Valentino Castellani knows first-hand about struggling
economies and the ebb and flow of business opportunities.
As mayor of Torino in the1990s, Castellani witnessed the
decline of the Italian automotive industry and the exodus of related businesses
from his city.
Once seen as the Detroit of Italy, Torino was a city in search
of a new focus. With the Alps nearby, dozens of lakes, a rich history that goes
back thousands of years, and some of Italy’s best vineyards, the decision was
made to focus on tourism. But while the Piedmont region of north-west Italy has
all of the same attributes that draw tourists to Tuscany, it lacked the profile.
Hosting the winter Olympics was an opportunity to change
Torino’s image, draw attention to Piedmont and stimulate business
opportunities. And Castellani, as president of the Torino 2006 Organizing
Committee, was at the forefront of the effort.
On Tuesday, Nov. 21, Castellani will be speaking at the
Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver about Torino’s experiences and ways local
businesses can leverage economic opportunities from the 2010 Olympic and
For those who can’t get to Vancouver, he will also share his
expertise during a live web cast from CTV’s Vancouver studios on Thursday, Nov.
23 at noon. Viewers can watch the interview,
by newscaster Pamela Martin, and e-mail questions which may be answered during
the web cast at
“I hope that by sharing my experience from Torino, communities
and businesses in British Columbia will come away with numerous ideas of what
they can do to harness opportunities both before and after the 2010 Winter
Games,” Castellani said.
Castellani’s presentations are part of the RBC 2010 Legacies
Now Speaker Series. The event at the Wall Centre is co-hosted by the
Spirit of Vancouver. Tickets are available
Sponsored by RBC Financial Group, the B.C. Olympic and Paralympic
Winter Games Secretariat, CTV and presented by 2010 Legacies Now, the RBC 2010
Legacies Now Speaker Series was developed to provide communities and local
businesses with opportunities to hear and learn from individuals who have
played key roles in developing business, tourism, community and economic
opportunities at previous Olympic and Paralympic Games. Castellani is the
third featured speaker being presented to B.C. communities in person and via
the Internet in 2006.
“As we look ahead to 2010, it’s important for communities to have the opportunity to learn from past Games,” said Bruce Dewar, Chief Executive Officer, 2010 Legacies Now. “Bringing Valentino Castellani to B.C. to share his Games experience will spark new ideas to help communities develop plans and implement strategies to reach their goals for the 2010 Winter Games.”