Minister Blair Lekstrom fuels up Chevy Volt at the 2010 BC Hydro Power Smart Village
OPENING ON FEB 10th: Olympic officials regularly remind us that Vancouver's 2010 Games are going to be the most sustainable in history. It's this growing interest in the environment and energy conservation that BC Hydro officials hope will drive people to their new Power Smart Village in downtown Vancouver. CityCaucus.com had a chance to visit the venue in advance of the official opening later this week and we can report that it's definitely not short on energy!
When you arrive, you should see a brand new Chevy Volt parked outside. We say "should"...as it may be off-site doing a test drive at some brief points during the Games. The Volt is scheduled to hit the road in British Columbia in 2011. The vehicle is parked directly in front of the Home of the Future which showcases the future of sustainable living. The structure is made of recycled freight containers wrapped in cedar cladding and pine beetle wood. It features numerous conservation-enabling technologies including smart appliances, a digital smart meter, energy efficient lighting, green walls and solar panels.
Inside the building you will find the Kids Zone featuring a seven-foot digital graffiti wall. We gave it a test by spray painting "CityCaucus" on it. Click here to take a look at our wonderful artwork. The host will provide guests with something that looks (and sounds) like a spray can which allows you to scribble whatever you'd like on the digital drawing board. Although it appears designed for kids, I must admit, I actually had quite a bit a fun at this one.
Greeting you at the front entrance inside the main building are two stunning Salish welcome figures that were carved by a First Nation employee working for BC Hydro. The carved figures honour the Games while showcasing aboriginal carving skills, artistry and storytelling. They are about 18 feet high and are quite stunning. They make for a great photo opportunity and will remain in the front entrance greeting visitors well after the Games are over.
The kids will also like Club Energy. This is a sustainable dance floor that produces electricity as people dance on top of it. The Hon. Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources joined about 15 grade 3 students to get the dance floor all lit up. The music was blaring and everyone seemed to have a great time. The outdoor tent isn't that big, but it appears capable of accommodating about 20-25 kids at any given time.
If you're in to winning free stuff, organizers tell me they will be handing out "passports" on site to everyone in attendance. Visit each of the four main stations and get your passport stamped in order that you can enter a draw to win tickets to the 2010 Winter Games. Daily draws will be held from Feb 10 - 20.
There is also a Power Smart Theatre, Conservation Lab and Paralympic Celebration display available for you to view. The Village opens daily at 10 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday an dat 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. During the Paralympic Games the Village closes at 6 p.m. each day. You should budget between 45-60 minutes to see everything at a leisurely pace.
Overall, this is a good pavilion likely to be enjoyed by both parents and kids alike. The adults will naturally gravitate toward the Home of the Future Display, while the graffiti wall will be a big hit with the kids. We'd recommend you take some time out of your busy schedule to visit it during the Games.
BC Hydro is the official supplier of electricity to the 2010 Winter Games. For a full set of photos from the preview event, click here.
- post by Daniel