Manitoba is ready to showcase the province Feb. 12 to 28 at the 2010 Winter Games, and the province’s presence in Vancouver has already won an award, Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson, minister responsible for sport, announced.
“Manitoba is proud of our athletes who are competing on the international stage and we wish them all the best of luck,” said Robinson. “The Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games also provide a great opportunity to promote Manitoba’s tourism, economic development and trade, and immigration opportunities to visitors from across Canada and around the world.”
Manitoba’s pavilion, CentrePlace Manitoba, has been awarded the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) Sustainability Star to highlight sustainability in action. Manitoba companies have created a prefabricated sustainable building featuring Manitoba products and technology with the goal of being a carbon-neutral facility.
Designed by Manitoba’s Cibinel Architects, the pavilion features a recyclable translucent outer wall, and floor and ceiling woodwork from reclaimed Manitoba elm, remanufactured from diseased trees that would have otherwise been destroyed or gone to the landfill.
The building design reflects the province’s diversity, sculpted landforms, lakes, rivers and vibrant urban centres, said Robinson. Projections on the building’s exterior walls will showcase images of the northern lights, polar bears and bison. A 36-screen, panoramic video presentation showcases Manitoba.’s people, places and spirit
CentrePlace Manitoba is located at LiveCity Vancouver, downtown at the corner of Georgia and Beatty streets near the Government of Canada and the Four Host First Nations pavilions. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights has partnered with the provincial government and has an interactive feature exhibit.
Manitoba Day at the games is Thursday, Feb. 25. Plans include a celebration on the LiveCity site and a co-production of victory celebration concerts at B.C. Place with headliner Burton Cummings and featuring Doc Walker, Grand Analog, Chic Gamine, Tracey Bone and Inward Eye. Manitoba artists will also perform at live sites throughout the day. The lounges in the athletes’ villages will be stocked with made-in-Manitoba films and music and recorded Manitoba music will be played at sporting venues. A Manitoba social sponsored by Homecoming 2010 will take place on Feb. 24.
Manitoba francophone art and cultural content will be featured at the Place de la Francophonie site, which is a portion of Granville Island that becomes the French Quarter during the Olympic Games. A special Manitoba showcase will be held on the site’s main stage on Manitoba Day.
The Four Host First Nations pavilion is across the street from Manitoba’s pavilion and will include performances by numerous Manitoba Aboriginal artists.
Approximately 30 Manitoba artists and arts groups will also perform at the 2010 Cultural Olympiad. The Manitoba performers are scheduled in dozens of venues and celebration sites throughout the lower mainland and in Whistler.
Sport Manitoba has successfully secured a number of pre-Olympic training sessions with provincial funding. Olympic rinks competed at the BDO Men’s Curling Classic at the MTS Centre. The Swiss men’s and women’s curling teams will train in Morris Feb. 4 to 11. The Swiss hockey teams and the Belarus men’s hockey team will train and play exhibition games in Winnipeg from Feb. 7 to 11.
An outdoor celebration at The Forks on Saturday, Feb. 13 with headline acts Sierra Noble and The Waking Eyes and Olympic-related activities will give Manitobans the flavour of the games. This builds on the two successful visits of the Olympic torch relay to 33 Manitoba communities including five Aboriginal communities.
“The games provide us with a unique opportunity to showcase our province’s Aboriginal and francophone cultures, and green technology,” added Robinson. “Manitoba is ready to meet the world.”
Manitoba’s Olympic activities will be updated frequently. The latest information, including a blog on activities at the pavilion, will be available at www.centreplacemanitoba.ca.