Paralympics for pavilions? A few are sticking around

Post by Mike Klassen in


Crowds at Robson Square
Crowds at Robson Square enjoying the sun and the great energy downtown

The #1 question we've been getting asked at for days has been, "will we be able to still see the pavilions during the Paralympics?" The Olympic Games end on Sunday, and with it will come the closures of the vast majority of the free venues. Today – Monday – is predicted to be the last full day of pure sunshine for the duration of the Olympic Games. If you were going to skip out of work, or take a day off from classes, then it would be our recommendation to get to downtown Vancouver. Surrey Celebration site is closed until Wednesday. Check out GlobalTV's piece on what venues will remain open, and which will close. Tourism Vancouver has provided a pretty good summary of what we know today is staying open, and you can read it here:

Just 12 days after the Closing Ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games kick off. From March 12 to 21, Vancouver and Whistler will host 1,350 Paralympic athletes and team officials from 44 countries in what will be the first Paralympic Winter Games ever held in Canada.

Inexpensive tickets, plentiful downtown accommodation, a wonderful celebratory atmosphere, and inspiring athletes will make the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games an event not to be missed. Here's a run-down of what you need to know to plan your trip.

Paralympic tickets: Paralympic tickets start at just $15! For most Paralympic events, tickets can be purchased on the day of the event, at the venue, or in person at one of the downtown Vancouver 2010 Ticket Centres. For high-demand events (such as ice sledge hockey), advance ticket purchase is recommended. Canadians can purchase advance tickets through, while US and international visitors can purchase tickets through their National Paralympic Committee or the Official Ticket Agent representing their region. Tickets are on sale now.

Accommodation: Rooms at top downtown Vancouver hotels is readily available during the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games and can be booked through Tourism Vancouver's accommodation page. Use Tourism Vancouver's new interactive map to choose accommodation near the Paralympic venues.

Events and venues: There are five competition sports taking place during the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling will be contested in Vancouver (at UBC Thunderbird Arena and Vancouver Paralympic Centre respectively), while alpine skiing, biathlon and cross-country skiing events will be hosted in Whistler. The venues have been specially built or retrofitted for Paralympic competition. For example, UBC Thunderbird Arena will have ice surfaces built into the benches and boxes to ease transition for players from resting areas to the playing surface (a first in Paralympic Winter Games history). Click here for the full 2010 Paralympic Winter Games schedule.

Don't miss:

  • Paralympictorchrelay 0210Paralympic Torch Relay: Starting in Ottawa on March 3, the Paralympic Torch Relay will see approximately 600 torchbearers carry the torch across Canada.
  • 2010 Paralympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony (March 12, BC Place): A spectacular event including 1,500 athletes from 45 countries and 4,000 dancers, singers, acrobats, athletes and musicians of all ages.Tbirdstadium 0210(1)
  • Gold medal ice sledge hockey game (March 20, UBC Thunderbird Arena): The gold medal ice sledge hockey game is bound to be the most talked about event of the 2010 Paralympic Games. This game is already sold out, but look for resale tickets on the official fan-to-fan marketplace or catch the game at restaurants and bars all across the city.
  • Souvenir shopping: The cute plush-toy version of Sumi, the official Paralympic mascot, is the top souvenir of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Sumi, along with other official Paralympic merchandise, is readily available in Vancouver stores.

Where to party and explore during the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games:

  • LiveCity Downtown (Georgia Street, between Beatty and Cambie Streets): The City of Vancouver-sponsored celebration site will feature giant screens and live performances. Open March 12 to 14 and 18 to 21, from 1pm to 9pm.
  • British Columbia's Robson Square Celebration Site (Robson Street, between Hornby and Howe Streets): The GE Ice Plaza at the Robson Square Celebration Site will be one of the major gathering places during the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, featuring ice skating, athlete demonstrations, family events and BC-focused programming. The GE Ice Plaza is already open to the public with free skating and public events.
  • BC Hydro Power Smart Village (333 Dunsmuir Street): This family-friendly celebration site will feature a dance floor that generates electricity as people dance. A section of the village will be devoted to showcasing Canada's greatest Paralympic moments. Open March 1 to 22 from 10am to 6pm.
  • Canada's Northern House (602 West Hastings Street): Canada's Northern House showcases the culture of Canada's three territories including demonstrations of traditional Arctic games, craft displays and live musical events. Open March 1 to 31 from 10am to 5pm.
  • Pride House Vancouver (1170 Bute Street): An inclusive, welcome space for LGBT athletes, family, friends and visitors to come together and celebrate.
  • Centreplace Manitoba (at LiveCity Downtown): CentrePlace Manitoba features multimedia displays and an exhibit by the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. Open March 12 from 4pm to 7pm; March 13 to 14 and 18 to 21, from 1pm to 9pm.


