Olympic Cauldron

olympic-torch-at-night OPEN TO PUBLIC (BUT NO LONGER LIT) At the end of the opening ceremonies of Vancouver's Olympic Games, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky jumped in the back of a pickup truck and made his way to Vancouver's waterfront to light up the cauldron. It now shines brightly just east of the new convention centre and has become an instant attraction. Unfortunately, you are only able to see the flame from behind a secure chain link fence. According to VANOC officials, it is a security risk to allow people too close to the flame. If you want a nice photo of the Olympic cauldron (without the chain link fence), VANOC says they will post a few photos you can download off their website vancouver2010.com. If you want directions on how to get there, click here. Check out Daniel's review of this venue by clicking here.

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63 Comments

My family and I were at the cauldron on Sunday (March 14th)around 1 PM. It was very easy to get a family picture, at street level, with only the plexiglass divider between us and the brightly burning flames. As long as you have your camera down low (maybe 2 feet off the ground) you can get a great shot of yourself and the torch without any of the fence visible whatsoever.

There were maybe only about 50 people at the fence, so you could easily find an open spot and park yourself for the 5 minutes that it takes to set up a good picture.

We then decided to brave the line-up (with the 3 and 5-year old kids in tow) to see the cauldron from the overhead viewing platform. Although the line looked fairly long, we moved through it in about 15 minutes. You can take a nice picture from pretty much anywhere along the upper walk-way, so you don't have to wait until you're at the very front of the line, but if you do, you'll find two of the blue-jacket volunteers taking family pictures for everyone that wants it.

Overall a very positive experience that was the complete opposite of the aweful experience I had back on February 14th during the first-weekend of the Olympics.

The torch is quite an eyeful - very impressive. What is not impressive is the incredibly poor planning that resulted in placing that ugly barrier in front of the torch. If security is an issue, then have some picturesque mounties guarding it to keep people off, or place in the water or on a pedestal in the first place.
As a Canadian and a Vancouverite, I am very annoyed and disappointed that this was so poorly done. Somebody deserves a good smack upside the head!

Jim, you realize it's crotchety grumps like yourself that give it the name "no fun city"?

I went to see the "flame" the first night. It really set the tone for what was to come during these disruptive, over-guarded event. Stupid fences that look like they're protecting you from falling off a cliff, more fences, more bouncers, more No Trespassing signs, line-ups for absurdly barren and boring 'events'. All very CORPORATE, BIG BUSINESS, VIP-FRIENDLY make-believe stuff.

I live in the West End, in the middle of the action. I'm staying home everyday and now give a big nod of appreciation for those protesters that drew some unwelcome attention recently. They are right, there's a lot to protest about in no-fun city.

Check out the The Olympic Cauldron in HD on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw6csZ_ZL6A

I went there today and found the couldron in the midst of shipping containers (so called art) and a construction site.
The noise from the construction site is deafening.
It is embarassing to the visitors to have to see all this unpolished mayhem in the middle of the harbourview.

Can we at least make the site prettier?
So many barricades, we can't cross the street.

2 lifeguards with megaphones are shouting to queue to get a higher unobstructed view of the couldron...

It is embarassing.

They spent 6 billion dollars on Olympics and they can't afford plexi glass all the way. They can only change half of the chain link to glass. Why?

Vanoc makes people walk all the way to Canada Place to see Cauldron with chain link and abuse them to wait another 45 minutes to take photos with a better view. It's totally unnecessary and stupid. Not everybody enjoys the abuse like those people (who have never seen big events and parties) who will line up for anything as long as it's free. They will do it because it's free and they have never gotten any bargain or good deal in this high tax environment. The mob will take anything free regardless it's worth their time or not.

Dont forget that this flame travelled here from Olynbia Greece, the birth country of the Olymbics.I didnt see the Greek flag anywhere in downtown.Are you sure that you have understand the spirit of the Olymbics?
As a Greek I have to mention this.

Fence could have been more attractive and added some security to protect the IBC.

With that said, this is the first time at any Olympics there has been a publicly accessible cauldron like this.

They usually sit atop a stadium which is twice as far away from you as this one.

Here you can actually get a pic of you and your family with the cauldron behind you.

