Thank you!

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Daniel Fontaine & Mike Klassen
Thanks from Daniel Fontaine & Mike Klassen

Many, many thank yous to all of those who helped make our coverage of Vancouver's 2010 celebration a success. We marked the end of February with 2.25 million page views, nearly 1,000,000 visitors and tens of thousands of downloads of our printable guide. Our biggest thank you goes to you, our readers, who shared our guide with their friends by exchanging links via email, posting to their social network connections like Facebook and Twitter, and printing off copies our guide. It was a remarkable example of viral marketing for what became the biggest part of the 2010 Games celebration – the free activities geared to the majority of us without tickets for events.

First and foremost we must thank members of our families, friends and colleagues who have barely seen us since the middle of January. We've tested the patience of our wives almost daily, and our kids remained good natured despite many absences.

We must give a huge shout-out to the amazing Lisa Brideau, the unsung heroine behind our Google Map, as well writers Michelle Pereira, Kerri Brkich, Paul Hillsdon and Darren Chung for giving us great perspectives over the last several weeks!

Our thanks to staff in the Prime Minister's office and Minister's Regional Office for providing an exclusive first look of the Canada Pavilion accompanied by Prime Minister Harper and Senator Nancy Greene Raine. We were also honoured with an early look of the BC Pavilion at Robson Square, and we're extremely grateful to Minister Mary McNeil and her staff for this opportunity.

We thank broadcaster Bill Good for providing the inspiration for our Where 2 Be for Free guide, and his many colleagues at CKNW for helping us promote it. These include Christy Clark, Philip Till, Mike Smyth, and producers Rebecca Scott, Amy Lapsely and Carly Nichol. We were humbled by the special mention by CKNW's Michael Campbell, who told his listeners on the Morning News to ignore the negative media, and visit our site.

We are especially grateful to everyone at GlobalTV, including Managing Editor Clive Jackson, the amazing reporter Linda Aylesworth and her colleagues Brian Coxford, John Daly, Darlene Heidemann, Marisa Tomas, Robin Stickley, all the camera operators and anchors Chris Gailus & Deb Hope. As well the team behind the Global Morning News, hosts Steve Darling and Lynne Colliar, and of course Wayne Cox for his 2010 wish list. Your million viewers surely secured the success of the 2010 Games.

Many thanks to 24 Hours editor Dean Broughton and journalist Bob Mackin for their support and for plugging Where 2 Be for Free to their paper's readers.

We were pleased to work with CBC TV's Miyoung Lee and Theresa Lalonde, and appreciated the support of CBC Radio's Early Edition program, and the thoughtful wish list provided to us by host Rick Cluff. We also enjoyed the 2010 wish lists provided for our readers by CTV's Marke Driesschen, Christy Clark, and Rock 101's Brother Jake & Martin Strong.

Thanks to Vancouver Sun's Jeff Lee for the plug on his blog, and food writer Mia Stainsby for talking with us about nosh at the free venues. Thanks also to News 1130, CP 24's Rena Heer, and Mick Molloy and his producers at Australia's Channel 9 network.

Also, kudos to the folks at Translink's The Buzzer free newsletter for plugging our guide!

From the venues themselves there are so many people to thank for their hospitality. We were thrilled to be able to work with the folks at BC Hydro Power Smart Village, and to be able to offer tickets to the Olympic Men's Quarter Finals game. Our thanks to the fabulous Jacqueline Baptist and her staff down at Ontario House. We received a gracious welcome from House of Switzerland, and thank others down at Place de la Francophonie and Atlantic Canada House for communicating with us.

We appreciate the great tours of Surrey's 2010 Celebration site by city councillor Linda Hepner, and of Richmond's O Zone with media director Diana Waltmann. We were also thrilled to have an early look at the Flexity streetcar and thank the folks at Bombardier for this opportunity. Thanks to Tom Olsen at Alberta House, and thanks to Tewanee Joseph and Alex Rose for the amazing warm reception at the Four Host First Nations Pavilion.

Thanks also to Gary Schauerte of Canada's Northern House, and Freek De Wette of Holland Heineken House, and the warm reception received at so many other venues such as German Fan Fest, Kla-Howya Aboriginal Village, Saskatchewan House, West House, PRIDE House Vancouver and Discover Calabria, as well the many emails from cities and organizations notifying us of events, or stuff we missed.

We'd also like to thank the folks at Tourism BC, Tourism Vancouver, staff at the International Unaccredited Media Centre and even staff at VANOC who pointed thousands of visitors to our guide. As well, our thanks to Andrea Kay, aka, and video genius Kenneth Chan who were the embodiment of positive boosterism during Vancouver's 2010 Games.

Again, most of all we thank our readers, who not only provided us with insight on so many aspects of these venues we could have never discovered ourselves, but also shared Where 2 Be for Free with so many of their friends and family members. Now, we'll try to catch up on some rest, and get back to work on our next posts, as well as some news from the upcoming Paralympic Games beginning March 12th.


