The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) today unveiled the lineup of Canadian talent that will pay tribute to the medal-winning athletes of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games with nightly headline performances at Whistler Medals Plaza.
The six concerts from March 13 to March 18, as well as the Paralympic Winter Games Closing Ceremony on March 21, will take place at the world-class outdoor amphitheatre, which also played host to the nightly Victory Ceremonies for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
The headline musical artists are: singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards (March 13); award-winning indie rock band The Weakerthans (March 14); francophone composer/performer Antoine Gratton (March 15); rockers The Trews (March 16); singer/songwriter Justin Hines (March 17); and Juno winner Serena Ryder (March 18). Local Whistler artist and fan favourite Chili Tom will act as the nightly pre-show DJ.
"We are honoured to celebrate the athletic achievements of the competitors at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games with a lineup of talent worthy of both our medal winners and the world," said Christy Nicolay, VANOC's vice president of sport production and Victory Ceremonies.
Spectator access is free to the Victory Ceremonies at Whistler Medals Plaza and via an at-venue queue, located in Village Stroll directly outside the plaza. Spectator access is limited to 5,000 people nightly. Gates open at 5:30 pm.
Medals will be awarded in the Paralympic sports of alpine skiing, biathlon and cross-country skiing at Whistler Medals Plaza. Ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling medals will be awarded in-venue in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia (also known as the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre) and the Vancouver Paralympic Centre. From March 19 to 21, Whistler event medals will also be awarded in-venue so the plaza can prepare for the Closing Ceremony.
In just 10 days, Her Excellency the Right Honourable MichaÃ«lle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will officially open the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games on March 12 at BC Place in downtown Vancouver.
The Opening Ceremony will be a wonderful, affordable celebration with spectacular performance components that showcase dance, highlight unique abilities and celebrate the athletes. More than 4,000 volunteer performers including dancers, singers, acrobats, athletes, and musicians will celebrate the compelling achievements of the 1,000 athletes and officials from more than 40 countries around the world at the Games. The ceremony's grand finale will be the lighting of the Paralympic Cauldron, signalling the official start of the Games and the end of the 10-day Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay, which starts on Wednesday, March 3 in Ottawa.