There's no doubt about it, after an arguably slow start, there's now a real buzz about Vancouver that I don't think I have felt in the five years since I arrived on the shores back in 2005.

Sure, if and when the Vancouver Canucks make the the NHL playoffs each year, it generates a certain amount of energetic hype that really lifts the city. But with the 2010 Winter Olympic Games now less than a week away, the Olympic Village is filling fast with the world's greatest winter athletes and the population in town is swelling visibly as thousands of supporters and spectators arrive in town.

Along with the 17 days of Olympic competition comes a breathtaking calendar of cultural displays, concerts and other entertainment options that, quite frankly, are a little overwhelming at first glance. There's a number of great resources (Blogs and official sources) online to help you develop a plan of attack for the 2+ week party (see my list at the very bottom of this post). In the meantime, I've done some of the hard yards already and have come up with my own Olympic schedule and highlights list which is presented below.

My calendar is by no means complete. It will change and evolve as I learn of new opportunities, and my plans change, so check back each day to see what's new and also to view my subsequent Blog entries covering the mischief I do get up to.


πŸ—“ Monday, 8th February, 2010

Vectorial Elevation

Weather permitting, I'll head down to English Bay to photograph the socially driven Vectorial Elevation project. 20 robotic searchlights will be positioned along the mouth of False Creek in Vancouver's English Bay, sending large beams of light into the sky at various angles to create designs submitted by users online.

It's a pretty cool concept and is really easy to get involved in from the comfort of your own home. Using the online design wizard, you can set up your design and submit it with just a few easy clicks. From there, you are allocated your own webpage from which you can view your submitted design from any of the 4 webcams that have been set up.


πŸ—“ Tuesday, 9th February, 2010

Ignite the Dream

Every night until the 28th February, Robson Square, the site of all things "British Columbian" will be lit up with a spectacular light and music show called Ignite the Dream. I'll be heading in to check it out and hopefully snap a few shots of the spectacle.

The show will commence each night at both 9:30pm and 11:00pm until the end of the Olympics. For more information on this and other events being held in the Robson Square district, take a look at the British Columbia: You Gotta Be Here website.


πŸ—“ Wednesday, 10th February, 2010

Olympic Torch Relay

A pretty awesome way to kick things off I reckon. The Olympic torch, reaching the end of its 106-day, 1,000 community journey, will be making its way around the district of North Vancouver today, with the flame passing through Waterfront Park and Lonsdale Quay around 8:30am. This is where I'll be to take some shots before heading to work for the day.


πŸ—“ Thursday, 11th February, 2010

Olympic Torch Relay – Part II

The flame will pass into the down town core of Vancouver this evening around 8pm and will no doubt draw the largest crowds so far as we get closer and closer to the big opening. I hear Michael BublΓ© is scheduled to run with the torch somewhere on Pacific Ave, so I guess that's where I'll try to be!


πŸ—“ Friday, 12th February, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremony – LiveCity Yaletown

Being held at BC Place the opening ceremony promises to be a spectacular celebration of contemporary Canada. Produced by Aussie David Atkins, the creative brains behind the acclaimed opening and closing ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

I have a mate performing in the ceremony this year so I'm keen to see what's in store! I hear there's some pretty crazy and amazing surprises for snowboarding fans out there! RAD!!!

Opening Ceremony Fireworks Display @ Richmond O Zone (9pm)

As a fitting end to the opening Olympic celebration, fireworks are scheduled to explode over the Richmond O Zone area with the best vantage points being from the O Zone main stage area.


πŸ—“ Saturday, 13th February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Alpine Skiing – Men's Downhill (11:45am PST)
  • Women's Ice Hockey – Canada vs. Slovakia (5:00pm PST)
    The women kick things off in Canada's quest for duel hockey gold with a pool match up against Slovakia.
  • Women’s Freestyle Skiing – Moguls Final (7:30pm PST)

Richmond O Zone

I want to be able to devote at least one full day to checking out the massive 60 acre site in the heart of Richmond City Centre featuring:

"...mammoth ice art, massive high-definition screen, outdoor skating on real ice, entertainment from around the region and around the world, art, athletes, exhibits, virtual reality (bobsleigh ride anyone?), food and fireworks."

Sounds like fun – should be plenty to see and do.

Holland Heineken House

Promising to be one of the best night entertainment hot spots, Heineken House will be the place to celebrate all things Dutch and orange. If you didn't get tickets to see the renowned Dutch speed skating team at the stunning nearby Richmond Olympic Oval, Heineken House is your next best option where you can join 4,000 other fans as they take in the events on dozens of large screens.

