"A tribute to the 2010 Olympics" Top 5 Page for this destination Vancouver Favorite Tip by Carmanah

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  The inukshuk on English Bay.
by Carmanah
 
 

Fondest memory: When I was 6 years old, Vancouver hosted Expo '86. A great deal of monumental structures were built that year which includes Canada Place, Science World, and the Skytrain system. However, one lesser-recognized additions was the inukshuk statue which currently stands at the southern end of English Bay. The inukshuk was a gift from the Inuit of Canada's arctic to Vancouver.

People always come up with different interpretations for what inukshuks are, but when I was little I was taught that they were traditionally built as place markers on the vast and barren tundra and were also used as a way to herd caribou - who knows. Regardless, inukshuks are human-like statues built out of carefully stacked rocks and are wide recognized as symbols of the Inuit culture.

In 2001 when Vancouver won the bid to host the 2010 winter Olympics, a contest was held to design the offiicial logo. The winner's design was a colourful interpretation of an inukshuk inspired by the one at English Bay.

The inukshuk design initially caused a huge controversy because people thought that the winning entry looked too amateurish. Others complained that it had absolutely nothing to do with Vancouver's indentity, but instead, continued to persist the stereotype that Canada will always be thought of as snowy and cold. I think there was a 90% disapproval rating for the inukshuk design, but it was created anyway and was first shown at the 2006 Torino Olympics during the closing ceremonies.

Regardless of public approval, it seems like the inukshuk will be Vancouver's Olympic logo. And whenever you pass by the inukshuk down on English Bay, now you know all about it.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 20, 2008
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