October 27, 2008: VANOC partnership expands opportunities for students and employees in 2010

      Monday, October 27, 2008
      Contact: Shelley Kean at 604.983.7596

      (NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)—Capilano University has partnered with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) in an innovative Community Contributor Program. The initiative is designed to provide opportunities for students and employees when Vancouver welcomes the world in 2010.

      Through the Community Contributor Program, Capilano University will provide parking spaces to VANOC as part of a value-in-kind agreement. People attending events will park at Capilano’s North Vancouver campus as part of a Park and Ride program. In addition, some students and employees will be able to participate in co-op, internship and partnership opportunities with VANOC.

      “This partnership is really exciting and it helps us further our overall strategy of finding opportunities for our students and employees and involving them in the Games,” said Casey Dorin, dean of Tourism and Howe Sound programs. “It fits in perfectly with other partnerships we have formed to help maximize the student experience during this once-in-a-lifetime event.”

      In exchange for its support, Capilano will receive a wide range of domestic rights and benefits that create a close association with the Games, including various advertising, promotional and workforce opportunities.

      VANOC is also working closely with the University to connect students with the Paralympic Winter Games. VANOC hopes to raise awareness of and enthusiasm for adaptive sport, enhance the appreciation of the remarkable abilities of Paralympic athletes, and increase disability awareness and the importance of accessibility.

      Doug Kelsey, president and CEO of the British Columbia Rapid Transit Company congratulated all the participating institutions for making a tremendous contribution toward the success of the Games.

      “Not only are these schools providing access to their facilities to support transportation services and train volunteers, but some are timing their breaks for February 2010, thus reducing the number of vehicle and transit trips, helping TransLink free-up more transit capacity,” he said. “By supporting our Transit Demand Management Strategy, these institutions will help our whole community make the 2010 experience great for residents and visitors alike."

      Capilano University was the first post-secondary institution to announce (in April 2006) that it will be extending its reading break to 11 days during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. As per normal reading breaks, all services, such as the Child Care Centre and Library, will remain open and available to students and members of the community. The University’s academic schedule has been extended, with approval by the Students’ Union, to accommodate the extension.

      In addition, Capilano has also signed memorandums of understanding with Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Whistler that will provide employment opportunities for students. The Capilano Performing Arts Theatre received six shows for the 2008 Cultural Olympiad held last February, and the institution’s Communications department has been approached by the Olympic Broadcasting Services to work together. The Capilano School of Business is working with several national and international partners, developing opportunities for students, and developing new Olympic-themed courses. Health programs are exploring ways that they can work with their partners to help people with disabilities access and enjoy the Games, and the University has started discussions with the Four Host Nations to explore opportunities for its First Nations students.

      “We really listened and immediately made 2010 an important part of our strategy and educational plan,” said Dorin. “We’ve had student presentations around the 2010 Games and have had several guest speakers attend the University to talk about potential opportunities surrounding the event.”

      Educate! Participate! Celebrate! has become the University’s theme for its involvement in the Games and it continues to explore more ways to provide experiential opportunities for its students.

      “We see the Winter Games as being a unique opportunity for Capilano University to build on its excellence with enhanced academic programming, opportunities for student participation, and special celebratory activities,” Dorin said, adding, “We want to help support the Games and at the same time have our students experience them firsthand.”

      VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. For more information, please visit www.vancouver2010.com.