VANOC could have employed a designer with talent who could have created a cauldron that took into consideration long-term resistance to typical public art issues, like vandalism. The heap of ducting wrapped in tin foil looks cheap, amateurish and absurd for a games which bills itself as 'green'. 12,000 torches and now not one but five flames?! We've already hit peak oil, so Terasen Gas and the City of Vancouver have the last laugh when the torch goes out after the games. A giant ash tray for these stupid cigars is all that's missing now. Would someone please give Claes Oldenburg a call so we can be saved from enduring embarrassment?

Here's a video of the Olympic Cauldron at night - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKhnmpd5YM4

Got pictures from both at the plaza level and up above. Waited about 40 minutes on Friday afternoon (between about 2:45 and 3:30 pm) to get an unobstructed view of the cauldron. The only problem I had was with people ahead of me who would take multiple shots from a single location and not keep the line moving. Also got photos of the harbour as I was waiting.

Global news just showed that the bottom part of the fence are changed into plexi glass.

Went to the Cauldron last night. Crowd yes but you could get a nice picture and at night you don't see the fence in the picture. the Cauldron is really impressive - I like the way they did it with ice looking structures. i don't know if it would look as impressive in the daytime.
We also waited in the 30 - 45 minute lineup to see any unobstructed view of it. Was beautiful. If you hate the fence then wait in the lineup and get a picture from above. What more do you want?

will this same cauldron be alight during the paralympics?

@Alison. Do you work in the mayor's office or something? That's a lot of spin there. Chill out. Have you seen the Olympic countdown clock vandalized by these so-called raving hoodlums who are lurking around every corner? No. Just take your medication and relax.

They could easily have put a few RCMP officers in their red surge around the flame. For one billion dollars we spend on security, surely they could find a way to have a few cops protect the cauldron. Puuuuhllllease.

Are all you complainers & whiners insane thinking the cauldron doesn't need fencing or a barricade around it? With all the ridiculous protesters and hoodlums in this city, the cauldron would have been damaged if not destroyed within days. I could only imagine all the stupid people trying to climb it or vandalize it. Plus I don't want a bunch of people I don't know posing in my photos. (The photos I took, even before they moved the fence, are amazing). So relax everyone and appreciate the positive experience of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity instead of finding something to complain about!!

We went to see the cauldron after hearing they moved the fence. We found the new access allowed for a greater crowd and made the flow of people wanting to get to the fence for a picture quite easy to handle.
The opening in the fence now available is difficult to take a picture for my 5'4" self, but they did turn out well. Dont put your kids through the lineup to view it from above as you can see it fine from street level and appreciate its beauty just the same.

the fence is ugly but so is the cauldron.Looks like something from
a twenties German film like Metropolis.
But then the Nazis invented this flame nonsense, didn't they?
If we must have this monstrosity, a plexiglass wall might do, if we must protect the ugly thing.

LIBERATE THE TORCH NOW! That fence is an embarrassment. If the torch has to be protected from the proletariat couldn't it have been done with some style. You'd think that with the billion being spent on security they could have had some guards on site so the public could actually walk around the courtyard and enjoy the waterfront view. Isn't it supposed to be a gathering place?

vandals have already damaged the Olympic Clock and so the fence is there becasue some these same nasty people are likely to do something to destroy or damage it - on behalf of all of us here in Vancuver we are sorry you are offended by the fnce but what would have VANOC do to ensure both security and public safety ? It's easy to criticize

Greatest tip to see the caudron:

I took the Robson #5 Bus and it passes by the Cauldron. Nice view from the bus. Unobstructed view. I didn't even see the fencing at all. I saw the flame and metal structure.

What a sight! Impressive to the max!

This is a reply to Zigrieds Comment. You are too funny and too true in your comments. You have the gift of great insight and your ability to phrase it is sublime.

The chaos around the cauldron is an embarassment. Going there today I just about had an eardrum blown out by some volunteer with a bullhorn directing the crowds, the fencing is ridiculously ugly, and the line up for the viewing area just made us turn away. Thank heaven it's not raining as I've seen no provision for shelter.

Everything else we did and saw was fun but the situation in this area sums up the amateurish ineptitude that opens us to ridicule. Seeing the near empty conference centre alongside didn't help.

We exited the area down a narrow fenced off sidewalk with people struggling through in two directions, with a wide unused "Olympic" roadway on one side and an active building site on the other.

