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News

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games

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February 8, 2010

Governor General to Open the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games

OTTAWA—Their Excellencies the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, and Mr. Jean-Daniel Lafond will be in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia, from February 9 to 15, 2010, to attend the XXI Olympic Winter Games.

The Governor General will open the Games before thousands of athletes and dignitaries from the four corners of the globe at the opening ceremony, on Friday, February 12.

“The time has come to welcome the world to the cities of Vancouver and Whistler, which will become venues of the highest calibre for athletic competition,” said the Governor General. “This wonderful, global meeting-place of the Olympic Games will break down barriers of indifference and create a forum of solidarity to celebrate athletic excellence.”

Their Excellencies will be honorary guests at the 122nd session of the International Olympic Committee, which is meeting in Vancouver for the occasion.

As honorary patron of the Olympic Truce, the Governor General will host a Youth Dialogue during the Vancouver 2010 Indigenous Youth Gathering. Over 500 young leaders from Canada will meet to discuss the Olympic Truce and its underlying values of peace, mutual understanding, inclusion and co-operation.

Their Excellencies will meet with Canadian and foreign athletes, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, to celebrate their perseverance, courage and Olympic spirit. Their Excellencies will also have the opportunity to visit with some of the 4 500 Canadian troops assisting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with security measures at the Games.

During the Games, Their Excellencies will attend sporting competitions as well as artistic performances presented as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Enclosed is the detailed itinerary of Their Excellencies’ visit to Vancouver and Whistler during the Games (local time):

Itinerary

Tuesday, February 9
Vancouver, British Columbia

11:10 a.m.
Unveiling of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce Installation

Prior to the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Governor General will unveil the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce Installation in the presence of Mr. Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC); Mr. John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC); and athletes at the Olympic Village. Her Excellency will then sign the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce Installation.

As patron of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce, the Governor General believes that the 2010 Winter Games and the Truce initiatives provide Canadians with a wonderful opportunity to expand their circles of peace and solidarity within their communities, across Canada and around the world.

Olympic Village, Vancouver

5 p.m.
Presentation of the International Olympic Committee Members

Their Excellencies will meet with the 108 members of the International Olympic Committee during a presentation ceremony in Vancouver.

Vancouver Club, Vancouver

7 p.m.
Ceremonial Opening of the 122nd Session of the IOC

Their Excellencies will attend the 122nd session of the IOC. The Governor General will deliver a speech in the presence of Mr. Jacques Rogge and the IOC members, as well as Mr. Michael Chambers, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), and Mr. John Furlong, CEO of VANOC.

Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver

Wednesday, February 10

11:30 a.m.
Reception with representatives from the Vancouver Community

At the invitation of His Worship Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver, the Governor General will attend a reception during which she will meet with youth, NGO representatives and members of Vancouver’s Haitian community.

Vancouver House, Vancouver

7 p.m.
Canadian Olympic Team Welcoming Ceremony

Their Excellencies will be welcomed by the Mayor of the Olympic Village, as well as by officials and athletes from the Canadian Olympic Team. During the ceremony, Their Excellencies will attend the official raising of the Canadian flag and will have the opportunity to meet with Canada’s athletes competing at the Games. The ceremony will be followed by a tour of Team Canada’s village area.

Vancouver Olympic Village, Vancouver

Thursday, February 11

9 a.m.
GG’s 2010 Olympic Truce Youth Dialogue

Their Excellencies will host the GG's 2010 Olympic Truce Youth Dialogue: Promoting Mutual Understanding, with 500 young leaders from across Canada in attendance to celebrate the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Winter Games.

The intercultural dialogue, which will bring together Olympic athletes, young leaders, participants from the Vancouver 2010 Indigenous Youth Gathering, foreign dignitaries, government officials and other special guests, will focus on the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce and how peace, mutual understanding, inclusion and co-operation can be used in communities to resolve many of the common challenges faced by society today.

The GG’s Youth Dialogue will be webcast at www.sharingthedream.gov.bc.ca/resources/ as part of the British Columbia Ministry of Education’s Sharing the Dream webcast series. The webcast will also be available at www.gg.ca.

Media are asked to confirm their attendance no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10, 2010, with the Rideau Hall Press Office at meletourneau@gg.ca (limited capacities).

Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, Vancouver

Friday, February 12

6 p.m.
Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games

Their Excellencies and their daughter, Marie-Éden, will attend the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games during which the Governor General will declare the Games open.

BC Place Stadium, Vancouver

Saturday, February 13

8:15 a.m.
Breakfast in Honour of the Journée de la Francophonie

At the invitation of the Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier of British of Columbia, Their Excellencies will attend a breakfast to mark the Journée de la Francophonie. The Governor General will deliver a speech on this occasion.

Terminal City Club, Vancouver

1:30 p.m.
Visit to the Place de la Francophonie

Their Excellencies and Marie-Éden will visit the Place de la Francophonie on Granville Island, where they will have the opportunity to participate in artistic and cultural performances.

Granville Island, Vancouver

Sunday, February 14
Whistler, British Columbia

11 a.m.
Fireplace Chat with Athletes at Whistler Olympic Village

Their Excellencies and Marie-Éden will be welcomed by the Mayor of the Olympic Village, on the Plaza Venue. The Governor General will speak to Canadian and international athletes gathered around a fireplace and discuss the Olympic spirit.

Plaza Venue, Whistler Olympic Village, Whistler

12:30 p.m.
Visit to Joint Task Force Games Operation Centre and Lunch with Canadian Troops

Upon her arrival at Calcheak Camp in Whistler, the Governor General will be welcomed by Rear-Admiral Tyrone Pile, Commander Joint Task Force Games, for a tour of the operations centre, followed by a luncheon with the troops. The Governor General will take this opportunity to thank the Canadian troops for their work in ensuring security throughout the Games.

The Joint Task Force Games is responsible for supporting RCMP security operations throughout the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. During the Games, the Canadian Forces will provide security through land-based operations near Olympic venues, maritime surveillance of the seaward approaches and coastal areas, and air mobility support and surveillance. Approximately 4,500 Canadian Forces personnel from across Canada and from all three services are involved in the Games.

Calcheak Camp, Whistler

Monday, February 15

10 a.m.
Visit to the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre

Upon their arrival at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, in Whistler, Their Excellencies and Marie-Éden will be welcomed with the sounds of traditional drumming. They will tour the exhibit, which recounts the history of the Lil'wat Nation and the Squamish Nation, and will attend a cultural performance.

The Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre—where mountains, rivers and people meet—embodies the spirit of partnership between the two nations and their common values of preserving and sharing their traditional cultures. It stands as a testimony to their proud heritage, from time immemorial to the present.

Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, Whistler

 -30-

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change without notice.

Media Information:
Marie-Ève Létourneau
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-302-0912 (cell)
meletourneau@gg.ca

Marthe Blouin
Official spokesperson to the Governor General of Canada
613-301-3379 (cell)
mblouin@gg.ca