Left Coast By Design

Tag: Olympics (page 2 of 3)

Richmond Olympic Torch Relay Celebration

As I mentioned yesterday, the Olympic Torch Relay was passing through Richmond and I wanted to be part of it. Ideally, I would have wanted to see the torch in Steveston, but unfortunately work got in the way so I was left with attending the celebration itself at the Richmond O Zone.

And a celebration it was!

Richmond City Hall

Richmond City Hall Decked Out in Red

OZone Banners

Richmond O Zone Banners

Richmond City Hall is completely decked out in red maple leaves, red banners, red signage. Being a proud Richmondite, let alone a super proud Canadian, I’m completely stoked that the community is getting behind the Olympic movement.

Inniskillin Ice Wine Sculpture

Inniskillin Ice Wine was Flowin’

Olympic Ice Wall

Olympic Ice Gate

Inniskillin was front and centre providing tastings of it’s commemorative icewine designed especially for the 2010 Winter Games. I wasn’t able to score a taste as I was more concerned on getting a great spot to see the celebration, but having followed them on twitter, I discovered they would be present in the Richmond O Zone throughout the games. I also found out their parent company Vincor Canada was the official sponsor of wine for the Olympics:

To celebrate the 2010 Winter Games, Vincor Canada, Official Supplier of Wine, has created the exclusive Inniskillin Vidal Icewine Commemorative Edition. With a portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold supporting the Canadian Olympic Team and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, there is no better way to honor our athletes and celebrate the best that Canada has to offer.

It’s also important to note that the Ice Gate was made possible through the sponsorship of Inniskillin. Designed by artist Gord Halloran (a Sunshine Coast resident for those keeping score), the Ice Gate is a frozen canvas of ice and colour which will continue to change and evolve throughout the Winter Games. I highly recommend that you all take a look at this magnificent piece of artwork – you should also follow Vincor Canada (@2010Wines on twitter to keep up-to-date on other locations they will be visiting.

Torch Relay Celebration Stage - Before

Just a Few People

Over 20,000 people found their way into the Richmond O Zone and even more outside lined the street as Rick Hansen carried the torch to the community cauldron on the stage. I was fortunate enough to get there early and acquire what turned out to be a great spot to get some video (best footage is about 2 mins in):

I also caught footage of Rick talking about the importance of achieving your dreams – a very stirring speech that revived memories I have of his return from the Man in Motion tour. Having got my eyes slightly moistened, the following rendition of Oh Canada ensured that tears of pride flowed freely (something I’ll also have online sooner than later).

And what would any post about the Richmond O Zone be without pictures of Holland Heineken House?

Entrance to Holland Heineken House

Entrance to Holland Heineken House

Holland Heineken House

Me Thinks Orange is the Colour

Holland Heineken House will serve as the official home to to the Dutch sporting world for the duration of the 2010 Winter Games. Having converted Minoru Arenas in Richmond, Holland Heineken House will have a strong presence within the Richmond O Zone by inviting what will likely be a sea of orange to celebrate what it is to be Dutch. There will be medal ceremonies to celebrate the success of Dutch athletes, restaurants serving Dutch food, music from Dutch DJs, and of course, lots and lots of Heineken. I definitely plan to check it out once it opens – although I may need to become a Dutch citizen as those who can flash the passport will get some serious VIP treatment.

Bike from Holland Heineken House

Dutch Bike at Richmond O Zone

After having a fantastic time, I was amused to see one of the many bikes (400 to be exacty) that have been brought by Holland Heineken House. Free to use by anyone who wishes to go for a ride, I’ve actually seen them in action already as the many people who have been working behind the scenes at HHH have used them to get around town.

If you want to see more a few more pictures I took while at the event, feel free to check out my flickr stream. And for more info on the Richmond O Zone, follow them on twitter (@RichmondOZone).

Olympic Torch in Richmond

© VANOC/COVAN

If you haven’t heard, the Olympic Torch is making it’s way through Richmond later today.

Arriving around 5:00p after going through the Massey Tunnel (no word if the counterflow lane will be used), the torch will pass through Richmond winding through the city from Ironwood all the way to Richmond City Centre. With the torch passed to different relay runners every 300 metres, there will be scheduled celebration stops at South Arm, Steveston, West Richmond and Thompson Community Centres before it finds it’s way to the hands of Rick Hansen in the Richmond O Zone (if you’re interested in the exact route, head here).

