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Vancouver 2010 Olympics Cultural Olympiad

Services Provided:


Community Consultation

Global Research

Strategic Partners & Sponsors

Cultural Programming

Project Commissioning

Live Sites

Programming + Activation

Business Plan & Budget

Vancouver’s 2010 Cultural Olympiad was a defining moment for the City of Vancouver and for Canada. It was the largest, most financially and most artistically successful festival event ever staged in the country.


Cultural Olympiads had been traditionally treated as a kind of entertainment designed to spice up the main course of athletic contest. They were budgeted accordingly. Participating governments typically saw cultural Olympiads as political opportunities rather than artistic ones. These two factors tended to produce mixed bag affairs – working against delivery of a unified artistic concept of the highest quality.


As executive producer for the performing arts from 2007-2010, Savira created a spectacular 60-day festival that provided an immersive, massively engaging experience for the City and its visitors.  We wanted cultural events to discover people, wherever they happened to go. Rather than being spectators at a show, audiences became active participants in a vast collective, seemingly spontaneous cultural moment.  Such critical mass and critical success could not begin to be achieved on a modest seed budget. Global partnerships provided funding for new commissions and 1570+ performances were virtually sold out. Audience engagement was 5.8 million - almost triple the target of 2 million souls. The buzz was ceaseless and critical reception was superlative. This was Canada’s moment on the world stage and Savira was proud to partner with the VANOC and the IOC. 

"The Cultural Olympiad in many ways was bigger than the Games, in fact overshadowed the Games. It was important that downtown Vancouver was like a very big arena. It meant people weren't just watching as spectators but living the experience.


When International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said the Olympics can never go back from this, they were talking about this pouring into the streets of people, not just in Vancouver and Whistler and Surrey and Richmond but across the country. This happened everywhere. This happened in Toronto and Montreal and Halifax and

Grand Prairie."


- John Furlong, CEO, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC)

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