B.C. Liberal donor scored free, prime Oly tickets

By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER -- A video game investment firm headed by a British Columbia Liberal Party donor received more than $20,000 worth of free Olympic tickets.

Elections BC records show VanEdge Capital managing partner V. Paul Lee gave $10,000 in both 2005 and 2009 and $1,000 in 2008 to the governing party. He is listed as a principal officer of Electronic Arts (Canada) for a 2007 donation of $260 to the Liberals.

The May 6-published British Columbia government Report on Integrated Hosting and Ticketing shows the government gave VanEdge executives and guests 38 tickets worth $20,490 to 12 Olympic events. Lee, former worldwide studios president for video game designer Electronic Arts, received 18 tickets worth $7,430.

Lee, VanEdge co-founder Glenn Entis, advisor Robin Louis and guest John Lasseter used pairs of $1,100 tickets for the Feb. 12 opening at B.C. Place Stadium. Lee, Entis and Louis had pairs of $775 tickets for the Feb. 28 closing.

Lee was allotted four $70 tickets to the two-man bobsled event at Whistler Sliding Centre and a pair of $120 tickets for women’s alpine skiing at Whistler Creekside on Feb. 20. Lee’s four tickets to the figure skating free dance on Feb. 22 at the Pacific Coliseum cost taxpayers $450 each.

Lee also had single tickets valued at $400 each to the B.C. government suite for hockey games at General Motors Place on Feb. 16 and 17. He joined Louis in the suite for a quarterfinal on Feb. 24 and was also in the suite Feb. 26 for a semifinal with Entis and Owen Matthews.

Entis and guest Rick Mischel had pairs of tickets for a Feb. 24 quarterfinal. Entis also had a pair of $125 tickets for the women’s snowboardcross on Feb. 16 at Cypress Mountain.

One $70 ticket was in the name of VanEdge Capital for the cross-country sprint classic on Feb. 17 at Whistler Olympic Park.

Lee did not return a Friday phone call from QMI. VanEdge is listed as one of seven fund managers for the B.C. Renaissance Capital Fund, a provincial Crown corporation.

The provincial government bought 4,660 Olympic and Paralympic tickets for $970,675. It also spent $1,723,573.20 on food, beverage, production and party space rental. The government said most tickets were used for economic development promotion.

bob.mackin@sunmedia.ca

POLL