Vancouver 2010’s Board of Directors meets, reviews impressive construction progress of the Richmond Oval
Richmond, BC – The Board of Directors for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) met today in Richmond, BC to review and receive updates on a series of key 2010 Winter Games topics. The meeting agenda included a management update from the CEO’s office, Board authorization of a number of contracts that will continue to support the planning and staging of the 2010 Winter Games, a venue construction update and a tour of the Richmond Oval.
The final roof arch was recently erected on the Oval, scheduled to open in late summer 2008. Home to long track speed skating during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Oval will host up to 12 medal events, with 36 medals to be awarded. Beyond the 2010 Winter Games, the Oval will become an international centre of excellence for sports and wellness. The Oval’s flexible design will allow it to be used for a wide variety of sport and community uses.
Immediately following the Board meeting today, the 2007 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Members of VANOC was held. The meeting included the re-appointment of Jack Poole as Board Chairman through to the next AGM, in 2008, in addition to confirming the officers of the Corporation: John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer; Ken Bagshaw, Chief Legal Officer; Dorothy Byrne, Vice President & Corporate Secretary; Ward Chapin, Chief Information Officer; Dave Cobb, Executive Vice President; Dan Doyle, Executive Vice President; David Guscott, Executive Vice President; John McLaughlin, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President; Cathy Priestner Allinger, Executive Vice President; Donna Wilson, Executive Vice President; and Terry Wright, Executive Vice President.
The audited financial statements of the corporation for the period ending July 31, 2007 were received by the Members at the AGM. Ernst & Young, LLP, Chartered Accountants were re-appointed as auditors of VANOC for the ensuing year.
VANOC is now in the final stages of intense planning and preparation for the launch of the mascots on November 27. The launch itself will consist of a 35-minute live show that incorporates animated video, dance, song, special effects and, of course, the live characters themselves. More than 800 schoolchildren will be the first to meet the mascots, while the rest of Canada and the world will meet them simultaneously through www.vancouver2010.com.
Venue Construction Update
Construction of the Whistler Nordic Venue, the Whistler Sliding Centre and Whistler Creekside will be completed in less than a month. The Whistler Sliding Centre reached a significant milestone on October 27 when the refrigeration plant and track pipe work passed all tests and, subsequently, the ammonia refrigerant was loaded into the system. The ski jump at the Whistler Nordic Venue passed the preliminary homologation inspection (a technical inspection by the International Federation). Both the alpine venue, at Whistler Creekside, and the snowboard and freestyle venues, at Cypress Mountain, are ready for snowmaking this month.
All city venues have progressed well throughout the reporting period. The final roof arch was erected at the Richmond Oval, and the main arena at the UBC Winter Sports Centre has been “closed in.” Erection of the steel structure at Hillcrest/Nat Bailey Stadium Park has begun.
The Cultural Olympiad’s first public program, the Cultural Olympiad 2008 Celebration, will be announced on November 29. More than 600 members of the arts community, major arts and entertainment media and key government partners, sponsors and stakeholders will attend the event. Details on the call for proposals for events in 2009 and 2010 will also be made public.
VANOC’s plans for the Olympic Games Opening, Closing and BC Place Stadium Victory Ceremonies continue to progress well. Throughout the month of October, David Atkins Enterprises (DAE) and VANOC Ceremonies staff held a series of productive working sessions to define the structure, roles, inter-functional support and overall working relationship between the parties.
VANOC will present the 2010 Winter Games “day-by-day” competition schedule to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive board for approval in early December. Also, pre-Games operations will officially begin in early December at the Whistler Nordic Venue, and in January at the Whistler Sliding Centre. Operational staff has begun working at the venues under the direction of the Nordic and Sliding sport directors.
In late October, VANOC Chief Executive Officer John Furlong travelled to New York City to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between VANOC and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). As the voice for the environment within the United Nations system, UNEP has global reach. More information about how VANOC and UNEP will work together is available at www.vancouver2010.com.
Volunteer Program Update
VANOC is now in a full planning mode for the Call for Volunteers “Launch Event,” taking place in February 2008, locally, with high national reach to all provinces and territories. A pre-call awareness strategy is underway. The strategy includes discussions with volunteer organizations, multicultural groups, Aboriginal groups, educational institutions, seniors, the business community and more, with the goal to inspire Canadians to apply for a volunteer position, beginning in February 2008. VANOC is also designing an exclusive volunteer web portal that includes news and information about the 2010 Winter Games.
On September 25, VANOC’s online education program for teachers and students, /EDU, was officially launched in conjunction with a meeting of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. Only one month after the launch, subscriptions had increased greatly, from 150 to over 1,700. The BC Sports Hall of Fame reported that it also saw a significant jump in the number of teachers accessing its online resources following the launch of /EDU, and that these teachers were coming to the BC Hall of Fame website directly after visiting /EDU.
Two-Year Countdown Activities
Planning is underway for one of VANOC’s first key milestones of 2008 – the two-year countdown celebration. VANOC is working with partners, sponsors and other stakeholders to identify opportunities to extend the celebration period around February 12, the date the Winter Games will begin in 2010, through existing local, regional and national events and activities.
