Tag Archives: True North Media House

Blogging for the 2010 Games Expert says IOC has no on-line strategy

Blogging for the 2010 Games – Expert says IOC has no on-line strategy February 22 2009, By Erin Loxam

Note: Article shared here in full for historical record. Original article link is broken, as such, accessed from Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, Feb. 2017.  Posted with original publication date to place in context.


Northern Voice 2009 Citizen Media and the Olympics – notes by Miss604

Northern Voice 2009 Citizen Media and the Olympics Robert Scales and Andy Miah via Miss604.com, February 21, 2009, Rebecca Bollwitt

NOTE: Respectfully shared in full for historical record and educational use. Original links and date intact for context.


Upcoming Winter Sports Event in Vancouver – Preview

note to self: consider tickets some of these events – same athletes as Olympics without the crazy price and hype etc. Via Vancouver2010.com mailing list.

Hockey Canada Cup – Sledge Hockey is coming to UBC Thunderbird Arena from February 24 to March 1. It’s a fast-paced, physical game that will impress every hockey fan. Cheer on reigning champions Team Canada as they host the world’s top sledge hockey teams — Germany, Japan and the USA for the first-ever Hockey Canada Cup.

For further information and to purchase tickets to see the best sledge hockey players in the world, please visit hockeycanada.ca/hccup

Other upcoming sporting events include:

FIL Luge World Cup
February 16–21, 2009
The Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler

WCF World Wheelchair Curling Championship
February 21–28, 2009
Vancouver Paralympic Centre, Vancouver

IPC Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon World Cup Final
March 4–7, 2009
Whistler Olympic Park, Whistler

World Junior Curling Championships
March 5–15, 2009
Vancouver Olympic Centre, Vancouver

IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals
March 9–14, 2009
Whistler Creekside, Whistler

IBU Biathlon World Cup
March 11–15, 2009
Whistler Olympic Park

ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships
March 12–15, 2009
Richmond Olympic Oval, Richmond

Hockey Canada Cup – Women’s Hockey
August 31–September 6, 2009
UBC Thunderbird Arena and Canada Hockey Place, Vancouver

Hockey Canada logo and others banned by IOC – Inside the 2010 Olympics

Hockey Canada logo and others banned by IOC – Inside the 2010 Olympics via Vancouver Sun, February 10, 2009, By Jeff Lee

NOTE: Respectfully shared in full for historical record and educational use. Original links and date intact for context.

Communications Committee – Vancouver 2010 Alternative Media | Google Groups

Communications Committee – Vancouver 2010 Alternative Media | Google Groups

Poverty Olympics and Related – News + Resource Roundup

NOTE: When possible, articles are shared in full for historical record and annotated with original link when source is broken and/or accessed from Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine or Google cache etc. during Feb. 2017.

Poverty Olympics 2009

Poverty Olympics Organizing Committee

The Vancouver Poverty Olympics are brought to you by a group of concerned citizens and community groups who oppose the 2010 Winter Games because public dollars could be more justly spent on ending poverty and homelessness.

Contact us: info@povertyolympics.ca


Raise the Rates 

DTES Neighbourhood House

Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP)


Streams of Justice


News articles:

For the cities hosting the Olympic Games, heavy spending is an unofficial but required sport — as is the debate about whether it’s good for the local economies. Some say it’s hardly the time for lavish spending, while others invoke the magic word “stimulus.”

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, set to start one year from Thursday, has been saddled by financing troubles for its athletes village, worries about corporate…

‘Poverty Olympics’ ridicule Games

Organizers say funds for 2010 could be better spent on fighting homelessness

A merry band of poverty activists danced down East Hastings Street Sunday to question the rationale behind the city and provincial governments’ financial commitment to the Olympic Games.

The second annual “Poverty Olympics” was a lighthearted event aimed at raising awareness about the serious issues of poverty and homelessness that affect Downtown Eastside residents, said Wendy Pederson of the Carnegie Community Action Project.

The event started with a mock Olympic torch parade that wound its way from East Hastings to the Japanese Language School auditorium on Alexander Street. About 500 community members and activists showed up for the event, which poked fun at the Olympics.

The healthy turnout was “amazing” said Pederson, and members of the crowd, many dressed in costumes, were in a festive mood.

James McLean, 81, a Downtown Eastside resident, dressed as Gregor Robertson, complete with faux-kilt and mayoral staff. “I see extreme wealth and extreme poverty,” said McLean. “The government needs to apply intelligence, integrity and discipline to the problems we have down here.”

