Russia Pavilion Can Pavilion
Russian Pavilion         Canadian Pavilion



Russia taking over Canada Science World
(will be "Sochi World" during Vancouver Olympics
by Bob Mackin, 24-Hours, March 27, 2009
The Russians are taking over Science World. The CEO of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics organizing committee revealed Thursday that the city's [Vancouver's] hands-on science museum will be used next February to promote Russia and the 2014 Games. The landmark geodesic-domed facility at the east end of False Creek, which opened a year before Expo 86, is receiving $10.5 million in B.C. taxpayer-funded renovations. Russia staged extravagant hospitality displays at recent Olympics. In Beijing last August, it rented a large, lakefront restaurant in the Houhai nightclub district. Russia House at the Torino Games featured a rooftop ice rink.

Vancouver Science World to house Russian 2014 Olympic committee during 2010 Olympics
Examiner, Jan 20, 2010
Vancouver Science World and the Omnimax Theatre at Telus World of Science are currently closed to the public and will reopen with its science events on Monday March 8 after the 2010 Olympics. In the meantime, Sochi 2014, the organizing committee for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games to be held in Sochi Russia, will use the building during the Vancouver Olympics. "The doors of Russian Sochi 2014 House open from February 11 – 28, 2010 and welcomes anyone wanting to join Russia’s celebration of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. It will bring together well-known athletes, sports fans, journalists and officials from around the world, combining insights into a new and modern Russia with an experience of Russian tradition and heritage," reports a Sochi media release.

The showcase dome building was originally constructed for Expo ’86 and served as the main Expo Centre. Science World is actually a geodesic dome, an architectural design created by American inventor R. Buckminster Fuller. Vancouver’s Bloedel Floral Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park is also modelled after a Buckminster dome design. The Government of Canada announced in October 2009 that it is investing $10.5 million into Science World’s infrastructure to restore and upgrade the 20-year-old building. The Sochi 2014 Olympic Games organizing committee, located in the Science World dome will have a front row seat to observe and take notes from the 2010 Games, while also publicizing their own upcoming games. For those interested in seeing a favourite Russian sports celebrity, you might just be able to get an autograph from Pavel Bure or Tretiak.

The Russian Games will be located at a Russian alpine resort in the Caucasian Black Sea region and concerns have already been expressed about protection of its natural environment. In response the Government of Russia has said, "we will put every effort to enhance the quality of environment and socio-economic conditions in the Region and practice the principles of sustainable development and environmentally responsible technological perfection". The Sochi 2014 Games organizers have stated that their plans include:

- Games in harmony with nature
- Climate neutral games
- Zero waste games
- Managing sustainable development

Olympic Games are under increasing pressure to meet stricter environmental standards to diminish their potentially damaging carbon foot print.

Can Pavilion

Olympic Games Canada Pavilion called 'shameful'
('A kit building')
by Adam McDowell, Vancouver Sun, Jan 28, 2010
Architects are panning the Canada Pavilion for the 2010 Olympic Games, designed by a U.S. firm and unveiled yesterday in Vancouver, saying it is the latest of a string of dowdy pavilions erected to represent Canada at international events. Heritage Minister James Moore unveiled the temporary interactive hub, designed to boast about Canada's sporting achievements and serve as a gathering place to watch events. Architects said they felt let down by a design they condemned as an ugly, unimaginative embarrassment.

The $9.2-million pavilion is being built by a Chicago-based company, Giltspur Exhibits, which was awarded the contract on Nov. 17, leaving only 81 days to build it before the Olympics open on Feb. 12. Even if it had to be built quickly and on a tight budget, said Canadian Architect magazine editor Ian Chodikoff, an architect based in Canada could have created something that would better showcase the country's design talents to the world. "You could probably give that to any architect and they could do something far more delightful," said Mr. Chodikoff, who likened the winning design to a build-it-yourself shed. "It's shameful, an embarrassment and it represents to a T the current Harper regime's concern for design, architecture and innovation in this country." Wayne De Angelis, regional director for British Columbia and the Yukon for the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, said, "It looks like a prefabricated building, a kit building." (As for the other, permanent 2010 Olympic buildings, Mr. De Angelis called them "amazing.")

In an interview yesterday, Mr. Moore said the pavilion "is going to be a destination for people to come and enjoy the games, not to stand with folded arms and have an architectural experience." "We can engage architects and we can spend endless amounts of money if that's what people want, but I don't think that's what taxpayers want," he said. "And frankly I think if you compare it apples to apples with the other pavilions that are on the ground in the city of Vancouver, ours looks fantastic."

Canada has been criticized for erecting frumpy pavilions before. Most recently, the $28-million Canadian headquarters for the upcoming Expo 2010 in Shanghai was criticized for being overseen not by an architect, but by circus troupe Cirque du Soleil. Another, lingering problem for some critics is the Canada pavilion at the Venice Biennale. A permanent structure intended to showcase a representative Canadian artist to the world at the prestigious art event every two years, it was designed by Italian architect Enrico Peressutti and built in 1958. Complaining about its size and technical limitations has become something of a tradition for Canadian artists

Vancouver 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremony BC Place Fireworks, Feb 13,2010, YouTube (the view of the Russian pavilion and BC Place from False Creek as the Olympic torch was lit)

Russia Olympics in estremely bad neighbourhood
by Peter O'Neill, Vancouver Sun, Mar 1, 2010
The 2010 Olympic host city of Vancouver, which has become the target of criticism in the international media over a string of controversies, could look like a church picnic compared to what might be in store for the world in 2014, according to an analyst with a prominent think-tank. Russia, the location of the next Winter Games in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, will be the host to the first Olympics in a war zone region, according to Alina Inayeh, a Bucharest-based analyst for the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She said international media observers who got excited by Vancouver's drug-plagued downtown east-side, or police tactics to contain anti-Olympic protesters, are in for a shock when they arrive in Sochi, nestled in the beautiful but violence-plagued Caucasus Mountains region. "Vancouver is nothing compared to Sochi when it comes to bad neighbourhoods. The entire region is an extremely bad neighbourhood," Inayeh told Canwest News Service in an interview Friday. "If the bad side of Vancouver has gotten so much attention, then I'm surprised that nobody paid attention to what's going on around Sochi. Really, we are talking wars here." She described Vancouver as an ideal location to embody the Olympic ideals of peace, international co-operation, human development and progress.

Sochi, favoured by holidaying Russian leaders from dictator Josef Stalin to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, borders Russia's six autonomous republics of the Northern Caucasus region that has been plagued by human rights violations, according to Human Rights Watch. The region is "home of the Chechen wars and violent feuding that surfaced after the breakup of the Soviet Union and continues to date," Inayeh wrote in an essay published this week. On Friday, she said that Chechnya is now a "piece of cake" compared to the Islamist insurgency in another nearby republic, Ingushetia. The entire region of southern Russia and the eastern Black Sea region "is also plagued by poverty, corruption and organized crime," she wrote in her essay. "It is both a source and a route for trafficking people, drugs, and weapons -- including documented instances of radioactive materials -- into Europe."

Putin promised a massive effort to ensure strong security when Russia won the bid in 2007. Subsequent media reports have indicated that the Russian military will install advanced surface-to-air missiles and deploy special forces troops. Inayeh, while stressing that she is not an expert on Olympic security, said the Games would provide a natural target for nearby rebels fighting Moscow's authority over their territory. "If you want to do a terrorist attack, the Olympic Games gives you the most attention you could possibly get," she told Canwest. "But it's even more true when it's being held very close to a conflict zone." Her essay, while warning that Sochi's location clashes in a symbolic way with traditional Olympic ideals, said the Games could provide Russia with an opportunity to resolve long-standing social, economic and political problems at the root of the regional conflicts. "In all likelihood, taking on the large, until-now-unsolvable conflicts will be too daunting. Instead, Russia might seriously address rule of law issues and crack down hard on corruption and organized crime, including trafficking," she wrote. "If Russia is not serious and makes no real effort to improve the situation, the tension between rival athletes during the Games will be nothing compared to the real tensions only miles away from the Olympic village."

