Three thousand stanchions, 1,200 media positions, 1,000 signage pylons, 100 benches, 12 medal presentation podiums, one Nordic finish line structure, wheelchair ramps, sports racks, on-hill warming huts, fencing, street barricades, picnic tables, judges’ chairs, commentator positions, luge sled box, bobsled podium, rifle lock-ups, sled hockey shelves, mascot stands.
These are the kinds of custom-manufactured, visually prominent wooden items that every Winter Games requires in order to bring the venues to life and to complete the athlete and spectator experience. Normally the Games Organising Committee works with a fabrication facility that is overseen by its Overlay Department to produce and supply these items.
What is unique in the case of the Vancouver Games is that over 11,000 of these items were manufactured (at competitive prices and industry standards of quality) in a fabrication facility that was established by the Organising Committee in partnership with its National Partner, RONA, as part of a programme which included a 30-week community-based training course providing carpentry skills training and employment experience to individuals who, because of various life challenges, had not yet had success in the workforce. It also co-hosted a six-week community-based construction readiness programme for people with barriers to employment.
These two programmes, created through multi-party collaboration, allowed the RONA Vancouver 2010 Fabrication Shop (“RONA Fab Shop”) to achieve its most important output, providing the “tools of life” to more than 200 predominantly young adults. In this way, VANOC’s operational needs created legacies of improved economic and social conditions for disadvantaged groups as a result of this Olympic collaboration.