Coast Salish singer and songwriter Sara Good performed an emotional first nations invocation and welcomed everyone to the “opening ceremonies,” which included a satirical rendition of O Canada and the lighting of a giant torch sculpture.

After the three Poverty Olympics mascots — Itchy the Bedbug, Chewy the Rat and Creepy the Cockroach — were introduced, Pederson gave a short speech touching on some familiar themes.

“The cost of a ticket for the [2010 Games] Opening Ceremony is $1,182,” said Pederson. “A single person on welfare gets just $610 a month.” Pederson called on governments to “make poverty and homelessness a priority,” rather than spending “billions” on the Olympic Games.

A series of skits followed, including a hilarious takeoff on curling called “Sweeping Poverty Aside,” by the group Streams of Justice. “Team Vanoc” was pitted against “Team Poverty,” with the odds heavily favouring Team Vanoc.

Sharon Burns, who was part of the opening ceremonies choir and danced in the closing ceremonies finale, is a Carnegie Centre volunteer who has lived on the Downtown Eastside most of her life.

“The Olympic Games are for rich business people, developers and people with money. We need to get the information out there about the real needs we have in this province,” she said.


They have their own Olympic mascots – Itchy the Bedbug, Creepy the Cockroach and Chewy the Rat – their own torch, made from a toilet plunger, and a catchy marketing phrase: “End poverty. It’s not a game.”

But what the Poverty Olympics doesn’t have is money – and that was the main point being underscored yesterday by a celebration/protest march through the Downtown Eastside.

About 200 people joined in the parade down East Hastings Street as the Poverty Olympics, an event that serves as a rallying point for low-income advocacy groups, marked the one-year countdown to the 2010 Olympic Games.

The event was organized by several non-profit groups to draw attention to the way governments are spending billions of dollars on the Olympic Games even while intense poverty can be found in the Downtown Eastside, a neighbourhood that will be one of the main urban backdrops to the sporting spectacle.

“If the money that was spent on the Olympics was spent on ending poverty and homelessness, we could end poverty and homelessness. It would be that simple,” said Jean Swanson of the Carnegie Community Action Project, an advocacy agency for the poor.

The 2010 Olympics will open and close with ceremonies at BC Place Stadium, just a few blocks from the southern edge of the Downtown Eastside, one of Canada’s poorest neighbourhoods.

The government of British Columbia has estimated the cost of the Games at about $600-million, but a report by the provincial Auditor-General has put it at about $2.5-billion.

Some media estimates have calculated it could be more than $6-billion when all federal, provincial and local government contributions are added up.

While the B.C. government has been trying in the pre-Olympic period to address homelessness in the Downtown Eastside by buying and renovating old hotels, Ms. Swanson said the effort isn’t helping. “The Olympics have brought no benefits to this community at all. Those hotels already had residents in them, so they are not additional housing, and they are not suitable permanent homes. They are still one-room residences, with a washroom down the hall and no kitchen. How do you expect low-income people to eat cheaply with no kitchen?”

Robert Bonner, a volunteer at the Carnegie Community Centre, a drop-in facility in the heart of the Downtown Eastside, dressed for the parade as one of the mascots.

Mr. Bonner said his Creepy the Cockroach outfit was a way to both mock the Olympic Games, and drive home a message about the inadequacy of housing in the area.

He said many of the hotel rooms he goes into while doing volunteer work are infested with cockroaches.

“The carpets move when you walk across them,” he said.

Mr. Bonner said he hoped the Poverty Olympics would make people more aware of the problems in the Downtown Eastside. “This is to draw attention to the poverty, the homelessness,” he said. “It couldn’t get much worse down here.”

Mr. Bonner said while people “on the other side of town” might be looking forward to the Games with excitement, in the Downtown Eastside there is a growing sense of fear.

“Already security has started to increase, so you have to wonder what it’s going to be like in 2010,” he said. “I can see a lot of street people getting hassled.”

Garvin Snider was one of those bringing up the tail end of the Poverty Olympics parade. He waved a sign that said: “Poverty is not a crime.”Mr. Snider said residents of the Downtown Eastside don’t feel there are any opportunities for them to be involved in the Olympic Games.

“We’d all like to participate,” he said. “The Olympics is supposed to be for everyone. They are looking for 10,000 volunteers. We have 15,000 people on the streets. What a wonderful thing if we could all participate. But since we can’t, we’re having our own event. And these games are much more fun.”

Mr. Snider works recruiting homeless and low income people to sell Megaphone Magazine, a twice-monthly street paper.

Next year the Poverty Olympics will be held to coincide with the 2010 Olympic Games – and the target of the message the next time Itchy, Creepy and Chewy lead a parade will be the world’s media.


