For Immediate Release
November 23, 2009
Office of the Premier
GE PLAZA OPENS TO
COMMUNITY IN ADVANCE OF 2010
Revitalized ice rink centerpiece of GE, Province activities
VANCOUVER – Skaters will take to the ice at the GE Plaza at Robson Square today – the first time the Robson Square ice rink has seen activity since 2000, thanks to a Vancouver 2010 Winter Games partnership between GE and the Province of British Columbia.
The GE Plaza will be the centre of holiday activities in the heart of Vancouver prior to the Games, and home to performances and events during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The new ice rink will also be a fun, gathering place for friends and family to enjoy free ice-skating. The GE Plaza will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily for skating beginning today. Skate rentals will be available on-site for a cost of $3.00 each.
Robson Square will host regular live entertainment from now through the Games and will feature festive, family activities during December.
GE and the Province of British Columbia partnered to renovate the GE Plaza, which consists of the ice rink and surrounding area on the lower level of Robson Square in the heart of downtown Vancouver. As part of GE’s sponsorship agreement with the Province, GE will own the naming rights to the GE Plaza until the end of the Paralympic Winter Games.
The total cost to upgrade and expand the ice rink was $2 million, of which GE contributed $700,000. GE products and technology have been used in the revitalization of the GE Plaza, including the refrigeration plant electrical distribution system responsible for making the ice and energy-efficient LED lighting products. The revitalization also included a new refrigeration plant, mechanical and electrical equipment, increasing the length of the ice surface by approximately 37 per cent, new rink boards and protective skate mats and new concession and skate rental kiosks.
“GE is a proud partner with the province of British Columbia to help revitalize the ice rink at Robson Square,” said Elyse Allan, president & CEO, GE Canada. “The GE Plaza provides a wonderful venue to engage Canadians in celebration of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games while also providing a lasting legacy for the Vancouver community.”
“This revitalized plaza will be a fun and free place for people of all ages to gather and share in the Olympic spirit and celebrate during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” said Premier Gordon Campbell. “Thanks to GE for their contribution to restoring Robson Square as a celebration venue. GE Plaza will also play an important role as we showcase British Columbia to the world through events at Robson Square during both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
The GE Plaza will be the most visible public symbol of GE’s investment in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Through The Olympic Partner Program, GE is a worldwide TOP sponsor of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The $2-million ice rink upgrade is part of the Province’s larger, $11-million upgrade to Lower Robson Square, which includes replacing the entire waterproofing membrane on the plaza level, removing and replacing the current domes with larger, more open domes with clear glass for better visibility and installing a new ceiling with GE energy efficient LED lighting.
The overall budget for all ongoing renovations and repairs to extend the life of Robson Square is $40.9 million. This includes all Lower Robson Square upgrades, as well as repair of water features such as the ponds and waterfalls, repair to the Great Hall glazing and space frame, repair of numerous underground membranes at locations throughout the property including the mound, the plazas north and south of Robson St., the Robson Street crossing, and the plaza and entry at the corner of Nelson and Hornby, and landscaping. Robson Square has been a central part of Vancouver’s community for over 30 years. It is the site of the Provincial Law Courts, UBC Robson Square, government offices and a public space connecting to the Vancouver Art Gallery.
About GE’s Olympic Sponsorship:
GE is the exclusive provider of a wide range of innovative
products and services that are integral to staging a successful Olympic Games.
GE works closely with host countries, cities and organizing committees to
provide infrastructure solutions for Olympic venues including power, lighting,
water treatment, transportation and security, and to supply hospitals with
ultrasound and MRI equipment to help doctors treat athletes. In addition, NBC
Universal, a division of GE, is the exclusive U.S. media partner of the Olympic
Games, with its partnership also extending through 2012. For more information,
please visit www.ge.com/olympicgames.
GE is Imagination at Work – a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world’s toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and advanced materials, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com.
GE Corporate, Canada
BC Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Secretariat
Office of the Premier
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