Vision voted against "Live Site" program which Gregor Robertson now embraces

Post by Mike Klassen in


Artist rendering of the David Lam Park Live Site

Vancouver's Mayor is about to hold a news conference today touting the benefits to his city of the Olympic Live Site program initiated by the previous NPA council. He's expected to roll out what the Live Sites will look like including the kind of programming that will be made available to the public in a few months. It's all really exciting and once everything gets underway, the Live Sites will become a true focal point of interest to locals and tourists alike.

What makes Robertson's Olympic boosterism a bit curious is the fact that back on December 11, 2007 when his Vision colleagues were asked to allocate funding for the Live Site program, they all opposed it (see motion on pg. 14).

MOVED by Councillor Anton
A.    THAT Council approve the programs and budgets as outlined in the Administrative Report Olympic Legacy Reserve Fund, dated November 27, 2007, for the Olympic Legacy Reserve Fund in the amount of $20,000,000 with funding approvals for specific projects to be reported to Council.

...CARRIED with Councillors Chow, Deal, Louie and Stevenson opposed

The report entitled Olympic Legacy Reserve Fund asked that Council set aside up to $5 million dollars (out of a $20 million dollar program) to cover the cost of the Live Site program. Councillors Louie, Chow, Deal and Stevenson all raised their hands and said no to the funding.

In his report, Dave Rudberg, the man who was supposed to be heading up the Olympic Games Operation for the City before he suddenly "retired", stated:

2010 Winter Games Live Site Concept Plan - Council will be presented with a concept proposal to establish a two site plan for a Games time Live Sites at a City cost of $5,000,000 to be funded ultimately from the Legacy Reserve Fund.

Rudberg went on to provide a brief description of what the Live Sites were all about:

The Live Site proposal is a Vancouver managed project to create two celebration zones at the former Bus Depot site on Beatty Street and at the David Lam Park. The objective is to create a free family venue with live T.V. broadcast of Olympic and Paralympic events, stage entertainment and Sponsor / Provincial activation. City Council has approved the concept plan and authorized funding from the Legacy Reserve Fund once it’s established.

Now that they're in government, Vision has somewhat forgotten this little vote and jumping on the Olympic bandwagon (although some would say still rather reluctantly). In politics, it's common for a new government to take the credit for the heavy lifting of the previous one.

This Mayor and council have turned this into an art form taking credit for everything from social housing to Olympic funding. This morning's news conference is yet another example of that.

UPDATE: Mayor Robertson issued the following release at 10 am Wednesday morning.

City of Vancouver News Release
October 7, 2009
City of Vancouver to host LiveCity Vancouver

Two free, festive and fun environments to celebrate the 2010 Winter Games

During the 2010 Winter Games, the City of Vancouver, with support from the Government of Canada, will host LiveCity Vancouver - two exciting and distinct outdoor celebration sites (LiveCity Yaletown and LiveCity Downtown) in the heart of the city.

"LiveCity Vancouver is all about celebration and sharing the moment," says Mayor Gregor Robertson. "It is about the chance to stand shoulder to shoulder with neighbours from around the block or across the country as well as new friends and visitors to our city - to experience the excitement and celebrate the true spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games together."

"This is an opportunity to take pride in our country's rich and diverse culture, bilingual heritage, and amazing geography," said the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport). "The Vancouver sites will be a celebration of Canada's Games and a showcase for our world-class talent. They will unify Canadians from across the country and connect with visitors from around the world. This will be a unique way for visitors and Canadians alike to experience the Games."

LiveCity Vancouver will be the place to be for free, fun and family Games-time memories, offering top local, Canadian and international entertainment, big-screen Olympic Winter Games sporting coverage, Olympic sponsor and partner pavilions and much more. LiveCity Vancouver will provide the opportunity to showcase and celebrate our Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

* LiveCity Yaletown - on the water's edge at David Lam Park. LiveCity Yaletown will feature live local, national, and international entertainment on the main stage in the afternoon and into the night, culminating each evening with a dynamic nightly closing show. Giant screens will show highlights of Olympic Winter Games sport coverage and visitors can enjoy the interactive Olympic sponsor pavilions, Vancouver House, and much more... all for free! LiveCity Yaletown will be open the evening of February 11 and throughout the Olympic Games February 12 - 28 from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. daily.

* LiveCity Downtown - an urban gathering place in the heart of the city at Georgia and Cambie Streets. LiveCity Downtown is all about the spirit of sport and competition. A giant screen will show live coverage of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games events as they unfold. This is the place to meet with friends and mingle with visitors from around the world in a lively, urban setting. Visit 2010 Canada Pavilion and the Province of Manitoba's pavilion; enjoy the best in local food and drink and cheer our athletes on to gold. Just steps from BC Place and General Motors Place (Canada Hockey Place), this is as close as you'll get to the action without having a ticket. LiveCity Downtown will be open February 13 - 28, 11 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. daily, and again March 12 - 14 and March 18 - 21, from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. to celebrate the Paralympic Winter Games.

LiveCity Yaletown and LiveCity Downtown will be within easy walking distance of major transit routes and will be connected to General Motors Place (Canada Hockey Place), BC Place, the seawall and the downtown core by animated pedestrian thoroughfares.
Another key piece of the City's Olympic strategy, Vancouver House, will be located at LiveCity Yaletown. Building on Vancouver's new Green Capital business brand, Vancouver House will showcase local leadership and success stories. Vancouver House will be Green Capital in action: a clear, bold statement that says Vancouver means business. Vancouver House will also play a key role in the City's economic development strategy by hosting visitors, media and dignitaries.
Olympic sponsors and partners:
The City of Vancouver is pleased to have four top Olympic sponsors at LiveCity Yaletown - Acer, Coca-Cola, Panasonic, and Samsung. Each will host an interactive pavilion with displays and programs that will enhance the LiveCity Yaletown site. The City is also pleased to host the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba as government partners at LiveCity Downtown.

Programming announcements:
There will be something for everyone on stage at LiveCity Yaletown. The following groups are representative of the wide range of talent from across Canada and around the world that will perform nightly at LiveCity Yaletown: Alexisonfire, Allez Ouest, Blue Rodeo, Crystal Shawanda, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Deadmau5, Jim Byrnes, Steve Dawson and The Sojourners, Johnny Reid, Jully Black, Malajube, the Sam Roberts Band, Wilco and Wintersleep.

There will be more announcements in the days and weeks to come and the full programming line-up will be posted at / early in the New Year.

LiveCity Vancouver is hosted by the City of Vancouver with Live Nation Canada Inc. as Producer and Five Currents as Creative Director. The talented team offers strong local and national producing experience and very specialised knowledge that can only come from work on past Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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Why not question the use, yet again, of public money for the Olympics at a time when the City of Vancouver has significant financial problems.

Politicians who claim that the City has decreased revenues, after building dozens of residential towers, yet spend on a party are in good company. Perhaps a statue of Nero at one of the not so "live sites" would be fitting.

Check out live time lapse camera of the David Lam Live Site being constructed.

Check out!

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