Monday, 8 February 2010

Poverty Olympics?

Things are heating up in preparation for the Olympics, and it is not just resulting in lack of snow at the venues as reported last week. As the Opening Ceremonies loom so does a sense of tension as protesters of the Games assemble in Vancouver. This weekend an independent journalist was detained and refused entry to Canada allegedly due to connections with protest organizers. With a history of large, vocal, public demonstrations in the city, Games organisers are challenged to enable free speech, while maintaining a positive event experience for participants. Sounds like event sustainability at work!

At issue are many things, but a primary issue is the lending of taxpayer support to the Olympics at the expense of funding to alleviate poverty in Canada's poorest postal code, the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Government agencies have created an information center in the neighbourhood (Downtown Eastside Connect) to enable education about this issues, however critics are quick to point out the 'spin' being made by the center. Anyone interested in reading more about this event sustainability issue can check out the following...

Photo: Reuters

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