Saturday, January 30, 2010

They've begun to arrive!

The international press has begun to arrive in town. Thursday night we met the 'equipe' France Television at a restaurant in Gas Town; I was proud to say 'bienvenue au Canada" and to be able to address them in their native tongue - sharing the french language that is also part of the heritage of Canada.

Then on Friday we saw a group from Australian Television queueing up - they've got their official black jackets with their country emblem embroidered into the sleeves.

There is just nothing like the excitement of recognizing citizens from other countries in a situation like this - they're guests of our country, our province, our city - and no matter what our involvement with the Olympics, when we say "Welcome!" it's a celebration.

My writing skills fail me here to describe this experience - a recognition of another, the thrill of pride of country, it's a recognition that each of us belongs to the world. We're all here to share this unique experience -- where representatives of all its countries step out with pride and show off their young, their strong, their best. I'm gushing, perhaps and oversimplifying but it's an unmistakable thrill, a 'namaste', just extending that welcome. It's their experience too, their little moment, part of their memory of their stay here, just as it is mine.

The hotel has been undergoing a transformation - everything wrapped in the blue Vancouver 2010 signage from the indoor pillars to the new, outdoor fences and every other person has a badge with VANOC on it.

The artwork arrived; was hung on the wall and my camera failed me; I think it conked in the cold storage, so I wasn't able to get pictures of all the faces of the men and women at the hotel who helped us these past six weeks.

Monday we move to Richmond and begin installing the paintings. Friday the crew took the day off in preparation, and Gord began to display a bit of energy towards the end of the day-not-in-minus-28-degrees.

Today - CBC TV will broadcast Ian Hanomansing's piece on Ice Gate. At Sunnycrest Mall in Gibsons at 1 PM tomorrow, the dancers of PERFORMANCE FOR ICE GATE will do the dance for the first time in public!

There were five mentions of Ice Gate today on Google Alert. Look what we got on C-TV Calgary, reprinted online

You can’t have an Olympic Winter Games without ice, especially in the home city of the Richmond Olympic Oval, the premier venue of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Exclusive to the Ozone is the Ice Gate, a mammoth and spectacular ice art installation by Paintings Below Zero artist Gordon Halloran. The Ice Gate is presented by Inniskillin Wines, an Official Wine Supplier of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Inniskillin will also present a 60-foot tasting bar, the Icewine Gallery, where wine lovers can sample Icewine (including Inniskillin’s Commemorative Icewine), with proceeds benefiting Canadian athletes).

Al Burns photo at the top.

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