If you didn’t get tickets to the opening or closing ceremonies
of the 2010 Games there is still a chance for you to see them — as a
On Tuesday, March 3, Olympic organizers will announce how the
public can get involved as volunteer performers.
Since the Olympics are the gold standard in branding it’s
likely organizers won’t have any trouble signing up volunteers.
“These are the two events that everybody and his dog were
trying to get tickets to and couldn’t so how else do you get in the door? Easy,
become a volunteer,” said SFU marketing and branding expert Lindsay Meredith.
It’s not clear how many volunteers will be needed for the $38
million events, which 3.5 billion people are expected to watch.
Torino, the host of the Winter Games in 2006, used 6,100
volunteers and 240 professionals.
The 2010 Olympic Winter Games
opening ceremony will take place in Vancouver’s 55,000-seat B.C. Place Stadium
on Feb. 12, 2010. The closing ceremony will be on Feb. 28. This will be the
first time in Olympic Games history that the opening ceremonies will be staged
in the comfort of an indoor venue.
That will likely mean more athletes will come as weather won’t
be an issue, but it also presents a challenge in how to light the Olympic
cauldron in a stadium with a roof.
Meredith predicts that Olympic organizers will go all out on
the spectacles and are unlikely to repeat the clichés that were part of 2010
organizers’ presentation at the closing of the Torino Games. For Games
organizers this is their Olympic event.
“This is a country representation so are we going to just run
with a few ice fishing poles pulling up a couple of salmon?” asked Meredith.
“I don’t think so. I think you are going to see some serious
money spent on this thing.”
He argued that it could be seen as money well spent, thanks to
the billions of people who will tune in to watch. If done well it will entice
many to travel to the area, and some to invest.
“…It may turn out to be one very expensive ad, but one hell of
a well placed ad,” said Meredith.
The fact that the casting call has gone out so early offers
some clues to the ceremonies said Tom Mayenknecht, a Vancouver marketing and
He believes it is likely that children will be involved, along
with Canadians from across the country, and that some performing volunteers may
play more of a role than just a walk-on part.
“It would be pretty consistent with the positioning (VANOC) has
put on this as being Canada’s Games,” said Mayenknecht who has attended Olympic
Ceremonies in Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney.
“The fact that there is this cast call a year out from the
Games shows that (the volunteers) are going to be a major part of the opening
and closing ceremonies.
“What we can already sense is that there will be some kind of
theme of inclusivity, some kind of theme of the Games representing human-kind,
and representing relationships between people.
“Vancouver 2010 will in some way pay homage to Vancouverites,
to British Columbians and to Canadians.”
The Ceremonies are being produced by David Atkins Enterprises
of Australia, which produced the opening and closing ceremonies for the Sydney
2000 Summer Games as well as many other high profile events.
VANOC will release some tickets to the ceremonies and sporting events this year as sponsors finalize their ticket needs and venues are configured.