On another note, we're hearing that the BC government is exploring the option of keeping the BC-Canada Pavilion at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Ziptrek open. Stay tuned for details.

Thanks to Tourism Vancouver for this great update! Visit them at


that so not fair to paraolympics participants.
Canada, you are having the greatest Olympics but this is even greater disappointment!

Don't we (Paralympics participants) deserve to enjoy the pavilions and exhibitions too.

Carlos, we've updated the information on the post since this morning, adding all the venues that will remain open during the Paralympic Games. There is also a chance that Robson Square might keep the Ziptrek line for that period, and the BC Pavilion.

Also, it's our understanding that they will take down the fence around the cauldron during the Paralympics, so everyone will be able to get up close.

Please get confirmation on the retention of the Zipline in Robson Square; I would love for it to stick around during the Paralympic Games!

I can't believe the planning for the Paralympics by the BC and Canadian governments!
What is wrong with us that we aren't leaders in this area ... at the very least, Richmond's venues and the BC/Canada venues should be equally as celebratory for these exciting games!

Come on guys, we want to CELEBRATE the Olympics, all of the Olympics.

It disgust me that pavilions and celebration sites are not staying open during the Paralympic Games. What does this say about equality in Canada? These athletes train hard and deserve the same Olympics that the athletes are enjoying right now.
All Olympics need to be CELEBRATED.

When I google the BC Pavilion, I get a BC government website that is out of date, offering the use of the facility for BC businesses to make connections. It is really embarrassing that this website is out of date! Why wouldn't it have information about the specific location, when it is open, & what foreign visitors can expect, etc?

It is a sad fact that no one cares about the Paralympics. After the summer Olympics finished in Beijing everyone went home and tv coverage was non existent. This will be the case once again with the Paralympics held in this great city. The traffic lanes are going back to normal, Translink will reduce service, Pedestrian malls are gone too. The Paralympics are the politically correct games. You can tack it on to the Olympics but you can't make the general public care about them.

Yes, the pavillions should stay open for the Paralympics. Yea! that some are. Hopefully the Mint will stay open as well, considering that their lineups are for hours & hours these days.

Well written, Nadine. And right on.

I do understand that everything can't stay open. But more things then that should stay open! I think the mint and the ozone in richmond should!

I've always wondered why the Paralympics have to be separate from the Olympics. How come the two events can't be combined and everyone and everything be there at the same time for say three weeks? It blows the Paralympics will get none of the attention and excitement the Olympics got.

As a disabled person who cannot stand for long periods of time, I was disappointed that I was rarely offered the opportunity to bypass the long lineups at the free pavilions. It is only fitting that they should all remain open until the Paralympics are finished, so everyone can participate in the Olympic experience.

If we want to be remembered as a nation that welcomed everyone
then, we should also welcome the disabled - that includes carrying on
the same activities as the olympics.
At the very least the pavilions
should remain open for the enjoyment
of all. We are specifically going
to attend the Paralympics to cheer
them on, and we were shocked to hear
that some of the pavilions would be
shut down. But then again, treating
the disabled with respect has never
been high on the government's agenda.

Cmon Serious? All the pavilions are packing up and going? Where are we going to drink our beer and cheer on the Paralympics? Throught the late night hours? Cmon guys! What are you doing!!

We won god!! Our own turf now its time to celibrate and welcome the Paralympic participants!!!!

I'm looking forward to the Paralympic Games but I'm sorry to learn that most of the pavilions will be closing. I was unable to see even one during the Olympics because of the long line-ups and I was looking forward to seeing them in March! Why would federal and provincial governments and we, the tax payers, invest so much money in these pavilions if we aren't going to make opimum use of them? I'm sure they would generate extra tourism dollars that would negate the additional costs of keeping them open!

The reason why almost everything is close for the Paralympics is because most people don't care about it, so why keep something that will cost money open if there will not be a profit? Don't be mad, that's the truth. Personally, being disabled myself, I think those games are a great inspirations for the disables and show that you can still live fully even if you have been missfortuned. However, the public is not interested in the games as much as they were for the Olympics. Sad but true... Don't get mad, it's just a fact! I'm not offended by it!

I think that for future Olympic games they should hold the paralympics first, it would draw more people that way.

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