Once there, the party will begin to get amped up with the lighting of the community cauldron and fireworks. But if you are like me, and arrive earlier than the torch itself, you’ll be able to enjoy entertainment from the Richmond Orchestra and Chorus Association, Delhi 2 Dublin, Shanna Lynn, Danielle Hebert and Freshh (these kids can sure dance!). There will also be roving entertainers to keep everyone happy until the big event.

Normally I’d shy away from events like these, but it’s not every day that the Olympic Torch passes through your city. So if you have time on your hands, and happen to be passing through Richmond, why not join me by stopping by and getting your party on?

Richmond Revealed

If you have been watching CTV over the past week or so, you may have seen an ad talking about Richmond Revealed and it having something to do with introducing the City of Richmond to the world. Living in Richmond, and not hearing of this before, I did a little digging over at the City of Richmond website:

Richmond Revealed will offer an unparalleled series of visual spectacles to introduce Richmond, BC, Canada to the world during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Richmond Revealed will offer an unparalleled series of visual spectacles to introduce Richmond, BC, Canada to the world during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

From what I can determine, the spectacles and events will range from agriculture, technology, transportation, the arts and sustainability – stretching from a giant display of cranberries on the Fraser River outside of the Richmond Olympic Oval to a Dragon Dance at the Richmond O Zone. Each aspect will reinforce who the particular genre helped shape the City of Richmond and how it continues to shape it today.

100 Years of Powered Flight – Aviation Spectacle
Little do people know, but the first powered aircraft flight in Western Canada took place in Richmond at the what was then the Minoru Racetrack (now Minoru Oval – home of the O Zone). And today, flight still has a strong presence in the city with the location of the Vancouver International Aiport and the BCIT Aerospace Technology campus on Sea Island, so it’s ideal that such a spectacle be included.

Martin Mars Water Bomber – courtesy of TailspinT

Although different events will be held throughout the city, the largest (and I mean largest) component has to be the arrival of a Martin Mars Water Bomber. The Martin Mars (of which only two remain in use – both based out of Sproat Lake outside Port Alberni, BC) has a wingspan of over 200 feet and was originally designed to act as a flying boat and bomber during the Second World War. Having been converted to fight fires, the Martin Mars can carry over 27000L of water. It will be based off of Garry Point Park in Steveston on February 23 & 24 for those that wish to check it out.

Celebrating life in Steveston Village

Steveston Pier on Canada Day

Steveston Pier on Canada Day

In what started as a small fishing village, Steveston is now a vibrant community onto itself yet still maintains the largest commercial fishing fleet in Canada. It boasts fantastic restaurants, galleries, and services while maintaining it’s connection to the water. If seafood is your thing, you can either go to a restaurant to eat or pick something up at the pier to cook at home (unfortunately, seafood is not MY thing). Or if you would rather watch life in the water, there are both whale and eco-tours run on a regular basis from the village as well. Steveston also boats two different National Historic sites in the Gulf of Georgia Cannery and Britannia Heritage Shipyard for those that want to learn about it’s past. With strong ties to the Japanese community, Steveston has “adopted” the Japanese Speed Skating Team.

Asia’s legendary supernatural creature visits Richmond for Chinese New Year: The long and short of it

Temple – courtesy of Magalie L’Abbé

If you have been to Richmond, you understand the strong connection the city has to Asian cultures. Whether you have shopped at one of it’s many Asian malls, eaten any number of restaurants, or visited the Asian temples located on Steveston Highway or No. 5 Rd (which happens to be locally called the “highway to heaven”), you appreciate this understanding even more.

Over 40% of the population in Richmond is of Chinese descent, which happens to be the largest proportion of all Canadian cities. It is this diverse cultural base which contributes towards Richmond’s status as a cosmopolitan city. Furthermore, there is a legend that the City of Richmond is considered to be a pearl at the mouth of the Fraser River that attracts the dragon, which in turn brings luck to those who live here.

So it’s of no surprise that on February 14, to introduce the Chinese New Year, a spectacular double dragon dance accompanied by a large tai-chi performance will take place. The dragon will be one of the largest and longest to be seen in North America, something which should bring luck to all those that see it.

Transportation Spectacle

Inukshuk

Container Inukshuk – courtesy of Stephen Rees

Located on the corner of Alderbridge Way & Gilbert Road is a giant Inukshuk built from various shipping containers. Standing at nearly 6 stories high, the arms of the giant Inukshuk point towards both the Richmond Olympic Oval and Richmond City Centre. Celebrating both the Olympics and the importance of one aspect of the transportation industry to Richmond, it stands as a welcome figure to one of the many doors to the city.

