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164 days to go – Surrey a Venue City! I didn’t know that…

August 31, 2009

And that goes to show you learn something new every day.

Surrey Venue City logo

Surrey Venue City logo

I know that Vancouver is the ‘Host City ‘for the Olympics, and that Richmond and West Vancouver both get the  ‘Venue City’ designation, and that Whistler is the ‘Host Mountain Resort’ (a first in Winter Olympic history), but I hadn’t heard anything about Surrey, and I feel bad about that!  So sorry Surrey, I’d like to make it up to you by talking about your involvement today.

Turns out that Surrey is hosting the ‘Games Preparation Centre’.  It opened in February this year and will remain open until after the Games.  The GPC will be servicing workforce needs for the Games including acting as a recruitment and casting area for Ceremonies participants, a general recruitment and training area for volunteers from the Fraser Valley and other parts of British Columbia, a processing and recruitment area for short-term temporary Games staff, and a Volunteer Drop-In centre providing information and resources.  That’s quite a big job!!

Games Preparation Centre artistic drawing

Games Preparation Centre artistic drawing

The GPC is a new facility built and outfitted by the City of Surrey.  When the Games are over it will become a multi-purpose facility for Surrey residents.  Besides the GPC, the City of Surrey contributed $2 million to the staging of Vancouver 2010.  As a Venue City Surrey will get several benefits, these include: use of the Vancouver 2010 Venue City logo, getting to host several cultural events through the Cultural Olympiad (which will be a post in itself one day), and it will play a key role in the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relay events.  It is being built (was built?) at the corner of West Whalley Ring Road and 107 Avenue, a block from the Gateway Skytrain Station.

Games Preparation Centre under construction

Games Preparation Centre under construction

My biggest question about the GPC?  Is it actually finished yet?  I looked for photos of the Centre and found artist’s drawings from before it was built and construction photos.  Ah… in a corporate report to Surrey Mayor & Council dated May 15, 2009 from the General Manager, Parks, Recreation and Culture, it appears that the 7,000 square foot phase 1 portion of the project that houses the GPC is complete, but that the remaining 13,000 square feet of the facility will be completed this fall.  The report also recommends naming the facility the “Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre” after the Winter Games, to honour Mr. Chuck Bailey, a well-regarded member of the Whalley community and baseball scene who passed away in 2008.

I think what this all means is I need to take a Skytrain trip out to Whalley to check out the facility, and maybe take some photos of my own.  I’m pretty impressed that Surrey has gone to such an effort to be involved.  It looks like their hard work and determination will serve the community well.

Don’t forget, the Women’s Hockey Canada Cup is on this week in Vancouver!  There were two games today: the 3pm the world champion USA vs. Finland, Finland won 3-2! and the 7:30pm game Canada vs. Sweden and Canada won 7-0!!!  The Swedish goalie, Kim Martin, did stop 41 shots but the Canadians were relentless!  Get your tickets from Ticketmaster and get out there and support our team!  We’re off to a great start!  Good luck to all the players!

Thank you and merci for reading!

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