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Snow Could Fall At Olympic Ceremonies


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Snow could fall at Olympic ceremonies

Organizer wants to bring outdoors inside

Clare Ogilvie, The Province

Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WHISTLER -- Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow -- in B.C. Place Stadium.

Organizers of the opening and closing ceremonies for Vancouver and Whistler's 2010 Games are looking at ways to make it snow inside the dome.

"There are a number of ways that we are going to have to bring the outdoors inside into the stadium," said David Atkins, executive producer of the ceremonies yesterday.

"I think there are some extraordinary opportunities -- audio-visually and in terms of sheer physical effects. I think to make it snow in that stadium is going to be not only unique but incredibly exciting for the audience," said Atkins at a Whistler Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Atkins said the stadium and resort will be linked during all ceremonies, including the medal presentations.

"There have been incredibly inventive and innovative ideas about how we can connect the two places in the course of the ceremony, but I can't tell you what they are, of course," he said.

Atkins said organizers will not try to out-dazzle Beijing's lavish ceremonies at the Summer Olympics.

"We can create a little pearl here, a gem, that will be more about spirit and the humanity of the Games than it will be about the spectacle of them."

"I think to a certain extent, scale has overcome the content, the form has overcome the content. The budgets for Athens and Beijing . . . are just staggering budgets and you have to question whether the final result was value for money."

VANOC's budget for the opening and closing ceremonies is $40 million. Athens, host of the 2004 Summer Games, spent $105 million. Beijing is expected to spend the same.

clareogilvie@telus.net

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Haha, David Atkins produced and boasted (not in a bad way though) how technically advanced and fantastical the uber expensive Doha 2006 ceremonies was - he is part of the *problem* (if u see it as a bad thing) that he is talking about here. Maybe he is really disappointed at the underwhelming ceremonies budget (in some peoples eyes).

I remember before Doha he was going on about how he will use technology that has never been used before, but he seems to be against all of that here. Strange.

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^ he's probably making the best out of the situation and venue.

With regards to the budget, $41-million is budgeted for the 2010 Opening/Closing Ceremonies. That's higher than Torino's ceremony budget, as well as Salt Lake and Sydney. I don't think you could really compare with the Athens and Beijing Summer Games ceremonies budgets of $100+ million....and I certainly don't think London will be spending that type of money.

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I guess he is.

I mean, the recent Winter Games ceremonies have not been all that high tech or expensive, much of the Salt Lake ceremonies budget was provided by donors after all.

The Athens ceremonies did cost bucket loads, true, however I don't think that meant that it was a cermony that lacked humanity. I dont want to start another discussion about the value of those ceremonies here, as it has happened here before.

But while the means to display the imagery was expensive, the imagery itself - I though, was extremely touching, emotive and simple. (ie: the image of a pregnant woman with a glowing belly walking in water is extremely simple but worked so well).

No idea on the Doha budget, I imagine it was big though, it was a pretty complex ceremony.

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Feds to kick in $20 million toward the 2010 Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies

Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun

Published: Friday, February 22, 2008

VANCOUVER - The federal government announced it will pay for half of the $40 million cost of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Games.

There was no hint that the government was considering boosting the amount of tax dollars it is putting into the Games until Friday, when David Emerson, the minister responsible for the Olympics, announced that an another $20 million - in addition to the $552 million it has already committed to the Games - would be handed over for ceremonies.

Emerson said the money doesn't come with strings attached, but will help ensure Canada is represented from coast to coast. Canada's linguistic duality and aboriginal communities will also be fairly represented, he said.

Emerson, who has been Olympics minister for two years, made the announcement during his first-ever tour of the headquarters of the Vancouver Organizing Committee.

All totalled, Vanoc has budgeted $58 million for ceremonies, including the nightly medal presentations. But of that, $40 million is for the opening and closing extravaganzas that are the hallmark of every Olympic Games.

Emerson said the new money is in addition to the government's previous committments for the construction of venues, and he didn't rule out Ottawa handing over more to Vanoc for other specific operational projects from time to time.

He said the money for the ceremonies had already been allocated in the current budget and didn't require further approval.

Vanoc CEO John Furlong welcomed the gift, saying it will help the organizing committee's bottom line. Asked if the ceremonies were facing financial difficulty without the infusion of more taxpayers' money, Furlong said no.

Vanoc is still raising funds for operations, and would have found the money elsewhere, he said.

The annnouncement comes days before the International Olympic Committee begins its' semi-annual inspection of its franchise. The Vancouver Coordination Commission's visit will also include the second visit to Vancouver by IOC President Jacques Rogge.

But it is also expected to attract at least two groups of disparate protesters as well; the usual small band of anti-Olympics and anti-poverty protesters who have become a minor irritant at Vanoc events, and a group of women ski jumpers who are trying to overturn an IOC decision to not include the event in the 2010 Games.

