Vancouver buildings show their Olympic spirit

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I really like this. I know there are pockets of serious, principled resistance to the Olympics in Vancouver, but I don’t see the Games as the “evil” that some do. Never have really. I have lived and experienced one Olympics as a resident, when I was going to university in Oslo, Norway, and this has had a profound effect on my life. There was opposition there too, but when the Olympics finally began, a remarkable transformation began in the country. It was genuine and it was incredibly uplifting. I’ll never forget it.


I’m hoping that something similar happens in Vancouver, because the city deserves it, and so do so many of us who are going through hardship because of the recession. This extends to so many in the arts community and all the other social profit sector workers who have been hit so hard by the short-sighted Campbell cuts. I know many blame the Olympics for our problems, but I don’t buy it. These economic issues are much bigger than the cost of an Olympics. What we’re seeing is the unfortunate convergence of several issues at once, and we have to resist conflating issues that don’t belong together. It is not the Olympics that are costing the social sector workers in British Columbia. It’s the foolish economic moves made by a government that doesn’t have the intellectual capital to value its own civil society well enough.

Anyway, back to some of the first signs that the Olympics are going bold and public. If a city is going to hold an Olympic Games, do it with a big heart and invite the world in. Hopefully this is just a start:

Photograph by: Jenelle Schneider, Vancouver Sun
Photograph by: Jenelle Schneider, Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER — Expect huge Olympic images on about 10 Vancouver buildings before the 2010 Games begin next year, with another 20 to 30 smaller Olympic-themed visual projects on pavilions, hospitality centres and retail outlets.

That was the estimate Wednesday from City of Vancouver Olympic operations director Paul Henderson as the Bay building at Georgia and Granville officially unveils its new Olympic look with a series of five-metre-by-16-metre banners decorating the historic building’s exterior.

The city had earlier planned to restrict the installation of 2010 building murals and graphic designs until Jan. 1, 2010, but relaxed the rules to allow them as early as Thursday.

Read the rest of the article here.

One thought on “Vancouver buildings show their Olympic spirit

    Cindi said:
    November 23, 2009 at 12:47 AM

    I very much agree with you on this, and I hope you are right about people responding to the magic that is the Olympic games. It’s not everyone who is fortunate enough to experience the games in their lifetime, and we should appreciate the opportunity.

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