Friday, February 5, 2010

Big Day

Yesterday was a big day.

I took the Canada Line downtown (about 25 minutes!) to distribute invitations to the hotels where everyone from out of town is staying. The sun, the blue sky, the crisp, clear air.

Every where you look, it's Vancouver Blue, and every other person seems to be ready to welcome the world.

I rode back with Diode Rick, who was volunteering his time installing the lights. Back at the wall, Ice Gate was taking shape. Mark Stitt put together the de-humidifying ducts for air flow over the glass.

Met Christa Lee McWaters-Bond under the recently-installed signs for BC House.

The squeegie worked this time and windows on Ice Gate were as clear as the sky.

Becky left early - her "The Choir is Singing" debuted at a coffee shop. The rest worked til dark.

We watched coverage of The Sechelt Torch Relay and Performance for Ice Gate dancers on CTV. (See for more pix). I got food poisoning, I think. Probably too much bragging that I never get sick. Saw the show, anyway heard Becky sing, left early - it was worth it!

Today's photos by Al Burns, Caitlin Hicks and Frank Sciberras, City of Richmond

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sechelt Torch Relay - we danced!

Photo by Shelley Harrison-Rae

Spring Olympics -6 days to go

Today is the Torch Relay in Sechelt, and our band of dancers are being featured with Performance for Ice Gate at the relay - watch for it on C-TV. We won't be able to be there - but can't wait for the photos! Break a leg you guys!!! I talked to Ian Jacques, editor of Coast Reporter, yesterday sorting details about covering the opening of Ice Gate here in Richmond, and I detected excitement in his voice - he said the Olympics are very big for the coast!

Al Burns got this one (above) reminiscent of that famous statue of the American flag being raised on Iwo Jima. Al has turned out to be our guy on the ground, showing up and snapping photos - then sending me these surprises!

Today the last load of ice paintings comes out of the cold storage. Here's Ari, driving the reefer truck. Just Business Magazine came out on the coast, Sharron Bates of Global TV was back at the wall, yesterday, filming and Emmanuelle spoke to French CBC-TV about Ice Gate in an interview. It rained and rained and rained. The Winter Olympics have turned to spring. This is just like it was in Italy!

Yesterday Allan May arrived with the lighting and pretty much had the whole thing done in a matter of hours. Gord was impressed with his efficiency, noting with a bit of happiness, that the warmth of the light on the glass softly melted any condensation. Allan left like Zorro, though, quietly off to the horizon, after having saved the day, leaving his steed behind. (read horse trailer). ( I got in trouble for saying 'moments of outright despair' yesterday - condensation IS a topic which has been thought about and planned for all along). So - a thank you to both Al and Allan today!

Neil Thomas of Discovery Network will get footage today and Sunshine Coast CKAY Radio host Sean Eckford is interviewing Gord by phone this morning.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

7 days 'til opening

And it's getting really, really exciting. Signage, phone calls, visitors to the site. White tents up everywhere; construction workers high up on scaffolds, photographers, press calling all the time. Emails with all the plans. Quotes required from the artist, sponsor, mayor. Crew at it until dark lifting those huge bergs.

Yesterday I biked to the site from south Richmond only to find the windows on the wall fogged up.

The squeegie only worked for 15 seconds, so I wiped them down with a window chemical - which seemed to work! All that trouble and expense - the world about to break down the doors to see what we've got and -- the windshield fogs up!

Luckily it's an anticipated and easily-remedied challenge. Not that there weren't a few moments of outright despair before Art Sutherland, Mr. Refrigerator guru, came up and said, "Oh, I knew that would happen."

Emmanuelle brought her seniors out to the wall; four groups visited who had heard the interview with Fanny Kiefer on Shaw-TV and made a special trip to see the installation going up.

How many crew can you squeeze into Ice Gate?

Seniors photos by Al Burns.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Google alert: Paintings going up

Everyday Cat sends me another Google alert on Gord Halloran and Ice Gate. Click the link on the right for Ian Hanomansing's piece for CBC-TV's The National - it aired a few times on Saturday across Canada and got picked up by Yahoo and AOL!

Today's alert: "Gordon Halloran’s ICE GATE is already generating tremendous media buzz as one of the must-see attractions of the 2010 Olympic Games. Exclusive to the O Zone, ICE GATE is a mammoth and spectacular ice art installation . . . ."

Our first day on site at the wall. Myung Sook Lee of Diverse Magazine and Monia Blanchet of CBC-TV came to finish up their stories on ICE GATE. We missed Susan Brinton; crew was at lunch while Shaw's camerman filmed - as Becky played interviewer just across the plaza and indoors. The rain was incessant.

We worked well past dark.

Art Sutherland worked on site today, and Diode Rick, who has come up with a more economical solution for lighting the wall, squeegied the glass. Meanwhile, we have invitations in hand - they're beautiful!

On the weekend, we watched dancers in Performance for Ice Gate rehearse their final time before the Torch Relay in Sechelt.

See more at

8 days left and the big news story was how long people are going to have to wait to get through security at the venues prior to seeing the event, for some, 2 hours! Word of the day: gelid: extremely cold, icy. Do 'comment', sometimes I feel these things go out into the void.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tomorrow: the paintings go up

From last day in minus 28 degrees:

Erik Olson and Jaz Halloran photos: tribute to cold storage experience and a sneak preview of one section of the wall.