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17 days 17.5 hours to go – New houses, art and planning for the Games

January 26, 2010

Somehow I keep thinking there will be a slow day, only a few little things to post about… then I give my head a shake and remind myself that there are only 17 days until the Opening Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and it is just going to get busier each and every day and I know that Games-time will be something that I truly cannot imagine right now.  Anyway, I think I started this little commentary to warn you that this evening’s post will be long.  But hopefully informative!

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As in Budweiser.  Club Bud apparently hosted some pretty great parties in Torino and Beijing and now they’re bringing the party to the Commodore Ballroom on Granville Street.   They are hosting five parties during the Games:

  • Friday, February 19; Burton Party
  • Saturday, February 20; NHL® Party
  • Thursday, February 25; Budweiser Party
  • Friday, February 26; Under Armour Party
  • Saturday, February 27; lululemon athletica Party

The Club Bud parties are essentially private, as they are geared towards athletes and celebrities, giving them the chance to “party in style”.  Heck, there’s even going to be a red carpet for these parties!  However, a couple of lucky fans may win the chance to Crash the Parties.  You must be ready, willing and able to tweet, tweet photos, blog, Facebook and more to have the best chance of crashing this party.  Interested?  Look for details here.

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The Slovakians are moving into the Vancity Theatre on Seymour Street to a venue they’re calling the Slovak Representative House.  Here’s what the Slovakians have to say:

“SRH will be the meeting place for all members of the Slovak Olympic team, dignitaries of the International Olympic Committee, the Slovak Olympic Committee, journalists, athletes as well as people from the field of business, politics, sports and culture.

The Government of Slovakia invites you to come enjoy a genuine Slovak atmosphere in the heart of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver! Meet the Slovak athletes and experience the traditional “taste” of Slovakia. SRH will offer culinary specialties, a myriad of Slovak wines of the top quality, draught beer accompanied by  traditional folk music. As well, SRH will host a variety of cultural events showcasing Slovak artists including concerts, films and theatre plays.”

The SRH is not a free venue.  If you are interested in attending you may purchase tickets from their website.  But I have to say, it sounds intriguing.  And for $20 – $110 +GST per ticket (dependent on time and event) it would be worth it to maybe get to meet some of the hockey players at the very least.  If you are interested in attending you can find more information here.

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Oakley is bringing their “Rolling O” lab to the base of Grouse Mountain.  Oakley is inviting fans to visit the lab which will showcase their products and technologies, as well as featuring their 300 sponsored athletes that will be attending the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.  As far as I can tell this is a free venue to attend.

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Just a quick note on the Irish Olympic House… it’s being built!  It’s going to be 9,000 square feet of Irish goodness!  It is family friendly during the day and turns into an Irish Pub celebrating St. Patrick’s day everyday at night.  There will be food, beverages, music and fun!  Here’s what they had done this afternoon.

The roof is on the Irish Olympic House tent.

Updates to the Vancouver 2010 Venue Map are in process!

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Right, art now.  My friend Katie let me know that there are some new pieces at the Vancouver Public Library so I went to check it out.  Looks like they’re building quite the stage in the north plaza of the library and there’s a new large art installation in the south plaza.  The stage is still fenced but it looks amazing already.

The new stage in the north plaza of the Vancouver Public Library.

I couldn't find an information plaque, so I'm not sure who the artist is. But I like it. I also wonder if it lights up at night?

Oh yes, and while at the library I picked up my “Ask Me” button and entered to win a Vancouver Public Library Cowbell (yay, cowbells!).

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And now for the part several people have asked about, and suspect I will be linking back to regularly: The 2010vanfan guide to attending the Vancouver 2010.  Most of my information will be coming from the “Official Spectator Guide” that came with your tickets, though I’m likely to throw in an opinion or two.  When I do I will try to make it apparent.

