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05 Oct 2009

Vancouver 2010: "Sustainable development and living traditions" from 8 October 2009 to 11 April 2010

When it started bidding to host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Vancouver Organising Committee (VANOC) set itself two objectives: green Games and involving the First Nations. By undertaking to build and operate facilities with the smallest possible environmental footprint, VANOC deliberately placed itself at the heart of the environmental debate. Its challenge for 2010: carbon-neutral Games. By doing so, it has committed to one of the three pillars of Olympism: respect for the environment.

Through its desire to involve the aboriginal communities in the Olympic project, VANOC is underlining the richness and diversity of the traditions and knowledge of the Native Americans. It is applying one of the basic tenets of the Olympic Movement in its desire to promote exchanges between communities and diversity of cultures. As the Games are being held on the territory of the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Wautuh peoples, the government of British Columbia signed agreements to respect sacred areas.

So the link between traditional society and an environment-friendly culture is complete. VANOC Board Chairman Jack Poole puts it like this: If we had not had the full support of the Four First Host Nations for our candidature, we would probably not be talking about Vancouver 2010 today.
Covering the three temporary exhibition areas, Vancouver 2010. Sustainable Development and Living Traditions will present:

Transcending Traditions: Contemporary Northwest Coast Canadian Art

While the history of Canada did not begin with the arrival of Europeans, the role of the First Nations, peoples without writing, has often been suppressed, and sometimes even denied. Despite the attempts to eliminate the Native American societies, their cultures and traditions are far from dead.
Linking sport and the environment: greener Games

A quarter of the volume of the glaciers in Canada has disappeared in the last 100 years. And what if winter sports died out? For VANOC, it is time to show that sport and the environment are not a contradiction in terms, and that it is possible to apply concrete and effective measures to combat climate change.

The icons of the Games: between tradition and modernity

Each edition of the Games invariably uses certain symbols: torch, medals and mascots which, over time, have become the icons of Olympism. VANOC has chosen to combine diversity, a cultural mixture and a metamorphosis of the natural and urban environment, whilst respecting both tradition and contemporary thinking.

Alongside the exhibition, various activities are planned: try-outs for some winter sports on the Games programme (biathlon, bob and curling), but also cultural meetings, namely with Haida artist Jim Hart. For The Museum, he has sculpted a totem pole symbolising the meeting of the native culture of British Columbia with Olympism. The totem pole was erected in early October in the Olympic Park during a traditional ceremony. Many activities are also planned for the period of the Games from 13 to 28 February 2010.

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