While you're there, enjoy the nightly performances by renowned Dutch artists and DJs as they party until 2am every night!

Bedouin Soundclash @ Richmond O Zone (9:30pm PST)

While I'm down in Richmond, it would be stupid of me not to hang around for the Bedouin Soundclash performance. With their own unique brand of reggae/soul, Bedouin Soundclash are a Juno Award winning trio from Kingston, Ontario.


β™₯️ Sunday, 14th February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Women’s Alpine Skiing – Super Combined Slalom (1:00pm PST)
  • Men’s Luge Final (3:00pm PST)
  • Men’s Freestyle Skiing – Moguls Final (5:30pm PST)
    Bumps, aerials, thrills and spills. Definitely one of the events I would have loved to have had tickets for…

Daniel Wesley @ LiveCity Yaletown (9:30pm PST)

I honestly don't know a great deal about Daniel Wesley, a local rock artist from White Rock, BC, but I was told to check him out if I get the chance, and a free concert at the LiveCity Yaletown venue is all the excuse I need!


πŸ—“ Monday, 15th February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Women's Ice Hockey – Canada vs. Switzerland (2:30pm PST)
    If only I can get out of work for a half day, I'd love to get down to Swiss house on Granville Island (Bridges Restaurant) to catch this game on the big screen.
  • Men's Snowboarding – Snowboard Cross Final (2:53pm PST)
  • Figure Skating – Pairs Free Skating (2:53pm PST)

Jets Overhead @ LiveCity Vancouver (9:30pm PST)

I was first introduced to Jets Overhead, a neat rock band from Victoria, BC, when they were the opening act for someone (can’t recall who) at The Commodore a couple of years ago. I was really impressed with their sound and have been a big fan of their two album releases so far – "Bridges" and "No Nations".


πŸ—“ Tuesday, 16th February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Women's Snowboarding – Snowboard Cross Final (12:40pm PST)
  • Men's Alpine Skiing – Super Combined Slalom (1:30pm PST)
  • Men's Ice Hockey – Canada vs. Norway (4:30pm PST)
    Team Canada's tilt for the Men's Hockey Gold Medal kicks off against the Danes from Norway. I'm really not familiar with anyone on the Danish roster other than the Philadelphia Flyers' Ole-Kristian Tollefsen so who knows what we're going to be in for. GO TEAM CANADA, GO!

Alexisonfire @ LiveCity Yaletown (9:30pm PST)

The next feature Canadian act to perform a free concert at the LiveCity Yaletown venue is the rock outfit, Alexisonfire, from St. Catharines, Ontario.

The Trews @ Atlantic Canada House (10:30pm PST)

Heralded as "One of the hottest live bands in Canada", Nova Scotia's own The Trews are no strangers to the stage, having performed with such superstar performers as Guns N' Roses, Nickelback, Robert Plant, The Rolling Stones and KISS.

I have a funny feeling that they are going to be toning it down a little tonight, performing tracks from their recent offering "Acoustic – Friends & Total Strangers". Another must-see!


πŸ—“ Wednesday, 17th February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Women's Alpine Skiing – Downhill (11:00am PST)
  • Women's Ice Hockey – Canada vs. Sweden (2:30pm PST)
  • Men's Speed Skating – 1,000m (4:00pm PST)
  • Men's Snowboarding – Halfpipe Final (7:00pm PST)
    I dunno about you, but I'm going to be glued to the idiot box in anticipation of the amazing Shaun White pulling off an equally amazing Double McTwist 1260 in the final of the Men's Halfpipe.

πŸ—“ Thursday, 18th February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Women's Speed Skating – 1,000m (1:00pm PST)
  • Men's Ice Hockey – Canada vs. Switzerland (4:30pm PST)
  • Men's Figure Skating – Free Skating (5:00pm PST)
  • Women's Snowboarding – Halfpipe Final (6:00pm PST)
    My opportunity to see one of Australia's best hopes for gold as 24 year old Torah Bright takes to the halfpipe up at Cypress Mountain. I sincerely hope there's enough snow left to allow her to do her thing!

Olympic Hockey Tweetup at the Caprice (4:30pm PST)

Rub shoulders with Vancouver's prominent social media experts and other members from the local Twitter community as they take over the Caprice nightclub on Granville Street for the Men's Canada vs Switzerland hockey game.