Guide to attending Vancouver 2010

Clothing:

At all venues, both in the city and on the mountains, you may be outside, without cover, for extended periods of time.  You must layer your clothing.  Wear good socks, preferably wool or a good synthetic, something that won’t get cold if it gets wet.  Wear a light long sleeve shirt under a heavier warm shirt or sweater and be sure to wear a waterproof jacket.  Bring mittens or gloves, a scarf and a toque (beanie, head-warming hat, whatever you want to call it) as most of your heat is lost through your head (thank you Girl Guides).  If it is raining, wear waterproof pants and boots if possible.  If it is snowing, or you’re on a mountain where it is colder, toss on an extra layer under your waterproof jacket and consider snow pants. You will be walking so make sure that you have good, comfortable, preferably waterproof footwear.

If you get cold particularly easily you may also want to invest in some small pocket warmers.  They are little satchets that when shaken up give off heat.  I’ve always gotten mine from camping shops but I’m sure there will be other places to get them as well.  They’re great for warming hands and feet and it’s amazing how much warmer you’ll feel if those bits aren’t cold.

Security:

There are going to be two lineups for entry to most venues: 1) people with bags and 2) people without.  I highly recommend going without.  No one may bring food or drink into the venues anyway so other than your tickets, Visa card, cash, house keys, phone and a camera you shouldn’t need much.  The less you have the faster you will get through the lines and into where all the fun is.  If you do have to bring a bag aim to keep it under 15x15x30cm (6x6x12″) to keep you in the fast lane.  Can’t do without a bigger bag?  Please just be patient.  Chat with your fellow line-mates about the event you’re going to see or ask if they have been somewhere that they recommend you visit as well.

There is definitely a list of prohibited and restricted items but for the most part the items are common sense.  No weapons, no items that could disturb the view of those around you, no large umbrellas or long flag poles, and all signs and banners should be less than 2m x 1m in size.  Click the link in this paragraph for the whole list if you’re interested but generally just try to remember that everyone wants to have a good time.

Shopping, Food and Drinks:

There will be merchandise kiosks at all of the venues so that you too can drape yourself in Vancouver 2010 goodness (my closet is stuffed full already!) and there will be places to get food and drinks at the venues as well.  There isn’t a lot of description on what your choices will be but it should be alright.  The most important thing to remember: bring cash and/or that Visa card you used to pay for your tickets with.  There will not be any ATM’s that accept debit around, nor will the sites accept debit (except Visa debit).

Transportation:

Take transit.  Your event ticket gets you onto any Translink transit service free of charge.  Yes, all day.  So take transit.*

There is no where to park at the venues and VANOC has worked really hard to get the best transit solutions set up with Translink, the Olympic bus network and extra projects (like the Olympic Line) that they can.  If you are going to Cypress or Whistler for an event make sure you have your bus ticket ahead of time.  Check out the TravelSmart2010 and Translink websites to help you plan your journey.  Allow yourself some extra time, there are going to be a lot of excited people trying to get to a lot of exciting venues.  Enjoy the ride!

And be prepared to walk.  Spectators with disabilities will certainly be aided and accommodated.  For the rest of us this is a way to warm up a bit before sitting in a cold venue to watch athletes competing at a ridiculously high level.  As I said in “Clothing” wear good, comfortable shoes or boots, preferably waterproof.  This means no heels or flipflops.*  It’s the Winter Olympics folks!

* These are technically my opinions but I am confident that it they are the right choice and really believe that they are the best way to go.

Bits & Bobs:

There will be information booths, lost & found facilities, first aid facilities and the like.  Some of the city venues even have bike valet services (no bikes in the venues I’m afraid).  There are no ‘in & out’ privileges with your ticket.  Once you’re in, you’re in.  Double-check that you’re all set before you go in.

Most importantly:

Have fun!  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity in so many ways.  We will not have another event like this in Vancouver for a very long time.  Nor will you have the chance to celebrate the world’s athletes in quite the same way.  Nor the arts.  Nor each other!  Remember that we all want to have a good time and respect for one another is how we’ll accomplish that and be left with memories to last a lifetime.  Smile and the world will be smiling back at you!

