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147 days to go – The BC Showcase!

September 17, 2009

Alright, well, first off, I’m not entirely clear if this is ‘BC House’ or not.  I don’t think that it is.  However it is a wonderful facility in downtown Vancouver that is designed to promote business in British Columbia.  It has been set up by the 2010 Commerce Centre, a part of the BC Olympic and Paralympic Games Secretariat as a venue to further BC’s economic development.

A photo of the ''ulti-media' space in the BC Showcase

A photo of the 'multi-media' space in the BC Showcase.

Why am I writing about the BC Showcase?  Well, I got an email the other day asking if I would be willing to volunteer to help host events here.  I had already been reading about the BC Showcase (some pre-research for a post here) and it seemed like a great opportunity to continue to develop my involvement with the Games as well as to check out this fantastic venue.  I am so glad that I agreed!  It is really a beautiful facility and by the sounds of it it is just going to improve!

The 'hosting' space with the Spirit Ceiling.

The 'hosting' space with the Spirit Ceiling.

The BC Showcase is at Robson Square in downtown Vancouver, down the steps under Robson Street, right beside the newly revamped skating rink that will be called the GE Ice Plaza (in winter, the GE Plaza when there’s no ice).  This was a pretty major undertaking from my understanding.  They lengthened the rink by about 20 metres.  The glass geodesic domes at street level where replaced and fancied up (they’re very pretty).  All sorts of lighting was installed and most importantly a coolable surface was installed for the rink.  I have been told that they will make ice in November, and except for a short period of time anticipate having ice on it until April, no matter the weather we get in Vancouver!  (Foolishly, I did not take a picture while I was there this evening.  It is recently uncovered from most of the construction that’s been going on and I can’t find a photo of what it looks like now.  I will try to take one and post it tomorrow, but here is a ‘before’ picture).  Anyhow, I’m looking forward to going skating!!

Before picture of Robson Square (the link takes you to where I found the photo).

Before picture of Robson Square (pre-geodesic dome) The link takes you to where I found the photo.

Back to the BC Showcase.  It is composed of two main spaces.  The northern part is the ‘multi-media’ space.  It has a lot of large screens for displaying information on BC, or on specific topics.  It has a BC Explorer in it (a cool interactive media do-hickey that lets you ‘fly’ through British Columbia!).  It has internet stations, touch screen information panels and ‘story’ information on BC.  They can also project images and video onto the external windows, which looked really cool!  The first thing you really see when you walk into this portion of the BC Showcase are carved cedar doors which originally were hung at the British Columbia – Canada House at Torino 2006!  They were carved by local Squamish artist Aaron Nelson-Moody and are beautiful.

The other half of the BC Showcase is the ‘hosting’ area.  This area is set up more for meetings and mingling.  There are two high-definition screens for presentations here.  There is also a ‘kitchen’ facility for caterers to stage food.  The counter around the kitchen is copper (copper supplied by Teck) with nephrite jade panelling below (jade supplied by Jade West).  (I apologise for not being able to mention all of the participants and suppliers for the BC Showcase, as there are a lot, but look here for more information on all of the companies involved.)  The ceiling is really spectacular.  It is called the Spirit Ceiling and is in both spaces.  It is composed of pieces of wood donated from communities all over the Province of British Columbia that have been hung as partially finished planks, to really show off the wood!  Beautiful!!

The two areas are connected by a corridor which is currently quite plain.  However, I have been told that it is about to get a makeover in a big way and will be interactive with people as they pass through it!  Sounds intriguing!  I’m looking forward to seeing it all finished!

So who will use the BC Showcase??  Well, the Province of British Columbia, through the 2010 Commerce Centre and the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Secretariat will make it available to BC communities, industry associations, economic development agencies, Vancouver 2010 Games sponsors and partners and other organizations to further BC’s economic development.  It sounds like the schedule is booking up fast, and that it will be a hopping and happening place during the Games!

For me, I am looking forward to working more with the really great people of the 2010 Commerce Centre and the Winter Games Secretariat, as well as to meeting those that use the facility.  I think I am going to learn a lot and hope that I have something to offer to the facility over the next few months.

If you find yourself downtown… stop by Robson Square and check out the new rink and facilities!  It’s looking gorgeous!  Also you should stop and peer in the windows (or at the window displays) a bit at the BC Showcase, or better yet, find yourself an invite inside (I will certainly let you know if I hear of any open events).

Thank you, merci!  Bonsoir, good night!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2009 11:36 am

    I was on the phone this morning with Bette at the BC Secretariat talking about volunteer opportunities. She told me about your blog post but didn’t get a chance to email it out yet. I was so excited to read it that I did some internet sleuthing and found it myself. Great post ! I’ll be volunteering too in the future so maybe we’ll meet face to face one day.

  2. Lorraine Yao permalink
    September 21, 2009 12:49 am

    Hey Andrea, thank you again for all your help at our recent events, it was much appreciated.

    It was great working with you and im sure ill be seeing you at the BC Showcase again 🙂

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