Upgrades needed for Olympic ceremonies: Report

By Bob Mackin, QMI Agency

The producer of the 2010 Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies pleaded for major spending at B.C. Place Stadium in a report obtained by the QMI Agency.

David Atkins Enterprises Productions Canada’s Ceremonies Capital Works report listed 21 items “required so that a world-class ceremonies can take place.”

“The opening ceremonies are a vital part of any Olympics and set the tone and vibrancy for the rest of the Games,” said the April 14, 2009 document. “If these works are not completed then the ceremonies will suffer and this will

directly impact on the Games.”

Improvements were called “fit for purpose” or “capital works required for broadcast and media concerns.”

A key item was the building of the Olympic cauldron in the centre of the stadium floor.

The four metre by four-metre by four-metre, concrete-lined chamber required a one-metre diameter, 13-metre deep clear internal shaft. The report also called for carbon dioxide

detectors, upgrades to air pressure control systems and a constant internal air pressure of 300 pascal to keep the fabric dome inflated.

The VANOC board voted secretly last May 20 to spend another $8.3 million at B.C. Place. VANOC deputy CEO Dave Cobb said in June that it was a capital cost “directly tied to the show that our executive producer wants.”

“We like to keep what we're doing secret until the ceremonies happen for the surprise element,” Cobb said.

The federal government pledged in February 2008 to pay half of VANOC’s $40 million budget for opening and closing ceremonies.

POLL