Vancouver is beginning to look the part of Olympic host as the city yesterday installed the first of 6,200 Olympic banners that will flutter from lampposts during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The banners, which feature 36 designs, including 24 Olympic and Paralympic sporting events, are done in the blue-and-green theme that VANOC created to represent the look of the Games.
“We want to create some excitement and make Vancouver look great for the Games,” said Lesli Boldt, Vancouver’s Olympic spokeswoman.
“It’s happening. The Games are coming. People are getting excited.”
The banners will be installed day and night by six two-person crews for the next three weeks.
They will be hung on major arterial routes — Granville, Cambie and Hastings streets. They will also hang throughout the Downtown and around Olympic venues like the Pacific Coliseum, the athletes’ village and the Vancouver Olympic Centre at Hillcrest Park.
The 6,200 banners cost the city $650,000 and were funded through the Olympic Legacy Reserve Fund. Half that money went to create the banners, the other half to install them.
The city is looking at ways of reusing the banners after the Games, Boldt said.
A previous round of 2010 Olympic banners were reused through a project called Sew a Legacy.
The old banners were taken down and converted into sports bags that were filled with school supplies for inner-city elementary students.