He is the artistic director of Bard on the Beach, Vancouver's annual Shakespearean festival.

But Christopher Gaze admits he's just as excited about the games, as he about the next theatre season.

"It's the greatest event that, I, we may ever be a part of in our lives, and it's happening in our city,'' said Gaze.

Like many people in the country he's trying to get the best seats he can and he knows that if he had deeper pockets, he would be guaranteed access to prime events.

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Ever so quietly, The Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC) is offering that kind of access via gold-plated packages dubbed the 2010 club.

The package includes 100 tickets to all the marquee events, and cost $285,000.

For that price, ticket holders get guaranteed seating at prime events like hockey and the opening ceremonies, and a spot in the torch relay.

This super club for the super rich has some saying that the VANOC is favouring the elite.

But VANOC disagrees. It considers members of the 2010 club "donors" who will end up paying far more for tickets than regular folks.

That will allow organizers to offer cheaper $25 seats to many events.

Also, none of the elite tickets would be taking from those set aside for the public.

"So it's not reducing anybody's chance to go to gold medal hockey, but it's an important funding element for the game,'' said Dave Cobb, spokesman for VANOC.

With a report by CTV British Columbia's St. John Alexander