The British Columbia Showcase at Robson Square in downtown Vancouver is open and ready to promote business. Well, at least it’s had a soft-opening. The official ribbon cutting with Premier Gordon Campbell is coming soon. Because it’s not officially open until Gordo says so.
The ski, snowboard and snowshoe area next to Strathcona Provincial Park is hosting nine national Olympic teams in seven sports in January and February. Among the guests was Swedish Olympic Committee sports director Peter Reinebo who was spotted with Vancouver Canucks legend Thomas Gradin and Susan Kelsey, the Montreal 1976 bronze medal swimmer who is Comox Valley’s biggest cheerleader.
The Showcase itself is like a small-scale version of the B.C. Canada Pavilion at Beijing. B.C. wood abounds, as do video screens of all shapes and sizes. The B.C. Explorer interactive map is featured prominently. B.C. is branded “Canada’s Pacific Gateway” instead of “The Best Place on Earth.” If the province really is “The Best Place on Earth” — as government propaganda tells us — then why not say so to B.C. Showcase visitors?
Construction workers have packed up and gone home. The new domes and the Ice Plaza rink are ready. Just add ice. The official opening of the reborn rink is coming in the third week of November, according to title sponsor GE.
News and views on Vancouver 2010 (and beyond) from Bob Mackin.