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Shows at Robson Square

Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Prep for the BC Street Jam Program at Robson Square started for me shortly after I wrapped up work at the 2009 PNE back in September, before it wrapped up actually as I had the initial conversation about helping co-ordinate the street performers on Robson Square before the PNE even finished. The BC Street Jam and all of the activities at Robson Square are being funded by the British Columbia provincial government and terms like ‘cultural diversity,’ ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’ were being tossed around so much that the red tape and bureaucracy leading up to this event was likely the most intense that I’ve ever encountered.

So… Six months of jumping through hoops and cutting through red tape and being accountable and during this entire lead up to the Olympics no one really knew what the crowds were going to be like once The Games actually started. Well… Robson Square is becoming THE spot to meet, congregate and enjoy the Olympic Atmosphere and the programming has almost become too successful. The original stage that was set up for the BC Street Jam that I featured in a post a while back ended up getting scrapped. Crowds on Robson Street have been so huge that after the first weekend of shows in that original venue, the organizers were asked by the police to find an alternative location for the program. The result? The north end of the skating rink at Robson Square right in front of a huge staircase that turns the pitch into a natural amphitheatre. It’s Awesome!

The vibe in the air is incredible as well! People from all corners of the globe have descended on Vancouver for the common goal of witnessing excellence in sport. Yes there’s a flood of red maple-leave clad folks on the streets and it’s very clear who the home town crowd is cheering for, but no matter what country people are from, they’re all in a good mood and this translates to huge happy crowds which are a pleasure to perform for. The energy sort of reminds me of the feeling I get every time I get to Ottawa for Canada Day. People have become hugely patriotic and enthusiastic. The difference this time around is that Canada Day is a one day event and the Olympics is running for 17-days straight.

Beyond just the BC Street Jam Program that I helped co-ordinate, there’s been a huge influx of performers from all over the place who have come in to work the streets and apparently the hats are huge. I’ve got my hands full enough with what I’m doing to not really be all that fussed about pursuing additional street shows during the run, but many of the other performers are cranking it out and doing very well.

I’ve never seen Vancouver look better and it’s really cool to have been a part of helping create the excitement both leading up to the opening with the co-ordinating of performers and during the run with my own shows. If you get the chance and are anywhere near Vancouver, you really should get down and check it out. Like the slogan for the Provincial Government states –

“You Gotta Be Here!”

3 Responses to “Shows at Robson Square”

  1. […] and found this one… The Olympics certainly has transformed Vancouver. I discussed it a bit a couple of days ago, but it really is amazing to walk down town and feel the excitement in the air! The enthusiasm and […]

  2. […] during the last two weeks of the month while I was home and working the Robson Square project during the Olympics I seemed to let an enormous amount of crap pile up on my desk. Stuff […]

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