Hope that helps you get ready.  Let me know if there are further questions and I’ll do my best to answer and update my quick little guide here.

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Thank you merci!

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Patti permalink
    January 26, 2010 1:41 am

    Bonjour Andrea,
    I have a question for you and/or your readers about taking a digital camera with a built in flash into Canada Hockey Place (and other Sports Venues). On pages 21 and 58 of the Official Spectator Guide, it says ‘Flash photography is not permitted’. However, since it doesn’t say ‘No cameras’, I’m assuming this means you can bring a camera in but you can’t take pictures using the flash while the competition is on. For example, you could take flash pictures during the warm-up before a hockey game but not while the game is on.

    I just can’t imagine they’re not going to let people bring in their cameras since most people will have one with them and most come with a flash.

    Please let me know how you’ve interpreted this rule. Thank you. Merci.

    • January 26, 2010 4:58 am

      Hi Patti,
      From my previous experience at both summer & winter games, you could bring any camera to a venue without problem.
      Just prevent to use your flash during the game is on and everything will be OK.
      If by mistake you will use your flash during the game, the speaker would probably make an announcement and a volunteer will try to identify who did it and will warn it to not to do so.
      Regards
      Vincent

      • Patti Jackson permalink
        January 27, 2010 1:47 am

        Hi Vincent
        Thanks for taking the time to reply. I guess my interpretation is right. What games have you been to before? These will be my first and I’m so glad I live in the Host City. If I remember correctly, I think you’re a photographer and you’re coming to these games. If you are the person I’m thinking about, I looked at your photos and thought they were fantastic. I wanted to comment but I don’t think I ever did. If you are coming to Vancouver, I hope you have a wonderful time. Thanks again.

  2. Rowena permalink
    January 26, 2010 6:23 am

    I think there will be plenty of opportunity to meet and chat with others in line waiting to get into the venue, security,etc. I will be sure to take advantage of that! Great guide!

  3. A. Christian permalink
    January 26, 2010 9:27 am

    van fan- are you doing interviews?

  4. January 26, 2010 11:12 am

    The Slovak Representative House seems expensive, especially considering the prices for other houses. I’m curious as to how many people will pay to get in on any day when hockey players are NOT there, because you’re right, Andrea… that would certainly be the biggest draw.

    Do you think nation houses will release information after the games on how many visitors came through their venues? I know Holland Heineken House did this after previous Olympics…

    • 2010vanfan permalink
      January 26, 2010 11:27 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      Hmm… I’m not sure if they’ll post their numbers but it certainly would be interesting. Thanks for commenting! – Andrea

  5. January 26, 2010 12:33 pm

    Andrea,
    I think you got your accredation so promptly as they feared your retribution.lol
    You are like “the little engine that could”. As usual tons of info in your blog; it is
    almost like I’m there. The write-up on CityCaucus.com on your blog certainly
    shows how big you’ve become. Well done girl; keep having fun.

  6. January 26, 2010 12:33 pm

    Patti,

    I volunteered at CHP last Fall for the Hockey Canada Cup: http://pelalusa.com/Downloads/Public/Hockey/index.html What I learned there and I *think* will be in place for the Olympics is that pocket sized cameras or SLRs without telephoto lenses will be permitted – it would be too hard for them to stop thousands of people from bring them in otherwise.

    As for the flash on your camera, it only has an effective range of about 15 feet, so why leave it on? Every camera owner should know now to press the little lightning bolt icon to select the flash menu and turn it off.

    Hope this helps,

    Robert W.

  7. Patti Jackson permalink
    January 27, 2010 1:58 am

    Hi Robert,
    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I too think it would be near impossible to stop every camera carrying person from entering. There wouldn’t be anyone left to go in and I’m pretty sure they’re not going to have a coat check type set-up for cameras.

    Are you volunteering for these Games? If so, have a great time.

    Thanks again.

    P.S. And yes, I do know how to turn my flash off but I still wasn’t sure if they would even let it in.

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