First and foremost: Bravo to Daniel and Mike for their SUPERB and "heroic" efforts on fantastic coverage.

I am "hooked" on you guys and your work, and I will follow you anywhere, and, even from Mexico!!

A BIG thank you to both of you!

Your info was so helpful!

It'd be great if you could do one for the Paralympics too!

Nice work guys! Thanks again for the help!

Thank you so much from this Vancouverite and her family.
Your insight was great, helped us narrow down when we had to make choices and we hope you will continue with the Paralympics because we are going to those too!
For us, this blog became an integral part of our community participation, so thanks again!

great work from you two and all the people who helped make this olympics a success!

invaluable resources for everyone.


I would like to extend the heartiest of thanks to all of you who put this wonderful web site up. It was my guidebook for the Olympics, and without it I would never had so much fun. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you

I join in the chorus of gratitude and commendation to you both! Your posts have been exceptionally informative and on point. Well done!

Has anyone noticed that Gordon Campbell was not thanked at the Olympics? He was behind the Olympic effort before Harper came into power, and before the Ken Doll we call a mayor stepped in. Moreover, he was far more energized and excited about the Olympics than both of them put together! He should have given the opportunity to give either a "welcome" or "thanks for being here" speech. His oratory skills, and ability to exude excitement, exceed those of Furlong/Rogge (no offense to either gentlemen) which would have set a better tone for the closing ceremonies.

Many, many thanks for your wonderful coverage of all the things that were available outside of ticketed events. I think there should be another GOLD medal awarded to you guys - and all your contributors - for the fantastic job you did in helping both Vancouverites and our visitors embrace and celebrate the spirit of the Olympics.

Silver medal, in my book, has to go to Gordon Campbell. He has been tireless in both his efforts and enthusiasm for the Games - not only since the bid was won but also right up to and including the closing ceremony. Thank you, Premier! (Too bad that Stephen Harper could not even been bothered to sing the National Anthem last night - does he not know the words?)

Bronze medal to Vanoc. (Platinum medal, if such a thing existed, to all the phenomenal volunteers though.) Sorry but John Furlong may have organized a good games but his public speaking in English at both the opening and closing ceremonies was painful. The speech was - on paper - good but the delivery was tortuous. To make matters worse, I thought my ears were going to bleed when he started strangling the French language. Heaven knows, all those billions spent and JF couldn't take some presentation skill classes and a few (alright - a LOT!) of French pronunciation lessons.

Rather sad the Games have ended overall but hey, let's keep the Flame burning in our glowing hearts! (Sorry, it's a cliche but couldn't help myself!)

Daniel and Mike - a big, big, big thank you for all the hard work and superb job you two have done! Your website helped so many people find out the Olympic hotspots and the reviews and descriptions were immensely helpful. You deserve gold medals!

THANK YOU to both of you for providing this site. The information was clear, easy to navigate, and the reply section helped me decide what to see and do in those two short weeks.

Hi Daniel, and Mike,

Just wanted to say thank you for the great web site that helped us enjoy the awesome 2010 Olympics in Vancouver! What a wonderful experience, and your commitment to helping all of us enjoy the free venues was so helpful!

Special thanks to your families for being patient while you all worked so hard!

Loved your site! I am hoping to take in some stuff for the paraolympics and was hoping you'd have the same kind of set up for these games! Please say you're doing a para version.

Daniel & Mike ... a huge THANK YOU for all the work you and your crew did over the last 17 days. We're looking forward to seeing what's available during the Paralympics.

It's so weird not seeing the throngs of people walking along the seawall and not hearing any of the music from one of the houses on the north side of False Creek. Going thru withdrawal.

Keep up the great work!!

Thanks so much for doing this guide!!! Not everyone had tickets to events, so your guide was a great resource in pointing out events that people could take part in - for free!

You put 300 percent plus into what you offered on this website and you deserve "all the praise", as the expression goes. Congrads on a job well done!

Hi, as a disabled Canadian veteran from coastal BC who served Canada during the the cold war (1959 to 1964) in the Atlantic and had the privilege of standing shoulder to shoulder with a very special people from down south (USA) during the Cuban Missile Crises. We were out to show to Khrushchev that our continent was not something he could play with; as a consequence, I am very pleased that USA Homeland Security and our Canadian security forces joined hands once again to protect us during the Vancouver 2010 games. If terrorists had been able to hurt our american cousins while on Canadian soil I think I would have suffered liver failure. I was especially pleased to see that Vice President Bidden was able to take all of the USA teem to a very secure room for a personal talk with without interference. God bless America

Thank you so much for all your great information and tips!
This site was my ultimate source throughout the Olympics.
You all did a fantastic job. :)

i don't know anyone that old who knows how to use a computer

you've got to be kidding me. I know an 89 year old lady who is a whiz on her computer and the internet. Still goes cross crounty skiing too.

How old are you that you can be that ignorant? 12?

Sorry for the belated comment, but thank YOU for the wonderful list! I was happy to put your link in the Buzzer.

Check out!

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