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65 days to go – Bonjour Montreal!

December 9, 2009

I had really hoped to get some writing done on the flight from Vancouver to Montreal.  I didn’t.  I did get some work done, but other than that I napped!  And I had hoped to feel energetic enough to get lots written as the countdown clock clicked over to 65 days, but I didn’t then either as I was still quite sleepy.  Once I got to Montreal I managed to check into my hotel, find some dinner, avoid hurting myself on the icy sidewalks (I had only seen clear sidewalks as I arrived so I wore heels to dinner, not all of the sidewalks were clear of ice!), and then crash in my hotel.  Ah well.

So I don’t even have much to say about Montreal yet as I have still only just arrived, but I’m sure that will change by my next post!  But that’s okay because there are always lots of things to talk about lately!  We’re only 65 days away, and besides that, Christmas is closing in quick as well!

*     *     *     *     *

As I mentioned yesterday, I met with a woman named Kerstin who is helping to organise the German Olympic House in Vancouver, called Deutsches Haus Vancouver.  We had a really great time talking about all of the things that she is doing, as well as just talking about Vancouver 2010 in general.

As I discussed quite a while ago, Deutsches Haus Vancouver 2010 is actually going to comprise two locations, one in Vancouver at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre Campus in downtown Vancouver and the other at the Nicklaus North Golf Club in Whistler.  While each of the Haus’s will host athletes, their friends and families, and the sponsors of the German Olympic Team, they will have some slightly different functions from each other as well.

The larger Haus will be in Vancouver and is the site Kerstin is helping to organise.  It will have lounges, a sports bar, press facilities for interviews, facilities for ARD and ZDF (German television stations) to broadcast from, as well as some facilities to help promote Munich‘s bid for the 2018 Winter Games.  Whistler’s Haus will be smaller, predominantly because it is harder to house people in Whistler than in Vancouver.  The Haus will still offer the German athletes a chance to relax with their friends and family and it will have smaller facilities for the television stations.  It is being hosted along with the Bayern Tourismus (Bavarian Tourism association, again promoting Munich 2018) and the „Kufenstüberl“ which is, if I remember and translate correctly, essentially the House of the bobsledders and sliders at the Olympics.  The Whistler Haus will remain open for the Paralympics, as most medals will be awarded up there but the Vancouver Haus will close after the Olympics.

Now, unfortunately for the public, the two German Haus’s are private areas where only athletes, their invited friends and family, sponsors, and Olympic and Paralympic Committee members can go.  Even the press is restricted to certain areas.  But really, this does make sense to me.  I would think it is essential for these athletes to be able to have some peace and quiet, something I don’t think there is a lot of at these sorts of events… But that’s okay!  The German’s want all of us to have fun, so at this Olympics they’re going to host the German Fan Fest!!

There aren’t a lot of details yet… but the German Fan Fest is being held in the parking lot between Steamworks and the Rail Station in downtown Vancouver (I’ll be updating my map in the next few days).  It’s going to host a 600 person pavilion that will be open from February 11th to the 28th, from 10am to 2am!  And of course, the German Fan Fest will be featuring German food, drink and music!  I really hope I can make it down!!  And I really hope that Munich wins its bid for the 2018 Games!  My brother lives in Munich now and it would be great to attend Olympics in two of our ‘Home’ cities!!

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A quick mention, as I really don’t have any details yet… Coca-Cola is releasing a ’60 days to go’ pin on Monday, December 14th (I think that day is right…).  There is supposed to be some sort of event happening with the Coca-Cola Happiness Cafe and the Olympic Superstore, but as I’ve said, I don’t know any details, but I’ll try to find out really soon!  However, if you know what’s up… send in a comment and let us all know!  Thanks!

*     *     *     *     *

Alrighty, well, I need to go explore Montreal (and maybe find some nice winter boots!).  So I’ll finish off with details on how you could win an HBC Mascot pin.

There are two ways to enter to win one of these pins!  The first way is right here on my blog!  To enter to win one of four pins available from the blog:

1. Comment on this post, or any post between now and the evening of Friday, December 11th.

2. In your comment include a story or memory about the Hudson’s Bay Company.  If you don’t have a Hudson’s Bay Company story or memory of your own, how about let us know some interesting tidbit about the company, such as why the wool blankets are called Point blankets and what the points stand for!

The second way to enter is to be a member of the 2010vanfan Facebook Group (just search for 2010vanfan and then join to be eligible to win).  By joining the group you will get daily notices on what I have posted on!  All members will be entered to win one of two pins!

I have to say – I love, love, love the stories that have been entered so far!  Good thing I am not offering to judge them because it would be really hard!  Though I’m most partial to Krystal’s so far, as I was part of it.  The Bay downtown Vancouver really is an amazing old building with lots of secrets and forgotten features!  Did anyone ever eat there while it had a five-star restaurant?  I’d love to hear about that!

OK – I’m going exploring, adventuring and reporting now (hmm… maybe I’ll find something to video…).  Talk to you all again soon!

23 Comments leave one →
  1. Aaron Philipson permalink
    December 9, 2009 6:13 am

    Great post on Montreal, stay warm..

  2. December 9, 2009 6:54 am

    I got my uniform last night!

    • 2010vanfan permalink
      December 10, 2009 7:28 am

      Hilarious!! I love the video and can’t wait to get my own uniform… next week I think! So exciting! Thanks for sharing the link! Looks like you like your uniform!