Whether it is Vancouver International Airport, the Port of Vancouver’s multi-modal shipping facility, or the fact that the city is only a short distance to the US border, transportation has always been a large part Richmond’s history. Beyond this, many different companies and organizations related to transportation such as UPS, BC Ferries Maintenance, Fraser Wharves, and several aeronautical firms call Richmond home. Another highlight is a room-sized model of the Canadarm which will be available to be seen at the Richmond O Zone.

Agricultural Spectacle

Cranberry Olympic Logo – City of Richmond

How many cranberries does it take to create a massive floating tribute to the Canada Olympic Logo? Give or take 13 million.

If you didn’t already know, Richmond happens to be the largest producer of cranberries in Canada, so it’s fitting that this spectacle represent how agriculture shaped and continues to shape Richmond as a community. Beyond this tribute, which will be floating in front of the Richmond Olympic Oval, the water fixtures at Richmond City Hall will also contain cranberries – fitting considering their colour!

So I urge you all to swing by my neck of the woods and check out Richmond Revealed. If you think you need a hint as to where to start first, drop me a line. Richmond has so much to offer and I hope you come out to learn more about this great community that I love living in.

Vectorial Elevation

If you haven’t heard of Vectorial Elevation, simply look towards the sky above the entrance to False Creek on English Bay and you’ll see a series of spotlights dancing throughout the sky (I can see them reflecting off the cloud ceiling from Steveston for some perspective).

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer "Vectorial Elevation"; Vancouver 2010

Vectorial Elevation – courtesy of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

First appearing during the Millennium Celebrations in Mexico City, Vectorial Elevation will illuminate the sky for the duration of the Winter Olympics as part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad Digital Edition (AKA Canada CODE):

Vectorial Elevation includes a virtual model of Vancouver where you are able to design “light sculptures” with 20 robotic searchlights located along English Bay. Once you are happy with your design you submit it together with your name, location and dedication or comments. Every night from dusk to dawn new designs are quietly rendered sequentially as they are added to a queue. The project automatically creates a personal webpage for each participant, documenting his or her contribution with views from 4 project webcams. With a 15 Km visibility radius, the installation intends to blend the virtual space of the Internet with one of the most emblematic public spaces in Vancouver.

The display in Vancouver will be the largest yet, using 20 Xenon 10kW robotic searchlight, and also aims to be carbon neutral (power is supplied by BC Hydro through renewable energy sources and carbon offsets will also be used to ensure zero impact).

I have yet to take it for a spin with my own creation, but you all know I will. Where else will I ever have the opportunity to create one of the largest artistic structures ever?

A Gift In Time For Christmas

When I arrived home on Friday, I was pleasantly surprised to find a Purolator envelope with my name on it. I was further pleased to find the following inside.

My 2010 Tickets

My Tickets to Vancouver 2010

Yes, my tickets to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics had arrived.

When the first ticket lottery was held, I threw my name into the hat for a number of events. I figured it made sense that I try for some speed skating at the Richmond Oval, living in Richmond and all. I also tried to score some figure skating tickets for Marnie. And what true blooded Canadian would pass up on the opportunity to take in either curling or hockey? So I asked for some of those too. All in all, I had pretty much set myself up to be flat broke had my boat come in and all the events I bid on come my way.

But once the lottery was held, all I ended up scoring on was two pair of tickets to a Men’s and Women’s curling draw. I was still excited to be going to an Olympic event and all, but kind of let down that all I was able to get were 4 tickets to an event only I would enjoy (lets just say that Marnie ain’t the biggest curling fan). I was also able to breathe a sigh of relief that my credit card was not incinerated by Olympic ticket costs, so all-in-all things were okay.

Then there was that secondary release of tickets. Now armed with an event schedule which listed participating nations, I figured it was worth my while to try and score a hockey ticket or two and placed myself in the virtual waiting room. Once through the doors, I began a methodical search for Canadian Men’s and Women’s hockey tickets starting with the Gold Medal game and downward. As my search went on, it became more and more apparent that the tickets were gone. But when I took a look at the Canada vs. Switzerland Men’s Hockey game on 18Feb I found a couple available – the rest being history.

Since buying them, I’ve had friends offer me vast sums of money for the hockey tickets on what should be guaranteed win night for Canada. And each time I receive an offer, I turn it down – I’m going to an Olympic Men’s Hockey game and Canada is playing, no way I can pass that opportunity up.

So were you as lucky as I was? Are you going to any Olympic events? Or will be you watching the games on TV?

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