On Olympic security and having a beard via Inside the 2010 Olympics

On Olympic security and having a beard – Inside the 2010 Olympics, Feb. 6, 2009, By Jeff Lee

NOTE: Respectfully shared in full for historical record and educational use. Original links and date intact for context.

2010 Olympics blowing too much smoke: athletes – Inside the 2010 Olympics, Jeff Lee

NOTE: Original content removed/expired. Shared here in full for posterity and public good. Accessed from Archive.org Wayback machine.

2010 Olympics blowing too much smoke: athletes – Inside the 2010 Olympics (old link) By Jeff Lee  02-05-2009


On the heels of its latest Sustainability report in which it outlined some of the reporting and tracking it is doing, the Vancouver Organizing Committee is getting a bit of a razz from Canadian athletes – including more than 70 top Olympic and national team athletes – who say it’s not doing enough.

On Thursday the athletes, through the David Suzuki Foundation, sent a letter to Vanoc CEO John Furlong saying the committee needs to stop studying and start acting on promises to make the 2010 Games totally carbon neutral.

What’s worth noting in this complicated story is that it turns out that for all its good efforts at being environmentally friendly, Vanoc is getting criticism for just how far it is willing – or actually not willing – to go.

The foundation did a report for Vanoc two years ago called “Meeting The Challenge” that showed the Games will produce 328,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, and that the cost of offsetting that is in the range of $5 million. The tonnage includes all the gases produced from air travel generated by spectators, officials and media, the so-called “indirect” costs. That’s what being truly “carbon neutral” means, they say.

It turns out that Vanoc says it will offset the “direct” costs of the Games, including all the carbon diozide created by its travel, including  sending executive team members to places like Europe and China. But it doesn’t intend to offset the indirect carbon generation created by spectators and the like.

It also says that its’ efforts go far beyond what other organizing committees have done in the past. Linda Coady, Vanoc’s vice-president of sustainability, said in an email last night that Vanoc is still working out a “carbon management program” and that details will be released at the World Conference on Sport and Environment in late March. That event is sponsored by the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations Environment Programme.

Coady says Vanoc put out an initial public forecast of indirect emissions but hasn’t begun formally reporting on them yet in their annual sustainability report. Here’s what Coady says in her email statement to me:

“The David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) has provided VANOC with advice on the carbon plan for the 2010 Games and their “Play it Cool” program and we value their input. We currently track and report our carbon footprint – both direct Games-based emissions and indirect emissions from air travel, based on advice provided by the DSF and other environmental organizations. VANOC’s commitment is to take responsibility for offsetting our direct emissions from the Games. We also agree that offsets used to neutralize the carbon footprint of the Games have to be highly credible. We plan to release further details on our carbon management program for the 2010 Games at the World Conference on Sport and Environment, March 29-31 in Vancouver. The IOC has convened this event in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).”

Regardless, that seems not to be adequate for athletes like snowboarder Justin Lamoureux, right, who points out that if he and 500 NHL hockey players and soccer associations and others can offset their carbon footprints by buying gold-standard offsets at places like planetair.ca, so can Vanoc.

You can see Vanoc’s sustainability efforts here (and download the latest .pdf report here.)

The athletes’ letter is here. The David Suzuki Foundation’s Green Is The New Gold page is here.

The foundation has also linked a useful page on demystifying how to go carbon-neutral and just who in the sporting world is doing it. (And they’re clearly hoping to add Vanoc to that list, too.)

Vancouver alt/indie media organizational for 2010 meeting liveblog via Hummingbird604.com

Vancouver alt/indie media organizational for 2010 meeting liveblog via Hummingbird604.com

NOTE: Respectfully shared in full for historical record and educational use. Original links and date intact for context.


VANOC Indie Media
This is my very first liveblog with CoverItLive. I’ll try to incorporate the Twitter streams

Since I’m double-booked I might end the liveblog early.

Dave is starting w/ the meeting.

Two quasi-official media centers for the 2010 (the official accredited and the another media center that Rob is going to talk about – UBC Robson Square). There’s an opportunity for a third version of having something a little bit different, invite grasroots media people to come and hang out with us and show that it can be done, that we can make somethign interesting and we can produce good content (for people to look back). Dave’s main goal is to have a lot of fun with it.

Comment From GregEh
might want to change the title, VANOC has no actual link to this.

Dave is describing that we might want to get to the point where tasks and committees might need to be formed. Any questions? Ok. No questions asked. Rob is going to talk about his experience and preview another event (Social Media and Olympics at Northern Voice).