The science of crowd control, Globe & Mail, Feb 27, 2010
VANCOUVER - When crowds spill out from the men's gold-medal hockey game and the closing ceremonies tomorrow, they'll flood the streets in a way Vancouver has never experienced before. But not every street, and not equally. As waves of people leave stadiums to make their way home or join the throngs just hanging out in the streets, the flow will be heavy along Georgia Street, but not a block over at Dunsmuir. Beatty Street will be packed, but not nearby Hamilton. On busy thoroughfares, the crowds will weave their way through a complex series of paths carved out by cones, barricades and fencing that have converted street space into pedestrian walkways...The program, developed specifically by the city for the Games and named the Downtown Vancouver Transportation and Emergency Management System, assigned colours (red, green or yellow) to indicate the size of crowds how big crowds would measureat various times of the day. Red was a warning sign. "Whenever we saw that red bar showing up, we had to determine 'Do we need more space than just the sidewalks?'" said Dale Bracewell, Vancouver's Olympics transportation director. "That told us how much space we needed to convert." The purpose went beyond giving people a pleasant walking experience: it was designed to prevent the kinds of accidents that can lead to injuries, lawsuits and riots when dealing with large numbers of people. Extra breathing room on the streets, for example, helps prevent mishaps caused when impatient pedestrians step into traffic to get around clogged sidewalks, and gives emergency crews and police room to manoeuvre through big crowds. The programmers plugged in all the numbers they could get: 18,000 people for a hockey game, 60,000 at BC Place, 8,500 at LiveCity Yaletown, and so on through a list of live sites, national houses and more. They talked to TransLink planners about how what rate people were likely to get dumped onto the street prior to events. Then they added to that count what Mr. Bracewell calls the "spectating spectators": people who never actually attend an event or visit an attraction, but simply walk around to experience the atmosphere....

Olympic Fence Tear down those Olympic walls, City Caucus, Feb 14, 2010
This is an open letter from the editors of to the leaders of Metro Vancouver Host & Venue Cities and VANOC. The efforts of the RCMP, Vancouver Police and security forces to create a safe Games are welcome, but in the case of certain important public spaces, the excessive safety measures are smothering the spirit of the 2010 experience for the public.

Vancouver's LiveCity sites, Richmond's O Zone and the Olympic cauldron housed at Canada Place are all wrapped in layers of security that seem incongruous and unnecessary. Are there no alternatives? With thousands of people trying to get a glimpse of the Olympic cauldron burning brightly on Vancouver's waterfront, news that Olympic organizers plan to keep the chain link fence in place during the Games is utterly disheartening. When we visited the site on Saturday, there were hundreds of disappointed people complaining that they couldn't get close to the flame, nor could they take a picture of it without the chain links in the image. Then there is the City of Vancouver's decision to allow both of their LiveCity sites to be put behind a chain link fence and force visitors to go through magnetic screeners.

You begin to wonder if this is all a bit too much. In the case of the flame, there's no credible reason why plexiglass cannot replace the chain link fence. VANOC has had 7 years to plan this event, you'd think someone would have thought about turning this into a Kodak (or Panasonic) moment for the thousands of visitors wanting to snap a keepsake photo of the Olympic flame. What visitors see instead is the cauldron encamped in a medium-security prison. As for the City's live sites, they were originally intended to be open public spaces where local citizens and tourists alike could wander in and enjoy watching musical acts and big screen broadcasts of sporting events. We never imagined that these public venues would be behind a large barrier and require spectators to get frisked and scanned with a security wand. Let's get real here. Do people really need to be frisked and padded down in order to visit the Canada Pavilion or CentrePlace Manitoba which is located in the LiveCity Downtown compound? Compare that to the Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and Atlantic Canada pavilions or a dozen other popular destinations which lack any such security measures.

