Do We Really Need the Practice?
To prepare for the travel restrictions from February 12 to March 1, drivers who frequently travel in downtown Vancouver are encouraged to start ‘practicing’ their Games-time travel plans now and to be a part of the weekly TravelSmart 2010 Challenge. The challenge, which will promote incremental reductions in vehicle traffic as phased-in road closures go into place, starts this Friday, January 8th and will run every Friday for the next five weeks in the city leading up to the Opening Ceremony on February 12th.

  • This week’s road closures: Abbott between Pacific and Expo (January 4 to March 1)
  • This week’s vehicle traffic reduction goal: five per cent
  • Overall vehicle traffic reduction goal: At least a 30 per cent reduction by February 12 and throughout the Games

Park Board Closures
Several of the City’s community centers, rinks and parks will be affected by Games time closures. The greatest affects will be seen at Killarney and Trout Lake Ice Rink which will be close from January 15th to some time in May to be used as training sites; Hillcrest Park Fields which will be closed from December 2009 to June 2010 for security reasons because of its close proximity to Vancouver Olympic Center; Coal Harbour Community Center which will be closed from January 1st to March 31st and used as a hospitality site for visiting dignitaries, and David Lam Park which has been closed since October 8th for construction of the LiveCity Yaletown site. Other community centers, rinks and parks will experience changes to the hours of public access and reductions to their programming schedules. Parking restrictions will be in affect at Queen Elizabeth Park and both Jericho Beach and Spanish Bank Parks will have their parking lots closed to be used for temporary RV parking. For a full list of Park Board closures visit their website.

Rent your extra room and help Vancouver charities
‘Home For The Games’ is a web-based system that matches Olympic Games visitors with Metro Vancouver hosts for short-term home stays. Home For The Games is a non-profit society that has been developed to find much-needed affordable accommodation and at the same time raise funds for charities in Metro Vancouver. Hosts who are willing to share a minimum of 50% of their rental income will also get to share the Olympic experience with guests from around the world while earning modest income. All hosts will receive a tax receipt for the portion of the rent that goes to charity.

Chinese New Year, February 14th, 2010
Vancouver’s Chinese New Year Parade will go ahead as planned on Feb. 14, 2010 — the second day of the Winter Olympic Games — despite Chinatown’s nearness to Olympic venues and routes. In addition the Edgewater Casino announced a 2010 Chinese New Year celebration that will include 17 days of traditional festivities, hosted by 120 food and shopping vendors immersed in a sea of colors, dragons, and authentic education in Chinese heritage. Nightly entertainment will include the famous Chinese Lion Dance, Chinese Kung Fu performances, live bands and Japanese and Korean Martial Arts performances. The “Edgewater Casino Celebration Village” will take place daily in the Plaza of Nations from February 12 – 28, 2010. Admission is free.