No-Fun City tag sticks as 2010 parties go elsewhere
Published Wednesday, February 11, 2009 11:28PM PST
In Whistler they are partying. But Vancouver, it's a much different story.
For years, the 2010 host city has celebrated every milestone on the Olympic journey. Not anymore. There isn't a single public event planned for the one-year countdown day for what some call the No-Fun City.
The city had been celebrating since it won the Games, but Vancouver's mayor, Gregor Robertson, dropped the puck on this one.
"Tomorrow there isn't big parties all across the city. There's so much energy focused on pulling the Games together, and the venues specifically, so all of the focus has been there in preparing. Unfortunately no work has been done for the big public celebration," he told CTV News on Wednesday.
While there's no special one-year countdown celebration in Vancouver there is one at the Richmond Speed Skating Oval. This is where Vancouver's mayor will be, along with Premier Gordon Campbell and IOC president Jacques Rogge. There'll be special performances and Olympic Athletes, but it is not a public celebration.
No parties in the host city? Beijing had a big bash for its one-year countdown -- why not us?
"That's a good question," said Robertson. "We gotta kick the fun into gear here."
There will be a public celebration in Whistler -- an outdoor concert in village square. Could it be previous protests have made Olympic organizers gun-shy about Vancouver?
"It's really a case of trying to manage crowds -- there's tremendous interest but only limited number of seats," said Colin Hansen, the provincial minister responsible for the Olympics.
"There are some challenges that come from the amount of size, scope and the amount of security in terms of safety, not even necessarily in regard to protest," said Maureen Douglas of VANOC.
But if you are looking for something to do, you can ride SkyTrain -- TransLink wants you to bring your "horns, cowbells and tambourines" and make some noise at 6 p.m. Or you can head to Canada Place where the heritage horns will blow at 6 p.m. and you are encouraged to "clap, sing, whistle or cheer."
They're having way more fun in other provinces -- flag raising in Parliament Hill, torch lighting in Calgary -- but nothing in Vancouver.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson.