Lavigne to rock Olympics
MILAN, Italy (CP) – Avril Lavigne is ready to rock the Turin Olympics.
The Canadian rock star will be the featured performer during an eight-minute Vancouver 2010 segment of the closing ceremonies in the Italian city on Feb. 26. A worldwide television audience of 500 million will be watching along with the live audience of 32,000.
The Canadian segment will include the traditional flag turnover 1,447 days prior to the Vancouver Olympics opening ceremony at B.C. Place Stadium.
Lavigne, a 21-year-old from Napanee, Ont., is a multiple Grammy nominee and Juno Award winner and has sold millions of albums.
Adding another Canadian touch to the closing ceremonies are Julie Hamelin and Jeannot Painchaud, the co-directors of Montreal’s Cirque Eloize. They were hired to assist Italian director Daniele Finzi Pasca – Hamelin as first assistant stage director and Painchaud to take charge of the acrobatic elements of the extravaganza.
Acrobats, clowns and high-wire acts will be part of the two-hour closing ceremonies in Turin. A preview was attended by about 200 people in a Milan theatre on Monday.
The circus theme also will include aspects from Italy’s winter carnival, a masked celebration based in Venice each February. Actual costumes featured in director Federico Fellini’s 1971 film The Clowns will be used. They were made by Academy Award-winning designer Danilo Donati.
Tenor Andrea Bocelli will be among the performers.
The Sparks of Passion bladers, futuristic performers zipping around on roller blades with flames shooting from the back of their helmets, also will appear. The group is to be introduced at the Feb. 10 opening ceremony.
The Vancouver organizing committee is trying to keep details of its eight-minute entertainment segment secret but Burke Taylor, vice-president of culture and ceremonies, says “the show will use the opportunity to begin telling the story of Canada’s Games in 2010 by featuring a combination of uniquely Canadian talent and themes that reflect the country from coast to coast.”
Thousands of tickets remain available for the evening ceremony.
The Vancouver committee will have 80 observers at the Turin Games, 25 at the subsequent Paralympic Winter Games, and 16 working directly for the Turin organizing committee.
“Our entire team will draw from the Torino experience to refine and enhance our hosting plans, while developing a comprehensive new budget for the next four years,” said John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver organizing group.
Vancouver 2010’s budget for the transfer of knowledge at the 2006 Games is $1.7 million.
Lavigne to rock Olympics