Olympic festivities: Cultural Olympiad

The Cultural Olympiad feeds a hungry audiences of arts and culture fiends.

Credit: Ian Mitchell

With arts and culture funding cuts looming, the Cultural Olympiad offers Vancouver audiences a last supper of events to feast on

By presenting hundreds of concerts and performances from January 22 to March 21, the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad will serve B.C.’s arts community its proverbial last supper before the looming post-Games cultural funding famine takes effect.

Positively dripping in Tim Hortons-style populist patriotism, the lineup ostensibly offers something for everyone, but the big-ticket events seems heavily weighted toward enthusiasts of twangy guitar solos (an all-star tribute to Neil Young and an outdoor concert by Canadian country-rockers Blue Rodeo are at the top of the roster so far).


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Prior to the Games, one Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad-sponsored production might help to calm the disgruntled and steel them against their impotent Olympic rage.

Berlin-based avant-garde theatre troupe Rimini Protokol will début a made-to-measure multimedia experience for 200 participants in The Cultch’s newly renovated facilities.

An interactive “theatrical documentary,” the tentatively entitled “Best Before” recreates a virtual Vancouver, wherein “citizens” will vote with wireless joysticks on a series of initiatives – including a revisiting of the February 22, 2003 Olympic referendum.

“Best Before” runs January 29 to February 6 at The Cultch (1895 Venables Street).

For detailed listings of Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad events, visit www.vancouver2010.com.