Do you remember the air of anticipation five years ago tonight when tens of thousands of Vancouverites lined the streets for a glimpse of the Olympic Torch Relay’s final stretch?
On Thursday, February 12, 2015, the Vancouver Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza will be relit to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the start of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
The 10-metre tall, five-headed Cauldron located next to the Vancouver Convention Centre’s West Building is scheduled to burn for a period of four hours from 8:50 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
In 2010, the Games officially kicked off on Friday, February 12 at 6 p.m. with the start of the Opening Ceremony held inside B.C. Place Stadium.
In addition to celebrating Vancouver’s role as the host city of the 21st Winter Games, the Cauldron’s rekindling on Thursday will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of Canada’s Maple Leaf flag. It was adopted on February 15, 1965 to replace the Union Flag and the Canadian Red Ensign.
The Cauldron is occasionally lit for special events, private functions held inside the convention centre and public holidays of significance, such as Canada Day and Remembrance Day. There is a minimum charge of $6,400 to light the Cauldron for a period of at least four hours, a cost that largely goes towards the natural gas consumed by the large burners.
During last year’s Sochi Olympics, the Cauldron was relit whenever Canadian athletes won gold medals. However, this was only made possible after a public outcry when the Cauldron was not relit for last year’s fourth anniversary. In addition, the cost to light the Cauldron throughout the Sochi Games period was covered by an anonymous private donor.
The Olympic Cauldron sits above the exhibition halls of the convention centre and was built and donated to VANOC by FortisBC, formerly Terasen Gas.
Feature Image: Clayton Perry