Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Exclusive: PM pumping Personal Podium

A Nov. 6, 2007 Department of Canadian Heritage report by assistant deputy minister Marie-Genevieve Mounier titled Government of Canada Opportunities Related to Cultural Olympiad offers a hint of a new program that may be launched Thursday when the one-year countdown to Vancouver 2010 is observed. An excerpt of the document, obtained under Access to Information, is below:

Opportunity: Hosting the Olympics is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. The Cultural Olympiad could provide a springboard to launch a nation-wide challenge to strengthen Canadian communities by encouraging every citizen to commit to a Personal Podium. Personal Podium is a concept that would complement existing events such as the Olympic torch relays (sic) and live sites. Citizen commitments would be related to the three Olympic pillars of sports, culture and environment. Commitments could be themed to complement Canadians' strong interest in:
Adopting healthier living habits,
Participating in cultural activities,
Protecting the environment.

Implementation: The 2008 Cultural Olympiad will be a relatively modest arts festival showcasing primarily British Columbia artistic talent. The February 2009 Cultural Olympiad will feature talent from across Canada and could be broadened to include a nation-wide effort launched by the Prime Minister to mark the one-year countdown to the 2010 Games. The Prime Minister, standing with a wide range of Canadians from all walks of life including well-known athletes and artists, would launch his Personal Podium and challenge all Canadians to do the same.

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