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Thread: Vancouver Winter Games: Whitest Opening Ceremonies Ever?

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    Vancouver Winter Games: Whitest Opening Ceremonies Ever?

    Alden E. Habacon, Schema Magazine, February 2010

    Overall, I thought the opening ceremonies was pretty impressive visually.

    But I’ve got say, other than our beloved Governor General Michaëlle Jean, the incredible display of aboriginal culture, a lightning-quick shot of Patrick Chan, a few Asian-looking dancers, the performance of Measha Brueggergosman and Portuguese-Canadian Nelly Furtado, and a black mountie . . . this was by far the whitest-looking opening ceremonies.

    It wasn’t really noticeable because of the visual effects and possibly all the international athletes. But then the Olympic flag came out, carried by an all-white cast of Canadian heroes.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love all of them.

    The picture of a white Canada was reiterated with the unveiling of the final torch bearers. Seeing Rick Hansen was really powerful. I’m a HUGE Wayne Gretzky fan (having lived in Edmonton during their Stanley Cup domination), but as Jian Ghomeshi tweeted: “Love Anne, Bobby et al . . . but maybe bit of an oversight to have not one Canadian of colour carrying flag?” Oversight? To say the least.

    Does it matter?

    Absolutely, especially as Vancouver won their bid on the argument that Vancouver is the most diverse place on earth, with the highest rate of mixed-race marriage in N. America, a city that is considered by many (including myself) as part of Asia (forget that “gateway to Asia” analogy, that’s so ten years ago). The ceremony was hardly representative of Canada’s (and especially Vancouver’s) multicultural diversity.

    Listen, if you’re going to reflect Canada’s diversity, you can’t go full out on aboriginal representation and then FAIL to represent the visible diversity of the local population. Vancouver is a city where “visible minority” and “ethnic minority” don’t mean anything anymore, because of the sheer size of the Chinese and South Asian populations.

    Oh, I can hear the producers now . . . “But where would we find . . . ?” Oh no, you don’t. There’s at least one South Asian RCMP officer. There’s gold-winning Olympic hockey player Jarome Iginla! Yes, half is better than none. In this case, token would have been better (than none).

    The point is, if you were watching the opening ceremonies on television, you wouldn’t even know that it took place in the most Asian city in N. America. Have any of the producers been to a high school in Vancouver?
    http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives...uver_winte.php


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    Well, there should obviously be an aboriginal performance, but why Chinese or Indian performances? Apart from the big cities, most of Canada is European. Heck, I think that even the big prarie cities (Edmonton, Winnipeg, Regina) are a lot less 'multicultural' than Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal (correct me on this if I'm wrong).

    Its true though that if you went to school in the greater Vancouver area or the fraser valley (as I did) you could swear you were in South Korea.

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    As an ex-pat now living in California and a former Manitoban (Winterpeg) I applaud Canada's acknowledgment of aboriginal people in the opening ceremonies although I believe it was way "overdone". Hell, they even had the Indians doing their ceremonial dances and beating drums while athletes from other countries were being introduced; It was an ostantatious display of political correctness.

    They could have at least had Wayne Gretzky skate circles around them during this extravaganza.

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