Vancouver 2010

Vancouver 2010

July 18, 2007 19:14 ET

Vancouver 2010's Board of Directors Reviews VANOC's Games-Time Operating Strategies and Cultural Olympiad Progress

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 18, 2007) - Years of intense planning are required to prepare to welcome the world in 2010 and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) will need to be ready to deliver spectacular Games when the world arrives. With only 940 days remaining until the Opening Ceremony is held at BC Place, VANOC has increasingly been focusing on Games-time operations. To this end, the Vancouver 2010 Board of Directors received an extensive overview on how VANOC will execute this important deliverable.

VANOC's Games-Time Operations Steering Committee (GTO), responsible for overseeing the development of VANOC's Games-time operating plans, policies and procedures, provided a comprehensive update and overview to the Board today, outlining how delivery plans are being developed and integrated within VANOC's 53 functions.

VANOC Board Chairman Jack Poole continues to make encouraging progress in his recovery from surgery and participated in the meeting via Bell teleconferencing. Board Member Rusty Goepel was elected by the Board Members to act as Chair of the meeting.

"Every board meeting is a compelling review of numerous key activities that are moving the games forward and today was no exception. We reviewed progress in all key areas and are satisfied that there is rigor, discipline and a standard of creativity and excellence being applied across the board," said Rusty Goepel, acting Chair of the Board meeting. "We were particularly impressed by the overview on VANOC's Games-time planning. This unique approach partnered with early venue completion will put VANOC far head in Games-time readiness, allowing for ample time to test and refine the operations and map out the optimum customer experience."

In addition, the Board received an overall Culture and Celebrations presentation that included an update on the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad and VANOC's receipt of 188 programming partnership proposals from arts and entertainment professionals - proposals received following recent community engagement. The Culture and Celebrations presentation to the Board also included a report on, VANOC's new online, interactive, bilingual e-magazine that will be launching this fall. /EDU is a portal where teachers and students in Canada and around the world will be able to learn more about Vancouver 2010, the Olympic and Paralympic Movements and programs in sport, culture and sustainability.

The Board members also worked through a series of other regular agenda items, received a venue construction update and authorized the award of a number of contracts that will continue to support venue construction progress for the 2010 Winter Games. Further Board meeting updates and decisions are attached.

Reports, updates and decisions taken at the July 18, 2007 VANOC Board meeting included:

CEO Report

- 119th International Olympic Committee Session in Guatemala: VANOC presented a progress report to the IOC's Executive Board and to the full International Olympic Committee session in Guatemala earlier this month.

- IPC Visit (June 18-21, 2007): A 10-member delegation of staff from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) met with members of the VANOC team to provide transfer of knowledge sessions on Medical and Paralympic Family Services. The IPC's visit also served as a one-and-a-half-day project review which included updates from VANOC in 13 areas. VANOC's vision for the 2010 Games is appropriately aligned with the IPC's own objectives for raising the visibility of the Paralympic Games, creating a remarkable Games atmosphere and leaving a positive legacy for sport.

- Government and Partner Relations: The VANOC team has focused heavily on supporting the passage of Bill C-47, the Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act, over the past few months. The bill received Royal Assent on June 22, 2007.

- Release of the Vancouver 2010 Sustainability Report 2005-06: In June, VANOC released its first sustainability performance report, a report which will be updated annually.

- Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Village: Detailed planning and design work continues with the City of Vancouver and Millennium Properties. The City has completed significant components of the site preparation and servicing, including utilities installation, road building and waterfront reinstatement. Millennium has been excavating the development parcels since January 2007. Waterfront hard and soft landscaping works commenced in late May to ensure the waterfront can be opened to the public during the construction period.

- Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Village: Good progress is being made onsite with utilities installation and road building. The Whistler Development Corporation (WDC) submitted its first Development Permit application (for 42 town home units on Parcel A) for consideration by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) at the end of May, which will allow foundation work to start by late summer. Architectural design work is also progressing well on two apartment-style buildings to be located in the core of the Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Village.

- Accommodation Update: The Accommodations team has now secured over 80 per cent of VANOC's room requirements, including approximately 14,000 rooms in Greater Vancouver. The Organizing Committee is continuing to work with hotel properties to secure additional accommodation to ensure all room requirements can be met. In Whistler, approximately 4,000 rooms have been committed to date and dialogue with the owners of properties continues. The Accommodations, Technology and Finance teams are also working to design and implement the business processes required to operate the reservation system.

- Cultural Community Event: On June 12, VANOC invited the creative community and the Vancouver media to attend an overview of VANOC's Culture and Celebration, Education and Ceremonies programs. Over 450 participants took part, with many more following up online. A Request for Proposal for programming partnerships for the 2008 Celebration was announced, attracting 188 proposals from arts and entertainment professionals from across BC and beyond.

- Communications Update: On June 26, VANOC launched its new Intranet site called ICE, which will serve as a critical internal communications tool as VANOC's workforce team grows. An Extranet is under development that will be named SNOW. In June, VANOC also reached a significant milestone in the development of its advertising strategy. After a thorough and competitive process, a pan-Canadian group called The Hyphen Alliance was selected as VANOC's creative and advertising agency, made up of Hyphen Communications (Vancouver), Downtown Partners (Toronto) and bleublancrouge (Montreal). Final measures are also underway to select the media buying agency that will assist VANOC in developing plans for strategic advertising.

