Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

February 22, 2008 14:33 ET

Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremony "To Inspire the World" Thanks to Top Canadian Creative Talent and Financial Support From the Government of Canada

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2008) - The Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games is an event of historic importance that presents Canada with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to tell a story that inspires a world audience of three billion. In recognition of this, the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, today announced that the Government of Canada will contribute $20 million of VANOC's total $40-million Opening and Closing Ceremonies budget to ensure the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games exceeds expectations of Canadians from all parts of the country. This decision was made following the conclusion of a series of recent creative planning meetings on the opening ceremonies.

Thanks to valuable creative input of more than 100 of Canada's leading cultural figures over the past month, and the contribution from the Government of Canada today, the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games will capture the heart and spirit of Vancouverites, British Columbians, and Canadians. VANOC's overall budget for all Olympic Ceremonies elements, including victory and welcome ceremonies, is $58.5 million.

"The Government of Canada is a proud supporter of the 2010 Winter Games. We, and all Canadians, look forward to a memorable Opening Ceremony that will allow the world to see the best that Canada has to offer," said Minister Emerson.

Many of Canada's best creative minds gathered in Vancouver at a series of ceremonies planning meetings to brainstorm, learn, and provide feedback, which will help develop ceremonies that will make all Canadians proud.

"The Opening Ceremony is our biggest chance to speak to a global audience and tell the story of a contemporary Canada that will inspire the world. So many talented Canadians have shared their thoughts and hopes for the ceremonies over the past six weeks and we are most grateful," said John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). "We'd like to thank the Government of Canada for its generous contribution and their tremendous support in putting on spectacular ceremonies of which all Canadians can be proud."

"We knew that Canadians were passionate about this country, but the level of energy and excitement and the positive response our team received from symposia participants were truly inspiring," said David Atkins, Vancouver 2010 Executive Producer, Ceremonies. "The input we received will be an indispensable resource as we collaborate to deliver spectacular, truly Canadian Ceremonies in 2010."

Atkins and his team of noted Canadian producers have now established an extensive inventory of symbols, stories, messages, and themes that will influence the progress of the planning process. Detailed findings of the six planning meetings held this month will, understandably, remain confidential so as to retain the traditional element of anticipation and surprise.

"After widely canvassing the opinions of practitioners from across so many fields, we now have solid, pan-Canadian input on how to proceed with capturing the essence of Vancouver, Whistler, B.C., and Canada," added Jacques Lemay, Vancouver 2010 Ceremonies Team member and Canadian College of the Performing Arts founder. "Representing every region of the country, the participants brought forward fantastic ideas that will help us develop Ceremonies that will best reflect Canadian values, diversity, and creativity."

The Games Ceremonies are mandated by the International Olympic Committee to promote international peace and understanding, honouring the world's greatest athletes, and celebrating humanity. The Opening Ceremony will take place in Vancouver's 60,000-seat BC Place Stadium, on February 12, 2010, and will welcome members of the Olympic Family and guests from around the world.

The Government of Canada will collaborate with VANOC to ensure that the Opening Ceremony is truly representative of Canada's cultural diversity and linguistic duality, by highlighting the excellence and richness of the performances of leading Canadian artists.

Further information, photos, and videos related to the 2010 Winter Games Ceremonies are available in the media centre at

This news release is available on the Internet at and under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Heritage
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations
    Office of the Minister of International Trade and
    Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the
    Vancouver-Whistler Olympics
    Lynn Meahan
    Press Secretary
    Chris Brumwell