Like I said, great stuff to see elsewhere, especially from the aboriginal people, but this needs sorting out fast!

its sad a few hired thugs (butt-hole "protestors "(of what I have no idea)had to ruin my Olympic experience of the Cauldron...Mind you, VANOC should have used its many heads and realized a chain link fence around a Cauldron so close to the ground would look 'welf'...seriously maybe they should have come over to where the non-VIPS have to stand and see things from OUR point of view!

PS I am extremely proud of Vancouver and Canada and think we are doing a great job, been downtown many times and everyone is dealing with the crowds with humour and civility...good on us!!!!

If you're upset with the cauldron then dial 311 (land or cel) and ask to speak with the Mayor. 311 will connect you free of charge (land or cellular) to his office. That's what someone told me when I visited the ugly fence yesterday. I saw people whipping out their cel phones right on the spot and registering their complaint. If enough of us call, he'll have to take down the fence!!!!!!!

Vancouver is definitely the no fun capital of the world. Boring free venues that you have to line up hours for. Overpriced merchandise. Chain link fence with a hole cut across. How pathetic.

With an accreditation pass that has the letters MMC, you can go into the Convention Center and then go through doors that lead outside behind the fence. Where you can go right next to the flame. It's not fair. unfortunately Only the few who work for the Olympics have this.

how about a nicer fence - something decorative and no draping so the little ones can see?

FREE THE FLAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We went to the torch today because we heard they moved the fence closer and the observation deck was open. When we got there a woman told us it was closed. Like what the heck! It was only 4-5. At that moment I wanted to do bad things to the torch

Incredible stupidity. And to think one of the officials said they are surprised the flame is getting so much attention. What the heck did they think. I've been disappointed by many things during the games but this tops them all.....

What a joke. They cut a hole in the chain link fence and put it a bit closer and that's supposed to be good enough? Who are they kidding? The city and vanoc are looking ridiculous now. I was down there yesterday and all the "elites" behind the fence were laughing at us caged animals (aka the taxpaying public)who were trying to snap our photos behind a chain link fence. Meanwhile, they were snapping their pictures right next to it. This is so infuriating considering I am a huge fan of the torch relay and the games.

The fence has been moved 25 metres closer and there is now a gap at eye level so you can get clear pictures of the fence. They will also be setting it up to allow people to view it from the roof of a nearby empty building. I think we'll check it out again. See this MSN article for more info.

Vancouver has been trying to escape the label of "no fun" and here, once again, we see their genius at work. Instead of letting people have fun, take pictures of the impression Cauldron they fence it off because that would be too much fun for the public. Shame on you, this should have been thought out much better. Just when you think we are ready to grow up as a city, the small minded, provincial attitudes kick in yet again.

They pull down the Berlin wall;VANOC instaled one i Vancouver

The fence is necessary to keep the anti-olympics idiots from vandalizing the cauldrom or extinguishing the flame. So sad that a few selfish people ruin this for all of us.

They could have used a different fence that allows for a horizontal break in between to get a clearer view and better pics; HOWEVER, if they didn't have the fence, do you know how many yahoos would be trying to climb it or vandalize it?!! Don't blame the fence - blame the few yahoos in every crowd that always ruin things for everyone else!

lots of complainers and whiners.... the fence allows photos if you get close enough, the flame is perfectly visible from that point - whats missing? you want to have a weeny roast?
enjoy

I went to see the Torch with my husband and was suprised to see a fence around it. I think that we need to take it down and place security around it. If I am going to pay for this venue for the next 20 years. We need to do this right. There is still time to give the people who came to see our beautiful city and The Olympic torch and take pictures a spectacular view. Remove the fence and add security. What are we saying to the world? As a Canadian born in Vancouver I would like to see that we act quickly to remove the fencing. Why was it put there? Does not make any sense.

Ok the fence I can understand but it is about 200m away from the flame and covered with draping preventing anyone under six feet tall from seeing the cauldron. It is like the entire city is has shown up for a party they didn't realize they weren't invited to. They could have made the cauldron much higher, they could have provided view points, they could have thought about the impression they would have made. Disappointed.

JOHAL is right. Did any of you see what they did at the BAY?? We don't need those ANTI-Olympic ZEALOTS ruining the flame. Unfortunately, we need a fence!!

Haven't been there myself but firends showed me pictures what a sad display after such an 1st class opening. the fence is extremely tacky

The fence is a disgrace. There are far more asthetic security means in existence. Increase the security presence and decrease the fence.