Senior Management Reports

- A revenue and marketing overview was provided to the Board, including an update on VANOC's sponsorship program, discussions with new potential corporate partners and details on corporate interest in Torch Relay sponsorship opportunities.

- A ticketing update was provided, with confirmation of next steps in the Vancouver 2010 ticketing planning strategy including the planned public release of ticket sales information in the fall of 2007.

- VANOC's Games-Time Operations Steering Committee (GTO) provided an extensive report on progress being made within the Organizing Committee as its 53 functions focus on important Games-Time planning.

- Also included in the senior management reports were: an update from the Sport department; an update regarding the approval of Bill C-47; and an update from VANOC's Strategic Communications Steering Committee.

Report of the Finance Committee

A report of the Finance Committee meetings, held on June 4 and July 9, 2007, included the following recommendations that required approvals from the VANOC Board. The Finance Committee update also included updates on contracts approved by the Finance Committee but that did not require Board approval. Contract awards are posted on following their completion.

1. Venue construction:

- The Finance Committee recommended, and the Board approved a resolution that VANOC management be authorized to award and finalize a contract for the design services and construction of the foundation work for the Whistler Athletes' Centre lodge and town homes.

2. Contribution Agreement between Canada and VANOC for 2007-08:

- The Finance Committee recommended, and the Board subsequently approved a resolution that VANOC management be authorized to complete and execute a contribution agreement between VANOC and the Government of Canada for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008. The contribution agreement covers anticipated venue costs for the upcoming busy construction season. Completion of the agreement is a prerequisite to the flow of funds to VANOC from the Government of Canada and the agreement is expected to be similar to that of the previous three funding periods for 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07.

3. Bank Signing Authorities

- The Finance Committee recommended and the Board approved a resolution identifying the signing officers for VANOC and their respective signing authorities, updated following recent management changes in VANOC's Finance Division.

Venue Construction Update

The Board received an update from management on the status of venue construction, which remains on budget and on schedule. Key information is included in the June 28, 2007 VANOC Quarterly Report, available at

- Although the slow snowmelt at higher elevations of the mountain venues triggered a need to reschedule in some areas, the overall venue schedule remains on track.

- The last of 350 foundations for the Whistler Sliding Centre was constructed in mid-June and the first roof beam was recently erected at the Richmond Oval.

- The first of the prefabricated sections of the ski jump structures have been transported to site at the Whistler Nordic Venue.

- Grading for the snowboard half-pipe at Cypress Mountain is well advanced, while Rinks B and C at the UBC Winter Sports Centre have now been handed over to UBC for use. Contractors have moved into the Pacific Coliseum to undertake the planned ice plant renovation works. Construction results at Hillcrest/Nat Bailey Stadium Park are now increasingly evident as excavation is completed and foundations are cast.

- Scheduled completion of the Whistler Athletes' Centre is slated for fall 2008. The design for the High Performance Centre has been completed and a Request for Proposal has been issued for the wall panels. A general contract for the remaining work is to be tendered imminently, with work scheduled to begin in August.

- A meeting of VANOC's Construction Advisory Committee was held at the Hillcrest site on June 21st. The Committee was established pursuant to agreements with the Government Partners that are funding the VANOC venue development program, and its members include: Klaus Biebach, Dan Doyle, Tom Johnson, Anibal Valente and Henry Wakabayashi.

Report of the Audit Committee

The Board received an update from the Audit Committee meeting held on June 11, 2007. The Committee had approved the financial statements and Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) for the quarter ended April 30 for public release in June, and had reviewed the financial statement disclosure of significant transactions during the quarter. The Committee also reported that it has approved the audit plan for the year ending July 31, 2007.

In Camera sessions

- Mascot update

- Ceremonies update


The Vancouver 2010 Board of Directors is made up of 20 members nominated by: the Canadian Olympic Committee (seven); the Government of Canada (three); the Province of British Columbia (three); the City of Vancouver (two); the Resort Municipality of Whistler (two); the Canadian Paralympic Committee (one); a joint appointment by the Band Councils of the Lil'wat and Squamish Nations (one); and one member nominated by the other 19 members.

The Board is scheduled to meet six times per year, and more often at the call of the Chair as required. The meetings are generally held at the Vancouver 2010 offices in Vancouver, although they are occasionally hosted by our Games partners in other locations. The Board's responsibility is to oversee the conduct of the business of VANOC as it works toward achieving its Mission, to touch the soul of the nation and inspire the world by creating and delivering an extraordinary Olympic and Paralympic experience with lasting legacies.

As part of its commitment to public transparency and accountability, the Vancouver 2010 Board of Directors has made today's agenda, discussion topics and decisions available to the public on, subject to conditions of confidentiality related to personal information and/or competitively sensitive or privileged information. VANOC is also committed to hosting media briefings following each Board meeting with the Board Chairman, the CEO and other director(s) or members of the VANOC senior management team to elaborate further on matters.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the VANOC Board of Directors is scheduled for September 19, 2007.

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010.

Contact Information

  • Vancouver 2010
    Chris Brumwell
    (778) 328-6269
    Vancouver 2010
    Mary Fraser
    (778) 328-3667