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It would be impossible to let snow fall inside a non-retractable roof stadium.

It's possible to let snow fall inside an indoor stadium....and it's not quite exactly snow. What they're proposing is probably bubbles.

With regards to today's $20 million announcement for the ceremonies....Shouldn't this mean that the federal government is adding another $20 million to the Ceremonies? Meaning that the budget for Opening/Closing is now $60 million?

last I recalled, the $40-million for Opening/Ceremony cost is being payed from the corporate sponsorship and tv rights revenues, which amounts to $1.7-billion. No taxpayer contribution was ever needed for any VANOC operational costs.

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It's possible to let snow fall inside an indoor stadium....and it's not quite exactly snow. What they're proposing is probably bubbles.

With regards to today's $20 million announcement for the ceremonies....Shouldn't this mean that the federal government is adding another $20 million to the Ceremonies? Meaning that the budget for Opening/Closing is now $60 million?

last I recalled, the $40-million for Opening/Ceremony cost is being payed from the corporate sponsorship and tv rights revenues, which amounts to $1.7-billion. No taxpayer contribution was ever needed for any VANOC operational costs.

You would think it would now be $60 million, but my understanding is they're simply saying "here, we'll cover $20 million of it for you" and that the budget remains at $40 million for the Opening and Closing (with $15ish million for medal ceremonies). Which makes little sense to me, because as you say, Ceremonies would've been covered by sponsorship money.

I suspect there might be a little more to this than just the Federal government being super generous. Perhaps VANOC was having trouble procuring funds? Perhaps part of the big plan for the ceremony needed to be paid for sooner than they had anticipated and hadn't found all the money for it? Who knows. VANOC said they didn't need the money and I'm inclined to believe them, but... it seems... odd.

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^ well if it's true that VANOC has issues with getting that money right now for the ceremonies, it's a shame that Ottawa didn't think of giving more than what VANOC needed/asked for.....or perhaps, the money they had anticipated for the Ceremonies will be coming later and would add on to the $40-million, exceeding the original budget.

I'm quite sure a $60-million budget would make Atkins quite happy. He has a lot to do and little to work with, considering the state and form of the venue BC Place.

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Ne rich families in Vancouver? lol/. Maybe they have someone like the Eckles family out there willing to shove a few Million towards the ceremonies budget. haha.

Having falling confetti would be effective as a snow like substitute. They kinda did that during part of the Melbourne 2006 closing ceremony and it looked good, likewise during the Auckland 1990 Closing Ceremony to be honest.

Like glitter kinda stuff.

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^ well if it's true that VANOC has issues with getting that money right now for the ceremonies, it's a shame that Ottawa didn't think of giving more than what VANOC needed/asked for.....or perhaps, the money they had anticipated for the Ceremonies will be coming later and would add on to the $40-million, exceeding the original budget.

I'm quite sure a $60-million budget would make Atkins quite happy. He has a lot to do and little to work with, considering the state and form of the venue BC Place.

Well, here's hoping this renovation project gets going ASAP then.

That said, I heard Atkins say yesterday he prefers the notion of an indoor ceremonies because it's a controlled environment. Now, obviously he's not going to say "jeez, I really wish I had an open air stadium, but I'll work with this I guess" but he expressed that he was "heartbroken" and having had two previous ceremonies canceled due to weather conditions. So it might be a blessing in disguise.

I am still nervous about an indoor ceremonies, but have faith in Atkins given his previous track record.

Now, if only they'd get on some cosmetic renos to the Coliseum, I'd be satisfied.

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Which makes little sense to me, because as you say, Ceremonies would've been covered by sponsorship money.

Uh-uh. The way LAOOC and Atlanta arrived at their Ceremonies budgets was the total (prospective) paid admissions for Opening and Closing Ceremonies. So that the combined gate receipts would COVER those 2 events.

mattygs wrote:

(ie: the image of a pregnant woman with a glowing belly walking in water is extremely simple but worked so well).

I always wondered about that. So what ATHOC was featuring was a woman f*cked by a mutant -- and that her child was radioactive even before it was born? :blink: That would make a very profound statement.

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  • 5 months later...

Some details:

Opening Ceremony: Day 1, Friday, February 12, 2010, 18:00–21:00 (BC Place and Whistler Olympic Celebration Plaza)

Closing Ceremony: Day 17, Sunday, February 28, 2010, 17:30–20:00 (BC Place and Whistler Olympic Celebration Plaza)

The Opening Ceremonies are scheduled to be 3 hours long and the Closing Ceremonies will be 2 hours and 30 minutes. Both ceremonies will simultaneously be at BC Place and Whistler Celebration Plaza.

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