Vancouver and Whistler were on the world stage earlier this year when they hosted the XXI Winter Olympic Games. I had the opportunity to visit these spectacular cities in an Olympic race of my own last week. Vancouver was host to the World Route Development Forum, the biggest conference of the year in my day job. During the “Air Service Olympics” I met with 20 airlines over two days, not to mention attending numerous evening receptions and dinners. I’m happy to report that it was a very productive and successful conference.
Of course, the trip would not have been a complete success if I could not track down the welcome signs. Vancouver’s sign was conveniently situated on the main route into downtown from the airport, and I spotted it without a problem. This welcome is in both French and English (although some entrances to the city only include English) and highlights the Olympics. The shape is simple and the soft blue and green scheme mimics the colors in Vancouver’s breathtaking landscape. According to a City of Vancouver news release, the base of the sign is made from granite salvaged from old curbs around the city.
After the conference ended, I took a short day trip up to Resort Municipality of Whistler to decompress after weeks of preparation and a whirlwind of activity at the conference. The welcome sign for Whitlser is typical of a mountain town – simple, wooden and rustic. The tree symbol at the top of the sign is Whistler’s official logo.
I visited Whistler with my friend and colleague Vicki. We enjoyed walking through the village and stopped for a photo at the inuksuk statue. The inuksuk was the official symbol of the 2010 Olympic Games; it is a stone landmark used by natives of the Arctic to help with navigation. The passerbys who offered to take our photo were friendly, but clearly not talented with the camera as the inuksuk is missing its head!