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MOD on the ground

MuchMusic crew to set up shop at the GLC during the Games



One of Whistler's favourite apr├Ęs hotspots, the GLC, will undergo a radical transformation during the Olympics as it opens its doors to play host to the visiting MuchMusic crew.

John Kampilis is supervising producer for MuchMusic. He's been working with the network for almost 19 years, producing high-profile events like the MMVAs and Snow Job tours in that time. But those events don't hold a candle to all of the hoopla surrounding the Olympics.

"Its huge! Its bigger than any Snow Job we've ever done," Kampilis said.

From this home base - "The Base" - in the heart of the village, MuchMusic is hosting two hour-long broadcasts per day, one at 2 p.m. and one at 7 p.m., starting on the opening day, Feb. 12 and stretching to the end of the Olympics on Feb.28. Their goal is to show people what it's like to be in the town while all of the Olympic festivities and activities are taking place.

"We're not really covering the Olympics, per se, but we're there to sort of help bring a lot of the atmosphere and what's going on to the youth market," Kampilis explained.

Showcasing highlights from the Games and events, as well as updated medal counts, they also hope to give viewers a taste of the cultural aspect of the Games.

"There is another side of the Olympics. There are the actual competitions themselves, but all the athletes get involved in sort of the culture and they all come together and have a good time. They party and they play and we're covering that side of things!"

The hosts will bring fans stories and highlights from the Games sandwiched alongside their favourite music videos, appearances by the most sought after celebrities, artists and athletes who are in town for the fun.

"We're really there to show what Whistler culture's all about, from the hills and the snowboarding to Whistler Village itself and all the restaurants and the spas and the cool places to go and hang out and all the cultures that are coming together," Kampilis said.

They haven't nailed down a final lineup of artist interviews, but Stereos, Bedouin Soundclash and Faber Drive have been confirmed. They've already shot segments with cast members from the Secret Life and Hannah Montana's Emily Esmont, Adam Lambert and Kesha in Toronto.

While they're looking to hook up with lots of athletes, performers and celebrities for live interviews, hosts and camera crews will also be busy roving through the village, interacting with visitors and checking out local businesses in hopes of capturing some of the local colour and character.

"We're going to be everywhere," Kampilis said. "We're going to hit up every cool spot to be."

These pre-produced segments from in "the field" (a.k.a. the village) will be slotting into the live portion of each broadcast, painting a well-rounded picture of a day in the life of the Whistler Olympic experience.

"We're basically taking Much on Demand, what we do every day here, and just stepping it up and taking it to the next level," explained Jesse Giddings, MuchMusic VJ. "I mean, we are going to have music videos, we're going to have artists stopping by, we're filming a lot of edits all around Whistler."

Giddings is just one of the MuchMusic VJs who will be stationed in Whistler during the Games. He'll be joined by colleagues Sarah Taylor, Tim Deegan and Liz Trinnear, as well as Trevor Boris and Boomer from Video On Trial who will be onsite in Whistler filming segments to add a comedic element to the programming.

A B.C. native originally from Langley, Giddings is excited to get back to the area, especially to take part in the Olympic festivities.

"I can remember back to some of my first ski trips being up to Whistler when I was a kid," he recalled.

"I've been living out here (Toronto) for a while,and with my job I get to travel a lot, but unfortunately I haven't had the opportunities to be working back in B.C., so I'm really excited to have an opportunity to get back to the West Coast."

Giddings arrives in Whistler on Feb. 3 and will start shooting segments the next day.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, the Olympics, so it's going to be pretty unreal."

Whistlerites should keep their eyes peeled for the VJs making their way around town during the Games and make their way to The Base to be part of the live audience every day. And if you don't manage to snag tickets to your concert of choice at Whistler Medals Plaza you can catch the action on MuchMusic. They'll also be airing the concerts from Vancouver and Whistler Victory Ceremony concerts each night at 8 p.m., following their second MOD show of the day.



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