Stick around and watch one of Australia's best hopes at gold, Torah Bright, as she takes on the world in the women's halfpipe final – RAD! Looking forward to this one.


πŸ—“ Friday, 19th February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Men's Alpine Skiing – Super G (11:30am PST)
  • Women's Skeleton (4:55pm PST)
  • Men's Skeleton (7:50pm PST)

YukonFest 2010 @ The Railway Club (7:30pm PST)

I've been personally invited via one of my clients, Air North, to this special celebration of all things Northern. Yukon tunes, Yukon beer (yum!) and Yukon hospitality. Considering my affinity with the country up north, I know for a fact that you can't go wrong with a combination like that.

Meet and greet is at 7:30pm and some quality Yukon bands like "Spring Breakup", "Root Sellers", "Soir de Semaine", "Sophisticated Cavemen" and "Sasquatch Prom Date" hit the stage from 10:30pm.

Deadmau5 @ LiveCity Yaletown (9:30pm PST)

Niagara Falls' Joel Zimmerman (aka Deadma5) is one of Canada's most sought after electronic artists right now and will be sure to command a HUGE audience at the LiveCity Yaletown venue. I'm hoping to be one of those in the mix!

This is expected to be one of the most popular performances for the entire Olympics festival. Once LiveCity Yaletown has reached capacity (I suspect this will happen soon after 5pm, then the gates will be closed for the remainder of the night!


πŸ—“ Saturday, 20th February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Women's Alpine Skiing – Super G (10:00am PST)
  • Men's Ski Jump – Large Hill Individual Final (12:30pm PST)
  • Men's Speed Skating – 1,500m (4:15pm PST)
  • Women's Short Track – 1,500m (7:51pm PST)
  • Men's Short Track – 1,000m (7:51pm PST)

German House

Of all of the houses, this is the one that I'm probably looking forward to visiting the most. I've never had anything but amazing times when celebrating German-style in large beer halls, or in this case, beer tents!

Marianas Trench @ Richmond O Zone (9:30pm PST)

I'm a little bit torn on this one. I do enjoy the sounds created by Marianas Trench, a four-piece punk-pop-rock group from Vancouver. I was introduced to them by my mate Jen a few years ago when I saw them play a fantastic set at the old "Buffalo Club". However...

Sam Roberts Band @ LiveCity Yaletown (9:30pm PST)

...the Sam Roberts Band (Montreal, QC) is another of my favourite Canadian bands and they are playing at the LiveCity Yaletown venue meaning I really don't have to travel anywhere for the night's entertainment.


πŸ—“ Sunday, 21st February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Men's Freestyle Skiing – Ski Cross Final (1:18pm PST)
  • Men's Alpine Skiing – Giant Slalom (1:45pm PST)
  • Women's Speed Skating – 1,500m (3:00pm PST)
  • Men's Bobsleigh – Two-Man (3:05pm PST)
  • Canada vs. USA – Men’s Ice Hockey (4:40pm PST)
    The big one! The preliminary round grudge match to end all preliminary round grudges matches. In what could potentially be a preview of at least one of the medal playoff games, Team Canada will go head-to-head with arch-enemies the USA.

2010 Ice Art World Championship

Wielding an assortment of chisels, chainsaws and other blades, the best ice sculptors from around the world will assemble at the Richmond O Zone. On Saturday, 20th February, teams from Italy, Japan, Australia, USA, France and Canada go head-to-head in the teams competition, while on Sunday (21st Feb), the single block competition gets underway.

The resultant pieces of chilly art will remain on display until they melt away. Considering how mild a Winter we are having, I guess this means you best get in early to check them out!


πŸ—“ Monday, 22nd February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Men's Ski Jumping – Team Final (10:45am PST)
  • Figure Skating – Ice Dance, Free Dance (4:45pm PST)
  • Team Canada vs. Finland – Women's Ice Hockey Semi Final (5:00pm PST)
  • Men's Freestyle Skiing – Aerials Qualifications (6:00pm PST)

Meet The Mascots (6:00pm)

Get along early to Robson Square's GE Ice Plaza and get your kids a front spot on the railing as Quatchi, Miga, Sumi and their friends present an ice skating extravaganza that is sure to captivate the young and the young at heart.

Performing nightly until the 28th February, this is a must-see if you have small kids!


