Vancouver and Whistler are transforming into an Olympic host and the impact of this event are emerging everywhere.
Each day there are new signs, mass transit schedule changes, road closures, route changes, new pavilions and new structures. Our building receives at least 2 or 3 notifications per week of such changes in our immediate area as we are only 2 blocks away from the main media center at the new Vancouver Convention Center. Soon there will be 5000 athletes and hundreds of thousands of new people cramming into the streets, and undoubtedly there will be protests. It is definitely a challenge and not everything will go according to plan.
On the other hand, there are many positive benefits of this event to our city. Our downtown entertainment center has been completely revitalized and there is an influx of art, sculptures and music. There are new entertainment venues where 1000′s of people will be able to watch events live on huge outdoor screens and in theatres. Next to the waters in False Creek, near the Olympic Oval in Richmond, up in Whistler, and in many other areas there will be free live music all day and night from musicians of all types, from all over, for all the people.
For BasicGov employees, we sit here and think about what happened behind the scenes. All of the above required the involvement of political will and city staff to make it happen. Imagine how many building permit and license applications plus scheduled building inspections the City had this year. Sure the Vancouver Olympic Committee was responsible for a majority of the planning, but in the end it was someone in the city that had to assess the impacts of a road closure, put up the new signs, and approve new venues, new bars, and allow the Olympic rings to sit on a barge in the water.
All we are doing now is hoping for colder weather and bit of snow.