As cities struggle to buoy their economies during these tough financial times, Vancouver has an advantage most others don’t — the fast approaching Olympic Games.
Bernie Magnan, chief economist at the Vancouver Board of Trade, said our city is in a unique position to rebound well from the economic crisis in large part because of the legacies the Games will have left behind.
“We have several positives going for us,” Magnan said. “One is the fact that we continue to be rated as one of the most livable cities in the world.”
“Secondly, the Olympics are going to bring the spotlight (on us) … and we happen to have several pre-built facilities in the two (hockey) rinks and (now) the Richmond Oval.”
Magnan said other infrastructure projects, including the Port Mann Bridge and new port facilities, will leave the region well set up for future growth.
“They employ people and bring goods and services (and) as the economy goes upward we’ll be able to take advantage of the upraise to provide more shipping.”
He added that Vancouver’s role as a media and entertainment industry hub will keep money and jobs flowing.
Pixar recently announced plans to locate its studio here, adding to a local home base shared with Rainmaker, Electronic Arts and Microsoft.
Magnan said a new digital arts academy will build on a pool of individuals who are employable with these studios.
“There is also the fact that Vancouver is considered a green city and … trying to have some densification and improve the transportation,” said Magnan. “All of those things are helping to set us up for the upturn in the economy.”