πŸ—“ Tuesday, 23rd February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Men's Speed Skating – 1,000m (11:00am PST)
  • Men's Alpine Skiing – Giant Slalom (1:00pm PST)
  • Women's Freestyle Skiing – Ski Cross Final (2:03pm PST)
  • Team Canada vs Germany – Men's Ice Hockey Qualifying Final (4:30pm PST)

Atlantic Canada on Deck – Matt Andersen (7:30pm PST)

It's New Brunswick Day at Atlantic Canada House on Granville Island and a swag of talented musicians from up that way will be hitting the Granville Island Stage from 7:30pm including legendary East Coast blues and roots rock artist Matt Andersen.

REALLY looking forward to what is bound to be a large performance from a larger than life character!


πŸ—“ Wednesday, 24th February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • USA vs Switzerland – Men's Ice Hockey Quarter Final (12:00pm PST)
  • Women's Speed Skating – 5,000m (1:00pm PST)
  • Women's Alpine Skiing – Giant Slalom (1:15pm PST)
  • Team Canada vs Russia – Men's Ice Hockey Quarter Final (4:30pm PST)
  • Women's Bobsleigh (6:10pm PST)
  • Women's Short Track – 3,000m Relay (6:26pm PST)
  • Finland vs Czech Republic – Men's Ice Hockey Quarter Final (7:00pm PST)
  • Women's Freestyle Skiing – Aerials Final (7:30pm PST)
    The women's aerials will see the largest Australian representation in any event at Vancouver 2010. We're talking the World Cup winner for the 2008/09 season Lydia Lassila, veteran skier Jacqui Cooper, who has been selected for five Olympic Games, Liz Gardner and Bree Munro. All are chasing medals and I sincerely hope there's some Aussie metal at the end of it all.
  • Sweden vs Slovakia – Men’s Ice Hockey Quarter Final (9:00pm PST)

Yikes! It's going to be a busy day!

Molson Hockey House – Men's Ice Hockey Quarter Finals

It's bound to be one of the coolest days of the whole "festival". I'll be joining TJ and a bunch of other hockey-mad sports junkies at the "Molson Hockey House" an 80,000 sq ft. pavilion located at Conchord Place.


πŸ—“ Thursday, 25th February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Finland vs Sweden – Women's Ice Hockey Bronze Medal Game (11:00am PST)
  • Canada vs USA – Women's Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game (3:30pm PST)
  • Women's Figure Skating – Free Skating (5:00pm PST)
  • Men’s Freestyle Skiing – Aerials Final (6:00pm PST)

πŸ—“ Friday, 26th February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • USA vs Finland – Men's Ice Hockey Semi Final (12:00pm PST)
  • Women's Alpine Skiing – Giant Slalom (1:30pm PST)
  • Women's Snowboarding – PGS Final (1:31pm PST)
  • Canada vs Sweden – Women's Curling Gold Medal (3:00pm PST)
    Not exactly the adrenaline generating, high action sport that I'm used to getting behind, but there's something about curling that's completely riveting. I can't explain it. Just watch it, you'll see what I mean.
  • Canada vs Slovakia – Men's Ice Hockey Semi Final (4:30pm PST)
  • Men's Short Track – 500m (7:14pm PST)
  • Women's Short Track – 1,000m (7:24pm PST)
  • Men's Short Track – 5,000m Relay (7:51pm PST)

πŸ—“ Saturday, 27th February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Men's Speed Skating – Team Pursuit (12:51pm PST)
  • Women's Speed Skating – Team Pursuit (1:13pm PST)
  • Men's Snowboarding – PGS Final (1:31pm PST)
  • Men's Alpine Skiing – Slalom (1:45pm PST)
  • Men's Bobsleigh – Four Man (2:35pm PST)
  • Canada vs Norway – Men's Curling Gold Medal (3:00pm PST)
  • Finland vs Slovakia – Men's Ice Hockey Bronze Medal Game (7:00pm PST)

πŸ—“ Sunday, 28th February, 2010

My Event Highlights:

  • Canada vs USA – Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game (12:15pm PST)

Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game – The Vogue Theatre (12:15pm PST)

I'm booked in to watch the GAME TO END ALL GAMES at the Vogue Theatre on Granville Street in the heart of Vancouver's down town district, where the world's largest street party will kick off around 3pm as long as all goes according to plan.

Hockey is Canada's game, so when all is said and done the gold medal is rightfully ours. We'll see if the USA agree with me! I can't wait!!!

Vancouver 2010 Closing Ceremony

How do you cap off a big couple of weeks of Olympic events and partying? Throw one last bash while watching the curtain fall on the biggest event to hit town since the 1986 World Expo!


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