'No Fun City' asks: Where's our anniversary party?
Published Wednesday, January 12, 2011 6:12PM PST
With the first anniversary of the opening ceremony for the Vancouver Olympics just one month away, residents of the "No Fun City" are asking: Where's our party?
A reunion has been planned for VANOC's paid employees, but so far, there's no word on what sort of celebration the rest of the city will see.
Former volunteer Joe Labarda plans to wear his blue jacket for the next 30 days, and on Feb. 12, he and hundreds of other volunteers have decided to meet at the Olympic cauldron and walk around the city in a sea of blue.
"We took it upon ourselves and said, ‘You know what? Let's just do it,'" he said.
He's disappointed that little else seems to have been planned.
"We haven't heard anything from the city at all as far as what they're planning for the one-year anniversary."
Mayor Gregor Robertson says that plans for a party are in the works -- they just haven't been announced.
"We haven't announced the formal plans yet, but we'll start doing that next week -- certainly a lot of big celebrations, not only downtown but all over the city," he said.
The provincial government isn't saying much either; Minister of Sport and Culture Stephanie Cadieux said the details are being finalized before they're announced later this month.
But she added that, "there will be what we would call a ‘signature celebration' in Vancouver."
That shroud of secrecy is a shame, according to Tourism Vancouver, which had hoped to promote the celebration.
"We wanted to be able to communicate that to visitors to bring people here, particularly from other parts of the province, but until you have that information, you're unable to do that and we're getting a bit late in the game for people to do any meaningful planning," said Walt Judas, a spokesman for the association.
Other cities are using provincial Spirit Festival grants to assist with celebrations. The Richmond Oval will host a free skate and torch-bearers' parade, while Whistler is putting on a two-week Olympic-themed festival.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Sarah Galashan
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