Kris mentions the accredited media center – Rob takes on. The first media center – Canada Place Center – officially media accredited – assigned media passes. Apparently there’s some space – if you come from the major players in media, you won’t get access to that, apparently. The second one is the British Columbia International Media Center (BC Olympics Secretariat) – it comes down to – they are opening 3,000 non-accredited passes – Rob received one 2 weeks ago. Accepted for the BCIMC – he will be able to access daily briefs, etc.

The BCIMC will cater to big mainstream media – CTV they will be in the BCIMC – local television, major bloggers (but they don’t know by which criteria yet). In the current state of the items, they have received several applications (maybe thousands?). They’ve hired an external firm responsible for the validation of these applications.

The firm is BC-based. Rob is trying to remember the name of this firm (and the PR firm too). Whatever criteria they determine most of us won’t meet it (as Kris mentions). Good conversations, they are sending letters out, working on a matrix to figure out how they are going to assign the passes, etc.

2 weeks ago in the Sat version of The Province there was a big glossy TV Guide with details of the Cultural Olympiad. Trying to bring that up.

Northern Voice (is the second element) – Kris mentions that if you want to apply, you SHOULD apply but some may or may not get in. At the end of the day there might be more people out than in. This media center is for those who don’t meet the accreditation (i.e. the major media center, the BCIMC or the third option is this alt/indie media center).

They (BCIMC) might give this alt/indie center some stuff (like a blogger night or something). This is still on the BCIMC court. The center will be at UBC Robson Square. They’ll have good bandwith.

Comment From Guest
I think the media company overseeing details of the BCIMC is LBMG, Laura Ballance Media Group.

random observation: DaveO’s “open letter to VANOC” is #4 when you google “VANOC”

They are looking at art, Olympics, news, media, delivery, etc. (e.g. the big items, not the smaller player or prominent artists in the DTES). Rob is hoping that they’ll do something good with this.

On Feb 21st, Northern Voice is happening – it’s sold out – unfortunately :) What is happening there – Robert is inviting Andy Miah (Professor of Univ of Western Scotland – studies Olympic Studies) – Robert will be moderating – the conversation will be around the 2006 Symposium and Andy organized in 2008 – some of the social media content that Dave, Kris and Rob produced.

Don McDonald (BCIMC) – somebody for VANOC – Andy Miah and Debbie representing (2012).

What’s 2010 doing – what’s 2012 doing. Rob is hoping to start w/15 min of talk socmed presentation. Socmed from when this started (2006-2008-2010-2012).

Rob is hoping to have the conversation – why is the institution, VANOC not delivering blogs or social media, or why is that conversation not happening yet. There are several people on the local scene (Vision Vancouver, so forth) to come and deliver new social media things.

Comment From Anny Chih
I’m commenting so you know that I can read it.

Rob volunteered to take on some co-leadership in one of the committees that will be discussed tonight. The CNN (the Eye Reporter) might be interested in this, we need to continue the conversation.

Comment From Liesa (COPIK)
I can read and comment

Comment From snowboardexpert
I can read and comment

Bottom line – making a list of people who are saying they are interested, seeing how they could fit there, there are discussions on the real estate side. Moving forward – Rob’s thinking that he will need help from people who may need to contribute/collaborate w/a few tasks (5-6 people to take initiative with running/operations/PR)

Comment From Jeff Lee / Vancouver Sun
VANOC says it is interested in the soc/med debate and has some hand in online stuff, and they follow on twitter a bit but I still don’t sense that they are going to get involved in the gritty side of blogs.

They came up with a list of 3-6. Operations is one of the committees. This is a volunteer effort. If you DO have an interest, make sure you verbalize that and make sure that we move towards action. In terms of Sponsorship and Partnership Program, we might need to prioritize this and have some stuff sorted down by March 1st. People who are marketing-savvy could be great. Kris could use some help w/operation and logistics. Dave O is doing all the PR/communications – Rob has done some collateral work too.

Rob wants to make sure that all efforts are open to everyone. Kris asks whether people want to ask questions. They don’t have a name yet (the independent media center – so, more like alt/indie media center). Some people all it the alternative center.

DaveO emphasizes that it should be a-political, include culture, community, etc. This should be welcoming to everyone (from right to left, etc.). Bottom line – we’ll be restricted by accessibility, etc. so there are some real restrictions. We don’t know how that’s going to transfer in real time/real life.

Graduate student from SFU – working on an independent sub-committee on Olympics and providing some good points and advice. Rob mentions that there are probably 5-6 different alternative/independent media centers, etc. (and her name is Nava)

Comment From Jeff Lee / Vancouver Sun
Have you been able to locate a site yet? What about the place across from WW?