VANOC will also be intensifying its national presence for the two-year countdown by capitalizing on its website (at www.vancouver2010.com) and key stakeholder events in Ottawa and Quebec City in order to realize VANOC’s Canada’s Games objectives. The two-year countdown celebration period will provide the platform for VANOC to launch: its Call for Volunteers program; the 2008 Cultural Olympiad; and further the 2010 Winter Games’ ticketing and mascot programs, giving Games enthusiasts, both in Canada and around the world, tangible opportunities to participate in the Vancouver 2010 experience.
Report of the Finance Committee
A report of the Finance Committee meetings, held on October 8th and November 13th, included recommendations that required approvals today from the VANOC Board as outlined below. The Finance Committee report also included updates on previously approved contracts not requiring Board approval. Contract awards are posted on www.vancouver2010.com following their completion.
Finance Committee recommendations approved by the Board:
Approved deposits and draws from VANOC’s venue development capital budget contingency: A deposit of $2.5 million in savings from Hastings Park and a draw of $2.25 million to Hillcrest/Nat Bailey Park resulted in a net deposit and increase in the capital budget central contingency of $250,000.
With the approved $250,000 contingency increase, the capital budget central contingency has grown from its previous level of $26.8 million to $27.1 million, which is $5.1 million above the allowable balance required by the Performance and Accountability Agreement with the Province of BC. The central venue development budget contingency is contained within the overall $580 million construction budget. Including the contingency deposit and draw, VANOC’s venue development program remains on target for completion within the $580 million budget. VANOC will formally report on its financial results as part of its next quarterly report, scheduled for release in December 2007.
The Board also approved, on recommendation of the Finance Committee, VANOC’s operating agreement with Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA) for the 2008 Alpine World Cup.
The Board also examined and approved contracts related to operational activities and received a report on recent activities of the Finance Committee.
The Finance Committee authorized management to contribute up to $260,000 to non-profit organizations, to be applied towards costs relating to the recruitment, support and wages of trainee participants at the RONA Vancouver 2010 Fabrication Shop, which officially opened on November 19.
Report of the Audit Committee
The Board received an update from the Audit Committee meeting held on October 1, 2007. The Committee had approved the financial statements and Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) for the year ending July 31, 2007. The financial statements and MD&A were released to the public in October 2007 and are available at www.vancouver2010.com. The Committee also recommended that Ernst and Young, LLP, be approved again as auditors for the upcoming year.
Report of the Governance and Ethics (G&E) Committee
The Board received an update from the G&E Committee meeting held on October 10, 2007, where the Committee had reviewed a status report on how VANOC’s Board of Directors is performing in relation to enhanced transparency measures introduced earlier in 2007. It was determined that the Board is in compliance with those commitments.
2010 Games Operating Trust
The 2010 Games Operating Trust Fund was established in 2004 to support the operating and capital maintenance costs of three facilities being built for the Games: the Whistler Nordic Venue, the Whistler Sliding Centre and the Richmond Oval. As previously committed and announced, the Province of BC and the Government of Canada each made a contribution of $55 million to the fund, which has now grown to approximately $130 million.
With the beginning of operations next month at the Whistler Nordic Venue, the fund will begin supporting the operating costs associated with these venues, as athletes are provided training and testing opportunities.
Report of the Strategic Communications Steering Committee
The Strategic Communications Steering Committee provided an overview of the 2008 Cultural Olympiad and Look of the Games concept. The Look of the Games is the visual image and identity that is applied to the Games environment during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The application of “Look” treatments creates a consistent backdrop for the Games-wide theatre of events. The scope and creativity involved with the Look make it a very distinct element of any Olympic or Paralympic Games. As with previous Games, the Look of the 2010 Winter Games will be unveiled in the final days before the Games begin.
The Vancouver 2010 Board of Directors is made up of 20 members nominated by: the Canadian Olympic Committee (seven); the Government of Canada (three); the Province of British Columbia (three); the City of Vancouver (two); the Resort Municipality of Whistler (two); the Canadian Paralympic Committee (one); a joint appointment by the Band Councils of the Lil’wat and Squamish Nations (one); and one member nominated by the other 19 members.
The Board is scheduled to meet six times per year, and more often at the call of the Chair as required. The meetings are generally held at the Vancouver 2010 offices in Vancouver, although they are occasionally hosted by our Games partners in other locations. The Board’s responsibility is to oversee the conduct of the business of VANOC as it works toward achieving its Mission, to touch the soul of the nation and inspire the world by creating and delivering an extraordinary Olympic and Paralympic experience with lasting legacies.
As part of its commitment to public transparency and accountability, the Vancouver 2010 Board of Directors has made today’s agenda, discussion topics and decisions available to the public on vancouver2010.com, subject to conditions of confidentiality related to personal information and/or competitively sensitive or privileged information. VANOC is also committed to hosting media briefings following each Board meeting with the Board Chairman, the CEO and other director(s) or members of the VANOC senior management team to elaborate further on matters.
The next meeting of the VANOC Board of Directors is scheduled for January 16, 2008.
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