News Release - Whistler Public Library to become Whistler Canada Olympic House

Source: http://www.whistler2010.com/media-room/news-releases/Whistler_Public_Library_to_become_Whistler_Canada_Olympic_House.cfm

Whistler, BC  The Whistler Public Library will be home to Whistler Canada Olympic House during the 2010 Winter Games and facility programming is in the process of being finalized.

The facility will be transformed into a friendly meeting place for Canadian Olympic athletes, their family, and friends. The facility will also play host to international dignitaries, tourism representatives, media, government partners and other special guests. Guests will have the opportunity to use the facility to watch events, celebrate, hold business meetings, while learning about Whistler and attending a variety of special events.

?One of our goals with the Games is to build our tourism economy and Whistler Canada Olympic House will be our base for showcasing the resort and hosting special guests,? said Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed. ?Many countries and organizations will have their ?houses? during the Games, this will be ours and we are very proud of what we have planned.?

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is working in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) with support from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia and the library. The partners see the facility and its programming as a catalyst for incremental visits to Whistler during the Games and for years to come. It is also an example of working in partnership to achieve common goals and share resources.

The library will be closed from January 30 to March 7. Access to Whistler Canada Olympic House will be primarily by accreditation or invitation; however the Whistler community will be invited to several events. For example, every Saturday during the Games the public will have the chance to meet Olympic athletes, learn about sports and enjoy other family-friendly activities, entertainment and surprises. More community event information will be released in January.

The backyard of the library is set to become a family snow play zone, accessible to locals and visitors throughout the Games?with no snow piles in the village, the library backyard will provide the place for the ever popular activity of snow climbing and sliding in the village.

"There will be plenty of opportunities for the community take part in events at Whistler Canada Olympic House," said Lauren Stara, library director. "Our beautiful building will also be a showcase for athletes and their families, as well as dignitaries from around the world."

Library services will be unavailable for five weeks during Games time. Cardholders are encouraged to check out unlimited books and audio books from January 25 to 29. All of these items will have a loan period of six weeks, due during the week of March 8 to 12. All movies, CDs and magazines must be returned before January 29.

"People can take as many books as they want for six weeks," Stara said.

Changes to the library include the installation of large screens that will showcase venues, CTV and RDS sport coverage of the Games and a live feed from Whistler Medals Plaza and Whistler Live! programming.
Whistler video and imagery and other content will showcase the past, present and future of Whistler to facility guests. The outside of the building will have signage while transparent window graphics will feature bright sport and community imagery.

The library will reopen to the public at 11 a.m. on Monday March 8. During the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, Whistler Canada Paralympic House will be operate as an accredited facility for friends and family of Canadian Paralympic athletes and will be jointly operated by the Canadian Paralympic Committee, the library and the RMOW. The library will be open during the Paralympic Games with revised operating hours.

The RMOW's investment in this program is being paid for out of the 2010 Winter Games budget, which is funded from hotel tax revenues.

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