Matt (AP Blogs) mentions about creating hashtags, etc. for the media stuff. Kris is trying to explain that they’ll want to provide a venue for press conferences, arts, culture, journalism, etc.

RESPONSE TO JEFF LEE – No, apparently they haven’t located a site yet.

Rob is mentioning that they want to give an avenue to those people who couldn’t get to BCIMC or the Accredited VANOC media centers. They are looking at bringing in information that is happening at the street level.

Kris says – our agenda is to broaden the audience and facilitate access to those who couldn’t get on to the other two media centers.

Maurice Cardinal is asking a question on the location issue (Jeff Lee – there’s a discussion on this point now answering your question) – they are looking for the place to facilitate this – depending on revenue / finding sponsorship.

Maurice asks – have you conversed about how to invite athletes down to here?

DaveO wants to cover a couple of other points. Dario is asking – do we have an idea as to the budget? No, not really yet. We didn’t create a budget because right now all we have is a space (tentative), and that’s all. We need sponsor for bandwith, screens, equipment, gear, etc.

Comment From Jeff Lee / Vancouver Sun
Have you been able to identify sponsors who might be able to help you fund a media centre? What kind of costs do you figure you’re facing?

Lorraine mentions – a lot of people are feeling the pressure of lacking space – if we come up with a plan, we could probably take those impulses and direct them towards this effort.

@ JEFF LEE – I think that they aren’t yet sure as to the budget, Dario also asked this same question.

Nava – If you’re planning to take co-sponsorship, have you considered to take less of the smaller/local resources that are limited? ROBERT – The answer is – we’re looking at getting whatever resources we can.

There’s a discussion of who will be responsible for stuff (i.e. what are the problems possibly to be faced if content is not agreeable to VANOC).

Comment From Guest
would VANOC be publishing guidelines for appropriate content….maybe?

Answer to Guest – Not sure, but right now (I’m the liveblogger) there’s an intense discussion on whether we will or will not follow said guidelines. The idea is to prevent the “cease and desist” letter. Lorraine is explaining that this thing HAS to be apolitical and define ourselves that way (and yes, THAT is how we have defined ourselves as a-political, non partisan, etc.)

Comment From Benjamin Luk

This is a facility/service center (like a library) – this is NOT a group.

Comment From Jeff Lee / Vancouver Sun
Don’t forget that the organizing committee and the IOC in the ACCREDITED media centre don’t care what journalists write. They care about whether the images violate broadcast agreements. They’re not into censorship even of the mainstream media. The rule to pay attention to is whether you cross into their brand protection areas.

DaveO is explaining what happened with the focus groups (about what the socmed coverage is going to be). They are open to conversation. They are always running up against the IOC (VANOC). What Dave’s suggestion was – “there’s all this people out there, invite them and educate them towards learning the guidelines”

DaveO wants to talk about committees right now.

Comment From Guest
having protected areas of discussion is acceptable…but there has to be some guidelines as appropriate…

Am back to the liveblog. Colleen Coplick has some minutes of the 30 seconds speeches.

Kris is trying to distance this effort from anything that could remotely trump the success of this resource center.

DaveO made it clear in all the communications efforts (in a short-concise manner) – this is very respectful, it’s open, and having a dialogue, very openly and very publicly. So there’s no backroom deals, that kind of thing.

Three committees to start this process:

1- Scales (Sponsorship and Partnerships)

2- Kris (Space/Logistics/Operations)

3 – DaveO (Communications)

Comment From Cinci Csere
How many people are going to be covering the event, what size room or space is needed?

We are wrapping up the liveblog right now. Add everyone to the Wiki.

Communications will have a sub-committee (Technology – geek out on the wiki).

DaveO’s blog post about tonight’s meeting is here. Also I’m trying to find the Wiki. Yes, I could find the wiki. It’s here.

Ok, I’m done with the liveblog.

Comment From Johnny K9
How difficult is it to cover Luge as a spectator?

Comment From Johnny K9
Does Mexico have a shot for a medal in hockey?

Comment From Michael
Where’s the wiki?

@ Johnny – LOL

@ Michael – inserted in my liveblog.

Maurice is mentioning about some businesses/organizations w/large sums of money who might want to get involved but they don’t want to jeopardize their businesses.

@ Cinci – I don’t know if they know that right now.

Kris is opening the floor for everyone to join in.

Vancouver 2010 Alternative Media | Google Groups

Vancouver 2010 Alternative Media | Google Groups