LiveCity plans and Red Mitten campaign launched; Coal Harbour Community Center to close for four months.

LiveCity – Two open houses were held last week to provide details on the two sites that will host LiveCity Vancouver during the Games. The goal of LiveCity is to take the games experience for residents, visitors and media well beyond the athletic competitions at the sporting venues. Both sites will be open, accessible and free of charge, and will feature both live and on screen programming with schedules and content build around live Games-time events. Both venues will be secure, high-quality and family friendly environments. LiveCity Yaletown will be located in David Lam Park and will be open from 11 am to 11 pm daily from Feb 12th to Feb 28th, 2010. Live City Downtown will be located beside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and will be open from 11 am to 12:30 am daily from Feb 12th to Feb 28th, 2010 as well as from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm March 12th to 14th and March 18th to 21st during the Paralympic Games. The Downtown site will focus more on sporting events and live screen broadcasts while the Yaletown site will focus more on cultural programming and will host a nightly closing show suitable for families. Vancouver House (more details yet to come) will be built at LiveCIty Yaletown while the Four Host Nations Pavilion will be built at LiveCity Downtown. More details on the LiveCity policies and security as well as about Volunteer opportunities will be announced in a few weeks.

This Week – Get your pair of Vancouver 2010 Red Mittens starting Thursday October 1st at Zellers, The Bay and Home Outfitters as well as online at The knitted mittens, will retail for $10 a pair and will match the mittens that will be worn by the 12,000 torchbearers who will carry the flame to more than 1,000 communities during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, starting in just one month. Net proceeds from every pair sold will complete the funding of the five-year Own the Podium 2010 initiative, which provides Canadian athletes with top equipment and training for the 2010 Games. Any additional funds raised through the Red Mittens campaign will support a variety of athlete and sport-based initiatives.

Closures – The Park Board announced last week that the Coal Harbour Community Center will be closed to the public from January 4th, 2010 until some time in April. Instead of housing the usual community programs the center will be used as a location for the planning of dignitary visits and diplomatic events. All CHCC members will be referred to the West End Community Center. While most of the information that I have been gathering about local Olympic events has been positive and exciting, with some inconvenience to locals, this is the first thing that I am not thrilled about. While the CHCC is a great location for events why would the Park Board choose to close a community center for four months for dignitaries – is there not a suitable location in a commercial building?