I agree that a viewing area, or lower double fence should be considered rather than a blanket "no". Perhaps raised viewing areas that lend themselves to good pictures. There are many security personnel and volunteers currently available to VANOC - why not post some at this site as ambassadors and security, and trust that the many people who are showing up to see the flame are there with only good intentions?

For all you negative people out there, the fence is the best way to protect the cauldron from all the protestors that would probably show up with a water hose and put the flame out.....it is unfortunate but in reality be appreciative that you are able to see it whether thru a chain link fence or without.....
Just an FYI....to get a great picture, put your lens thru the chain link holes and you have a great shot!!! Enjoy the Olympics cuz before you know it, it will all be over!!! CHEERZ!!!

I am really ashamed because of this. This is horrible!

MUST.. PROTECT.. FLAME.. !!!!

How sad and lame is that? I took my family down there on valentines day and the venue is a disgrace and eyesore.

Despite the heavy crowds and utter disorganization, frustration and disappointment, the people themselves were very well behaved and patient with the whole mess.

Just really sad

=(

Great photo my 7 year old will have of the Olympics in her home city in front of a chain link fence with the Olympic flame in the distant background. I think this reflects the true spirit of the Olympics today. Truely sad VANOC.

If you are tall you can see it. The chain link fence is not cool. You are too far away. why not have it like they have it set up like concerts. Where there is a blockade that you can still see above and the crowd is seperated but not visually from such an awesome sight.

When did North Korea annex the Olympic cauldron?

NO! Absolutely not! My Vancouver does not need or want a chain link fence around or anywhere near the Olympic cauldron.
We are more!

Horrible idea. Vanoc shame on you!!

Such a disgrace to have a fence around the Olympic flame. We are turning into a compete police state with barbwire all around us with these Games. Stop the madness now, Vancouver!

How unfortunate that this beautiful flame is inaccessible to the general public, behind the huge fence, which blocks photographic moments. As well, the VANOC signage and fencing near the International Media Centre should be moved to allow easier photo access for the general public.

The Sun reports VANOC will keep in place the ugly chain link fence protecting the cauldron from the public. They have removed a bit of the draping, but that's it. According to the Sun:

"For those still unhappy with sightlines at the cauldron, Guscott said Vanoc will photograph the flame and make pictures available for free on its website vancouver2010.com."

What do you think? Is the chain link fence appropriate? Should it be taken down?

I live about a block away from the cauldron so see it a few times a day. It's very impressive. However, be warned that this weekend was an absolute zoo down here. There were so many people trying to see it and get pictures - the lines stretched all the way down past Burrard Street and traffic and congestion was a mess. The best viewpoint is actually just across the street and up the hill on Thurlow. There is a little raise patio area at the Renaissance Hotel - with a good zoom lens you can get a perfect picture of the flame without the fence!

The chain link fence is awful....raise the torch higher if the fence is necessary....It would have been so much more special on a barge in the harbour near the Olympic rings....in full view from lots of venues...missed opportunity...too bad..

This is a disgrace - a huge fence surrounding it and stopping people from even taking pictures by covering 50% of the fence with a mesh! - Thousands of people came to Vancouver to see the flame. To make matters worse the officials don't even say that you can't see the flame unobstructed!

The fences around the cauldron are an insult to visitors like me.
has anyone said or asked why the fences are there.

Very cool to see and would highly recommend people to check it out. HOWEVER be warned the security fence around the cauldron keeps you a good distance away, blocks a lot of the view and makes getting a good picture difficult with having a chain-link fence in the background. I understand the need for security but they should be thinking of creating an area for people to take photos. Go Canada!

We were disappointed that the cauldron is fenced off....reinforced the feeling of being "outsiders" to the games.....then to top it off look accross the street to see two rusty ocean containers stacked that are being presented as "art"....you gotta be kidding me! We sell containers and this just reinforces the perception that they are junky and rusty! Hooterville!

I agree with Ross. The organizers feel the people are like animals hence they don't want us anywhere near the flame. If they did fence it, have the small barricade fences that are one meter high and place security around it. Therefore people can at least take pictures of themselves without the fence in front of the flame. It's sad really.. could have been so much better thought out. This was the worst possible idea ever.

The cauldron must be made accessible to the general public. The chain link is a fiasco and a miscalculation of the highest order.

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