First Olympic Ceremonies Hosted Indoors

[caption id="attachment_73" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="A wintery view of BC Place ©VANOC/COVAN"]A wintery view of BC Place ©VANOC/COVAN[/caption]

When the 2010 Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony takes place in Vancouver's 55,000-seat BC Place Stadium on February 12, 2010, it will mark the first time in the Games history that the Ceremonies will be staged in the comfort of an indoor venue. The stadium will also be the site for the Closing and Victory Ceremonies for the Games as well as the Opening Ceremony for the Paralympic Games.

A unique feature of BC Place Stadium is that it's the largest air-supported stadium roof in North America. The indoor aspect eliminates weather concerns, while opening up further surfaces for the projection, lighting and special effects planned for the Ceremonies. With years of preparation involved in staging the Ceremonies, the weather is, in executive producer David Atkins' opinion, the “single greatest risk to the delivery of a Ceremony.” Taking weather out of the equation will “free up the team to explore new ideas and push new boundaries.”

Given the multitude of Ceremonies, one of the challenges the Team faces is quick turnover at the stadium venue. “It definitely makes it more exciting,” notes Atkins. “The combining of all three Olympic Ceremonies [Opening, Closing, and Victory Ceremonies] in the one venue provides another opportunity for Vancouver 2010 to distinguish itself from all other [Games] Ceremonies. There are challenges and opportunities and they'll need to be managed effectively, but the advantages provided by this decision far outweigh any difficulties that may arise.”

A sentiment we are sure the design and production teams share. Over the coming days and weeks, we will speak with many of them to see how they solved both the technical and logistical challenges presented by the both the venue and the sheer scale of the ceremonies. One thing is for sure: they at least don't have to worry about Mother Nature adding any design effects to the production.

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