The LiveCity Downtown site promised to be a great gathering space for the public to share in celebration. Instead, a large chunk of the property is left as unused space and off limits. On the other end, a large swath of the property has been set aside in order to accomodate all the lengthly lineups of people waiting to go through the security checks. There is still time to rectify this situation. In the famous words of former President Ronald Reagan, perhaps we should be asking Mayor Gregor Robertson, or his Venue City counterparts to "tear down that wall"! Or at least conduct an immediate review of how to make these sites more accessible to the thousands of visitors with the short time we have left. More likely, however, the City and VANOC will abide by the heavy-handed plan they've set out, and the barriers will remain. And that is a shame. Now it's time for our readers to weigh in. What do you think about these security measures?

Vancouver 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremony BC Place Fireworks, Feb 13,2010, YouTube (the view of the Russian pavilion and BC Place from False Creek as the Olympic torch was lit)

Olympic Surveillance Cameras Causing Civil-Liberties Concern, YouTube

MAYOR GREGOR ROBERTSON (In November 2008, the people of Vancouver chose Gregor Robertson as their new Mayor. He was elected on a platform of ending street homelessness in the City of Vancouver by 2015, and making Vancouver the greenest city in the world. Under Mayor Robertson’s leadership, Vancouver has taken swift action on becoming more sustainable by doubling the City’s bicycle infrastructure budget, setting the highest electric vehicle charging standards for new buildings in North America, and approving laneway housing. Since being elected, Vancouver City Council has also expanded the popular ‘car-free days’ throughout the city, doubled the number of pedicab licenses, created more community garden plots, and installed protected bicycle lanes on the Burrard Street bridge.

Russia taking over Canada Science World
(will be "Sochi World" during Vancouver Olympics
by Bob Mackin, 24-Hours, March 27, 2009
The Russians are taking over Science World. The CEO of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics organizing committee revealed Thursday that the city's [Vancouver's] hands-on science museum will be used next February to promote Russia and the 2014 Games. The landmark geodesic-domed facility at the east end of False Creek, which opened a year before Expo 86, is receiving $10.5 million in B.C. taxpayer-funded renovations. Russia staged extravagant hospitality displays at recent Olympics. In Beijing last August, it rented a large, lakefront restaurant in the Houhai nightclub district. Russia House at the Torino Games featured a rooftop ice rink.

The Russians are coming to Canada Science World
by Kristen Thompson, Metro News, Jan 19, 2010
If you were hoping to go to the Telus World of Science this weekend, the Russians say "nyet". Today is the last day Science World will be open to the public before work begins to convert the iconic venue into Sochi World — a hospitality house for the 2014 Winter Games in Russia — which opens on Feb. 11. "The transformation will be significant", said Tammy Matheson, director of business operations for Science World. "It will look different, from the exterior to the entire (inside of the) building. We will dismantle the exhibits we have in place. It is a huge project (and) that's the reason why we're closing so much earlier".

Matheson said the 2014 Winter Olympic organizing committee will be using the venue to showcase the Games in Sochi, as well as acting as a hub for Russian Vancouverites and Russian visitors. She said the decision to close the facility was based in part on the fact that access to the location would be difficult because of security and traffic restrictions, and the fact that people will be focused on the Olympics. "We realize that our visitor attendance would be greatly reduced and this was an opportunity to showcase the building to the world". Science World as we know it will reopen on March 8 — in the heart of spring break. During the Games, Science World will be taking its programs mobile around the Fraser Valley.






7.Systems of Thought & 35.Big Brother's Bortherhood

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~