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Staying Away from The Vancouver 2010 Olympics? Forget It! Go!

Image Credit: Jeffery Simpson on Flickr (Click for profile)

I was one of those people before. I had no interest in taking the ferry to Vancouver and braving the crowds, lines and security to hang out downtown. What’s the big deal?

I was wrong. I returned from Vancouver yesterday totally energized and excited about the Games. The city is simply buzzing with activity 24 hours a day. Yes it’s busy, yes it’s crowded, but that’s half the fun. If you’re complaining that the Olympics are a 2-week party for the rich, you’re dead wrong. I didn’t have a ticket to any events, nor a plan or a list of attractions I wanted to see. I spent next to nothing, but felt like I took in everything.

And it couldn’t be easier for us in the greater Victoria area. BC Ferries has added an early morning (6:00am) and late evening (midnight) sailing for your convenience. Bus to or park at Swartz Bay terminal, walk on the ferry. Take one of the many buses outside the Tsawwassen terminal and get on the Canada Line downtown. Quick and easy. There might be a lineup, but with trains coming every 3 minutes or so, you won’t be waiting long. I never had to wait for more than one train before being able to get on. Wander around, explore. Take in some of the free entertainment at the various pavilions. See the Olympic flame burning outside the convention centre. Feel the vibe and enjoy the spirit!

Watch the events unfold from numerous outdoor high-definition screens. There really is nothing like it – standing on the street, cheering on our athletes with 1000 of your closest friends. Everyone is smiling, waving flags and having a great time.

The Richmond O-Zone is great too. Just steps from the Richmond-Brighouse Canada Line station, this 60-acre site includes a large mainstage with free concerts all Games long, beer gardens, restaurants, arts and culture displays, the ever-popular Holland Heineken House, and BC Street, where you’ll find displays from all over our glorious province, enticing the world to come and visit. Sooke’s booth has really stolen the show, people absolutely love it.

Try out the Olympic line – an electric streetcar (with comfy leather seats!) on loan from Brussels, Belgium – and you thought sprouts were the attraction from Brussels. It runs from Olympic Village Canada Line station to Granville Island, where you can take in even more Olympic fun, including House of Switzerland, and Atlantic Canada House.

I had an awesome, exciting weekend and didn’t spend a lot of money. Transit is cheap and reliable, and with so much free stuff to do, you’d be remiss not to take it all in.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke BC at the 2010 Olympics [Video]

Sooke 2010 Booth Under Construction

Sooke 2010 Booth Under Construction

With just 10 days to go until the 2010 Olympic Winter Games open in Vancouver, the excitement is growing and reports from Vancouver indicate the atmosphere on the streets is electric as athletes, supporters, and visitors are already arriving in town.

Sooke is one of several British Columbia communities taking part in the B.C. Street exhibition, which is taking place throughout the Games at the Richmond O-Zone, just minutes away from the speed skating oval and a short ride from the airport or downtown on the Canada Line.

A team of artists, designers, visionaries and builders have been hard at work in the Sooke Fire Hall building what is sure to be an amazing display of the Sooke to Port Renfrew region.  The display is about 40 feet long and is designed around the theme “Wild by Nature.” It will feature an “ocean” and “beach”, trees, and boardwalk, overlooking a 40×8 foot panoramic photo of Sooke Harbour. A killer whale is captured in sculpture, breaching the water, and the familiar site of Sheringham Point Lighthouse is also present.

Local graphic designer, photographer and videographer Jason van der Valk of Inktvis Creative shot the panoramic photo and produced the Sooke 2010 website and video, shown below. The work he put in was extensive and the results definitely show. If you’re looking for somebody with creative vision and skill for your next project, Jason is your man!

For those of us that live here, the video reconfirms that we live in an amazing place – perhaps Vancouver Island’s best-kept secret. For everyone else, perhaps it’s time to have a look at the video, and find out what you’ve been missing.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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2010 Olympic Torch Relay Comes To Sooke Saturday Morning

2010-torch

I was driving around downtown Victoria yesterday, where I saw several VANOC staff and vehicles in various parking lots, a huge stage being erected on the lawn of the legislature, portable lights, temporary NO PARKING signs, and other signs of the imminent arrival of the Olympic Torch. Lit a few days ago in Greece, it’s due to arrive in Victoria tomorrow – the first stop of its 45,000 km journey across this vast nation, touching over 1000 communities in every province and territory before arriving back in Vancouver to light the Olympic flame in February.

After its arrival and the celebrations (and protests) in Victoria, early risers in Sooke will be treated to a ceremony at Sooke Muncipal Hall, and a relay down to the T’Sou-ke Nation and a breakfast at Edward Milne Community School.

It will be a short visit – the torch is on an understandably tight schedule – before it’s whisked away to Metchosin and other points along its journey.

Set your alarms! At 7:00 am, Mayor Janet Evans will present a short speech at the municipal hall and a short video clip of Ed Johnson’s record breaking 27 second climb up a 100-foot pole at All Sooke Days in 1984 will be shown to give a sense of Sooke’s community heritage. The torch will then travel down the hill and across the Sooke River Bridge to Derbend Road, leading to a ceremony at the T’Sou-ke Nation.  The send off ceremony will include a concert and breakfast at Edward Milne School at 8:00 am.

With any luck, the current forecast will hold – partly cloudy with a chance of showers. I plan to attend, shoot a few photos and some video – check back after the event to see what I managed to capture.

Hope to see you there!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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