  3. Jo-Anne permalink
    December 9, 2009 12:28 pm

    Ah, The Hudson’s Bay Company. I started my first job in retail at HBC in northen Manitoba – Leaf Rapids, North of the ’56th. It was their second store (1973 or 74) to open in that area, the first being in Lynn Lake, a few miles farther north. I worked in the camera department and I may be dating myself but all we carried for product were rolls of film for that style of camera (the name escapes me right now) and Polaroids (& we had trouble stocking the film for them). You would remember some of that gear having a professional in the family. Those were some of the best times, Xmas really felt like Xmas in the frozen north. The point blanket has to do with the weight and size of the blanket. Wish I still had mine, they never wear out but God only knows where it is now. Maybe keeping someone warm in the Great White North.

  4. Lam Pat permalink
    December 9, 2009 3:57 pm

    I think they are going to have some kind of Coca Cola Pins trading event happening at the Olympic store soon. I saw a poster about that when I was there last time but I did not remember the dates exactly. Will have to check it out next time I’m there


  5. Sarah Poirier permalink
    December 10, 2009 12:28 am

    The Bay doesn’t bring back a huge number of memories, possibly because until I was about ten, I got The Bay and Sears mixed up. (But I also called Lafleur’s (thought I would make it topical since you’re in Montreal now) McFleur’s as well, so I was obviosuly a very impressionable and confused child.) I remember when I was little though, around Christmas time (and I’m sure it was the Bay this time because we never went to Sears around Christmas time; I just got to pick presents out of the catalogue), my parents would always take my sister and me to the mall near where we grew up. There was an HBC store there, and we got to go into it (I’m convinced it was because my dad liked looking at the TVs). And while there, my mum would always take us to the Christmas section, and I remember thinking how grand a Christmas section it was, and how it always made me feel small and how everything sparkled. And each me and my sister got to pick out one ornament each (anything we wanted!) to buy and take home to put on our tree. And I’m sure most of them are still on there now, and will be for years to come. I rather miss that tradition we used to have!

  6. Shawn d permalink
    December 10, 2009 4:54 am

    A little did you know: Hudson’s Bay Company produced its first catalogue in 1881

  7. Mihnea C permalink
    December 10, 2009 8:14 am

    Not too many memories about HBC except the fact that I used to stay away from the store because of high prices and difficulty of finding someone to help you. I do see that things are being improved upon which is good.

    To add something interesting to my reply, did you know that “The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson’s Bay” was once the largest landowner in the world?

  8. Katie W permalink
    December 10, 2009 1:02 pm

    An interesting tidbit about HBC: Fort Langley was established in 1827 as the first HBC post on the coast of BC.

  9. Rob Sims permalink
    December 10, 2009 7:30 pm

    No real lively HBC store memories so I’ll go with HBC trivia/tidbits, lol… the first HBC department store opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1881… meanwhile, sorry to say but, strangely enough the HBC is actually owned by an American, Jerry Zucker. Please enter me for the pin Andrea.

  10. December 10, 2009 10:07 pm

    Winnipeg used to be the headquarters for Hudson’s Bay Company, when the head offices moved from London, England in 1970 (HQs moved to Toronto in 1977). The building they used is now the headquarters for The North West Company (this one being the spin-off of the Bay Northern stores, and now also includes Giant Tiger stores in Western Canada).

  11. December 11, 2009 9:29 am

    Thanks for sharing your emotional trip to see part of the Torch Run and the lighting of the Flame in Montreal. My husband had entered my name for the
    run but alas I was not lucky enough to be chosen. Your blog gave me a little
    bit of what the feeling would have been like; I thank you. Before I sign off I’d
    like to say how disappointed I am when I see the pins that are given to the torch
    bearers appear on ebay. If I had been chosen I would never have parted with
    them but shared them with my family. Have a safe trip home and may these
    memories last you a lifetime.

  12. Sandy W permalink
    December 11, 2009 3:57 pm

    The original 6 Hbc department stores are in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.

  13. December 11, 2009 9:02 pm

    Being an Olympic Pin Collector, I’ve spent lots of time in the Bay lately. They’re one of the only places you can get Vancouver 2010 retail pins. I have visited all of the Ottawa locations, but the one I keep coming back to is the Bay in the Rideau Centre downtown. The Olympic section of that store is like my second home. I’ve been there right at opening and in the dark after closing. This year I bought almost all my Christmas gifts there, I’ve even gotten to know a few salesmen/women. I was very dissapointed last summer when I had exacusted their entire selection of pins, but was overjoyed this October when the got a bunch of new ones in. I have sent several e-mails to HBC asking for their sponsor pins, but have never received anything. Please enter me for the pin, I’d really like it! You can check out my own blog “Cohen’s Olympic Collectibles” at

  14. Lorna Stubbs permalink
    October 24, 2010 5:43 pm

    I’ve always loved shopping at the higher- end department stores; Both The Bay and Eatons. My mom used to take me to both as a child. We always went to the downtown locations. I live in Winnipeg. The Downtown Bay Location was such a big store; Eight or nine floors to shop from. I used to love going to the Paddlewheel Reastaurant. Now, as an adult, I’m a regular shopper in their basement grocery store. Although lately, I haven’t been able to do any shopping there because they’re renovating. I hear that when they’re finished there will be a Zellers store located within the Downtown Bay. I can’t wait!!! Two of my favourite stores in one location!!! What more could you ask for, and just before christmas too!!!


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