Friday, September 11, 2009

History not cheap

When VANOC looks to be hitting a home run, or even a grand slam, sometimes the dinger just dies in the wind and lands in the warning track.

The latest example is a news release issued Sept. 11 about a promotion with the Historica-Dominion Institute.

It proclaims 40 budding teenage journalists or videographers from across Canada will be chosen to come to Vancouver, be given tickets to 2010 Winter Olympic events and ceremonies and then have their stories and video diaries published on and A great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 26 Metro Vancouver students and the rest from elsewhere in Canada who enter the best essays or videos explaining why they should be chosen.

VANOC supplies the tickets and (for out-of-towners) Canadian Heritage the airfare. The 16-to-18-year-olds will get homestay accommodation. But there's a catch. Each student is required to pay $625 for "meals, local transportation and other costs during their week at the Games." Teenage unemployment is at record highs, so that's a lot of pop and beer cans to cash-in.

Normally, such a national contest would involve a big-name sponsor, be all-expenses-paid and the scales wouldn't be tipped towards Metro Vancouverites. But it's another sign of how the recession has impacted VANOC.

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