VANOC launches casting call

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Performers, dancers and athletes of all types now have a chance to apply to be part of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Tuesday 3 March 2009 marked the launch of the search for thousands of volunteers to participate in these mega–productions that bookend the Games. An online application at www. vancouver2010. com/ceremonies is the first step in the process for anyone aspiring to participate in this once–in–a–lifetime experience. "We're looking for people with all types of performance skills and levels of ability who want to play a part in sharing Canada with the world, " said David Guscott, Vancouver Organising Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games' (VANOC) executive vice–president of celebrations and partnerships. "Previous experience isn't a requirement, but taking quick action is. This is the one and only call for participation. Above all, we're looking for volunteers with lots of personality, a positive attitude, tonnes of energy, and a willingness to perform on a stage in front of thousands of people live and billions more around the globe. "Candidates are asked to complete an application online that lists their skills and abilities. VANOC is searching for 4, 500 dancers, athletes and performers across all disciplines. All performers must be aged 17 or older by 1 May 2009 to apply. Possible opportunities for performers younger than this are still being considered. The ceremonies provide a showcase for Canada to tell its story to the world through music, dance and special effects. Wendy Tynan, a volunteer Opening Ceremony performer at the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games, has described the experience as life changing. "When my sister and I auditioned to be in the Opening Ceremonies I don't think we ever realised how much it would transform our lives, " she recalled. "What started off as weekly dance rehearsals quickly became a solid understanding that we were a part of something amazing. The experience changed my life. I discovered not only a love of performing but more importantly it set the stage for a lifelong commitment to volunteering. ""Participating in the ceremonies as a volunteer is a truly special way to play a role in Olympic history, " said David Atkins, executive producer of the secret Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and head of David Atkins Enterprises Productions Canada Ltd. "It's also a great opportunity to work with and learn from some of the industry's best while meeting with people who have similar interests; all in all, an experience you'll never forget. "Recruitment of ceremonies volunteers is being supported through limited advertising and targeted outreach to cultural and sport organisations. Torino, the host of the Winter Games in 2006, used 6, 100 volunteers and 240 professionals. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremony will take place in Vancouver's 55, 000–seat BC Place Stadium on 12 February 2010. The closing ceremony will be on 28 February 2010. This will be the first time in Olympic Games history that the opening ceremonies will be staged in the comfort of an indoor venue. That will likely mean more athletes will come as weather won't be an issue, but it also presents a challenge in how to light the Olympic cauldron in a stadium with a roof. Vancouver 2010 ceremony producer David Atkins Enterprises of Australia also produced the opening and closing ceremonies for the Sydney 2000 Summer Games as well as many other high profile events. VANOC will release some more tickets to the ceremonies and sporting events this year as sponsors finalise their ticket needs and venues are configured.

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