A Legacy For Today And Tomorrow
The topic of Games legacy is an important one for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and for each Games host city. In Vancouver, during the 2010 bid phase, the idea of creating a not-for-profit organisation, which would use opportunities associated with the Games to create social and economic benefits in the host region of British Columbia (BC) both during the preparation period and beyond, was developed. 2010 Legacies Now is the name of the organisation that was born out of this initial concept, and Olympic.org caught up with Bruce Dewar, CEO of 2010 Legacies Now, to see what kind of legacy the Games will leave to British Columbia.
Olympic.org: How did 2010 Legacies Now come into existence?
2010 Legacies Now: The initial idea for a legacy organisation was born when the 2010 Domestic Bid Society committed up to $5 million for what it called the "LegaciesNow - Sport Programme" in its proposal to be the Canadian Bid City for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. In 2000, the Province of British Columbia and the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation created 2010 Legacies Now to help build support for Vancouver's bid for the Games, while ensuring a strong and lasting sport system for British Columbia. Our first mandate was to support provincial and community sport outreach programmes, increase the sustainability of sport in BC, and see more British Columbian athletes on Olympic and Paralympic teams. In the years that followed, 2010 Legacies Now continued to evolve and expand. In 2002, we became an independent not-for-profit society, and in 2004, we extended our mandate from a sole focus on sport to include arts and culture, volunteerism, literacy, and accessibility for people with disabilities, all through community programmes and outreach.
Olympic.org: What kind of legacies have the Games left in British Columbia to date?
2010 Legacies Now: Through our partnerships with government, corporate sponsors and non-profit organisations, we have helped over 400 neighbourhoods and communities throughout British Columbia discover social and economic legacies arising from the 2010 Winter Games. These legacies include, among numerous others, more people engaging in the arts, increased participation in sport and healthy living programmes, increased resources and support for high-performance athletes, innovative approaches to improving literacy for people of all ages and abilities, and an ever-growing population of enthusiastic and experienced volunteers.
Olympic.org: What kinds of legacies do you foresee for
2010 Legacies Now: Beyond the Games, communities will continue to thrive and benefit from the Games-related legacies we’ve helped to create. These legacies already include more than 4,000 families discovering life-altering lessons in literacy and early childhood learning; 200,000 people participating in new sports programmes, creating a legacy of active British Columbians; 107 communities improving accessibility for people with disabilities; 200 national and international sports events hosted in 34 communities, establishing BC as a sport event destination; and 445 arts and cultural projects engaging people of all ages. Moving forward, BC continues to build upon these programmes and projects, which were inspired by the Games, to creative even greater lasting social change.
Olympic.org: How long do you expect the legacies from the programmes that 2010 Legacies Now has created to last?
2010 Legacies Now: The legacies from the programmes we’ve created will continue in various ways, often driven by our valuable community partners. These community and non-profit organisations will continue to carry the programmes forward and deliver social legacies well into the future. The legacies we’ve helped to create will continue to live for many years to come. A family learning to read together, a community becoming more accessible and welcoming for people with disabilities, a child experiencing the arts, a young person trying and excelling at sport – these are only a few of the legacies we’ve helped to create, the outcomes of which are endless.