The vision of engaging every Canadian in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games today came four steps closer to reality. John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), at the annual Council of the Federation meeting, officially signed four separate memoranda of understanding with the premiers of New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador to explore opportunities for cooperation and involvement leading up to and during the 2010 Winter Games.
Each provincial premier has identified a number of potential areas for collaboration between his province and Vancouver 2010 that will help VANOC successfully deliver on its mission and vision to engage and benefit citizens across the country in the areas of sport development, culture, volunteerism, tourism and economic development.
“The Olympic and Paralympic Games represent an opportunity for all of Canada to be showcased on the world stage and we invite Canadians, wherever they live, to play an active role,” said Furlong. “The 2010 Winter Games will be Canada’s Games. Today, as we come together in a spirit of cooperation with provinces from both the Atlantic region and the Prairies, we are well on our way to fulfilling our goal of including every region of the country in this remarkable endeavour.”
“By signing this memorandum today, New Brunswick has demonstrated that it is ready and excited to participate in the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic experience,” said the Honourable Shawn Graham, Premier of New Brunswick and Minister of Wellness, Culture and Sport. “We have agreed to work with the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee on various initiatives, which will ensure that New Brunswick’s unique culture and the skills of our people can contribute in a positive way to the successful hosting of Canada’s Games.”
“In 2010, the world is coming to Canada, and Manitoba needs to be there to greet the world,” said the Honourable Gary Doer, Premier of Manitoba. “The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are an ideal opportunity to show all that Manitoba has to offer to an international audience.”
“These Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games will enable our province to advance Prince Edward Island culture, tourism, economic development and sport initiatives throughout Canada and internationally,” said the Honourable Robert Ghiz, Premier of Prince Edward Island. “We will also be in a very good position to support the Olympic movement and to promote the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games when we host the Canada Summer Games in Prince Edward Island in 2009.”
“It gives me great pride to take part in this signing today as it provides a wonderful opportunity for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to make a significant contribution to the 2010 Winter Games,” said the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. “Through this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) our residents will have the ability to be volunteers at the Games, our province will be showcased at various events and the Torch Relay will visit Newfoundland and Labrador. The MOU also enables us to pursue various opportunities for economic development in the context of the Games, including promoting our province as a tourism destination.”
“As the Host Province of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, British Columbia is working hard to put on an extraordinary experience that will make all of Canada proud and inspire the world,” said the Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia. “We are thrilled with our progress to date and are delighted to welcome New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador to help truly make these Canada’s Games.”
Prior to today’s announcement, VANOC signed memoranda of understanding with Quebec and the Northern Territories in the areas of language, culture, sport development, volunteerism, tourism and economic development. Discussions are ongoing with the remaining provinces to identify areas of collaboration that will ensure all Canadians can be involved and inspired by the Games in 2010. The goal is to sign memoranda of understanding with all provinces and territories, so as to make the 2010 Winter Games truly Canada’s Games.
VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010.