House of Switzerland
On Friday, February 5th, we attended the opening of the House of Switzerland. The pavilion, located at Bridges Restaurant on Granville Island, was buzzing with excitement. Everyone had a great time eating fondue, Swiss meats & cheeses, and drinking beer. Globi, the Swiss mascot, greeted visitors, and Swiss pins, Lindt chocolates, Riccola, and Dar-Vida crackers were flowing like the good times! 2010 VanFan Walkabout
On Saturday, February 6th, we joined a group of 2010 VanFans to walkabout the north shore of False Creek. It was a sunny, warm Vancouver day. We enjoyed peeking into the celebration sites and seeing Vancouver's streets crowded with athletes, visitors and locals. Not only were the views of the city and venues spectacular, there
at Vancouver City Hall.
is an air of excitment that is pulpable. We started our tour at Livecity Yaletown, walked along the seawall to the Edgewater Celebration Village and Concord Pacific Celebration site. After taking shots of the Athletes Village and Sochi 2014 House at Science World, we took the SkyTrain back to The Olympic Superstore where the crowds of shoppers was incredible. With Olympic fever on the rise, we headed to Doolin's Irish pub for refreshments and good times with fellow bloggers and Olympic volunteers. Thanks to Andrea, 2010VanFan, we enjoyed another memorable experience. Casa Italia
On Sunday, February 7th, we attended the opening day of Casa Italia. Located in the historic Roundhouse Community Centre near the Yaletown Livecity Site at David Lam Park, it opens daily from noon to 6pm until February 28th. Unfortunately, Italian wine tasting and food are only for invited guests. The public venue features a Freddy store and other exhibits that, unfortunately, are lacking in Italian flair. What the pavilion is lacking in exhibits is made up by its charming Italian hosts who we chatted with for about an hour. Hopefully, scheduled events will liven-up Casa Italia over the Olympics.
Vancouver’s Public Art Program
Light installation where 20 robotic searchlights are designed via the internet.
are more than 20 public artworks to be found around the city funded by the $5.95million Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program. The diverse projects range from the grand light-based work at Vancouver City Hall, Ice Lights, and sculptural installations at iconic landmarks, to celebratory works in the heart of Vancouver’s communities, including:
• Aerodynamic Forms in Space, Georgia Street Entrance to Stanley Park
• Walk In/Here You Are, Vancouver Central Library—North Plaza
• The Words Don’t Fit The Picture, Vancouver Central Library—South Plaza
• Vancouver Vancouver Vancouver: Boulevard, Hamilton Street; Mainland Street; Cambie Street
• Garde-temps, Under Cambie Street Bridge
• Sensory Maps of Vancouver, Various bus shelters
• Monument for East Vancouver, Clark Drive & East 6th Avenue
• Kingsway Luminaires, Kingsway at Knight Street
• Every Letter In The Alphabet, 1875 Powell Street
• The Birds, Southeast False Creek Olympic Plaza
• Bright Light, Downtown Eastside
• A Modest Veil, Vancouver Art Gallery
• CUE : Artists’ Videos, Vancouver Art Gallery
• Spindle Whorls, Hillcrest Park
• Salish North Star, 1 Athletes Way
• Sacredness of Four, Trout Lake Rink
• Bright Futures, Killarney Rink & Community Centre
• Chief Dan George Welcome Pole, Pacific Coliseum
All Wrapped Up
Wraps bearing Vancouver 2010’s graphic designs, Canadian winter athletes
and corporate partner's logos have been applied to privately and publicly owned architectural structures in the Greater Vancouver area and the Sea to Sky Highway corridor. The most impressive wraps can be seen in downtown Vancouver, near Olympic venues, and at the Vancouver International Airport. There are wraps on vehicular approaches in Vancouver and Whistler and on VANOC cars, vans, and buses.
CTV has long had their building wrap up. The Hudson's Bay Company in Downtown Vancouver was one of the first wraps where the entire exterior of the building has huge posters between the neoclassical columns. 3M Canada, an Official Supplier to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, has been busy supplying building and vehicle wraps which have been installed since January. A couple of years ago, they even wrapped three of British Columbia’s newest ferries, 160 metre ‘Super C-class’ passenger ferries, with giant images of the Games and the Province of BC at the German shipyard so the ferries could promote the Games on their journey to BC waters. Where the Wraps Are!
Downtown Building Wraps:
• TD Tower on the corner of West Georgia and Howe Street - Samsung
• Royal Bank, a 37-story skyscraper built in
Largest Wrap in the World
42,000 square metres on 37 floor RBC Tower
the 1970's, is the site of the biggest wrap in the world at 42,000 square feet.
• Hudson's Bay Company's flagship store is where Visa’s Go World is graphically depicted on one of Vancouver’s heritage buildings.
• Largest Canadian Flag in the world is wrapped around the property once the Georgia Hotel.
• CTV Network's studios at corner of Burrard and Robson Street.
• Canada Hockey Place
Richmond Building Wraps:
• Richmond Oval
• Air Canada Hangar
• YVR Airport Terminal
Around Metro Vancouver:
• GM Dealerships, 14 locations in total.
• PetroCanada gas stations.
Preparations and Primping
Power washers are in overdrive, gardeners are landscaping in January, white tents are popping up around venues, sidewalks and fences, banner and flag hangers are busy dressing the city, concrete barriers and fencing are encircling venues, and security cameras are watching!
New hotels and existing ones are putting the finishing touches before 250,000 visitors arrive to attend the Winter Games. With new restaurants being launched, pavilions featuring international cuisine and favourite restaurants sprucing up in time for the Olympics, there will be lots of culinary experiences to enjoy! New dishes are being created in kitchens and cocktails are being concocted in the bars!
With cityscapes changing
before our eyes as familiar buildings are being transformed, the backdrop will not only promote the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and corporate sponsors, locals and visitors are being wowed by the colours and graphics around every corner! Olympic tourism is not just about attending sporting events, it's the entire Olympic experience! The latest surprise is yesterday's conversion of the Pacific Centre Mall entrance on West Georgia Street to the biggest igloo in the world! Watch for our next blog about Vancouver's Gold Medal Plates. The Travelling Canucks will be recommending some of Vancouver's finest dining experiences, our favorite restaurants and cafes! Find out what makes Vancouver one of the top culinary destinations for foodies, gourmets and restaurant goers alike!
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