It seems all the naysayers completely didn't understand what it is that they saw. They got caught up in the hype that the OC are all about one-upsmanship. When it is supposed to be about telling the story of your country through music and performance art. Canada took it back to that. What it is supposed to be.
Beijing: To compare Friday night's ceremonies to Beijing's is very inappropriate. China has a population of 2 billion people, and is communist ruled in most parts. To have thousands of people at a time in perfect unison is a proper representation. Beijing's OC had a cast of over 15,000. They went big, and we are not going to see an OC that big for a long time.
Canada is a big country, with a small population. For this, a smaller amount of people, and a empty space was important in representing our country. Beijing's population is 3-4 million less than ALL of Canada put together. Our biggest segment was the "Rhythms of the Fall", with only 300 people in it.
The story line (for the cultural):
It took me a few viewings to figure it out, it didn't fully make sense to me until the final dress rehearsal on Wednesday. (I was one of the performers).
What you saw, was Canada being discovered, and built. We start in the North, the first place discovered and explored by the Europeans. We then move into the "Sacred Grove" (the forest scene). This represents Ontario & Quebec (or Upper and Lower Canada), which are heavily forested provinces, and the first places settled by the English and the French. We move out towards Atlantic Canada which developed next, and still to this day has a heavy Celtic and Scottish influence. We then move into the Prairies, which was next on the path of settlement and discovery. Minimalism set the tone here, which represented Saskatchewan's vast space as the young Prairie boy floated across the wheat fields. A prairie type storm moves in turning into a blizzard causing the mountains of British Columbia to form. We get close to our Olympic destination, and thus, a tribute to winter sports. The mountain falls as if you were flying in from the east, exposing the coastal city of Vancouver. The poem "We are more" along with the maple leaf in red fire represents the unity of Canada. The poem is something that speaks to Canadians, and gives foreigners a glimpse into the mind of a Canadian.
Glitches and misses:
I'm not going to discus ones that weren't obvious. It's a shame about the cauldron. The pause while people attempted to rectify the problem was too much for most people and killed the energy. It still looked fine to me. It looked fairly industrial to me. And anyone who has traveled around in Vancouver knows there's a lot of industrial business here.
O Canada: WORST rendition of our anthem I have ever had to tolerate! The premise behind a national anthem is to have a simple melody to which you don't need to be a singer of any caliber to be able to sing it. In the OC, the anthem is supposed to sound special, dramatic, epic, beautiful, and drawn out, as the raising of the flag is supposed to be a very emotional part for the host nation. Canada's was a little too long, and the singer put way too much pop-style embellishment on the melody, fucking up the anthem for everyone. As a Canadian I felt very hurt, and embarrassed by the presentation of our national anthem. Torino 2006 was the best rendition of an anthem in the OC I've ever heard/seen.