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Media Strategist kris krug: Olympics Will Bring World's Top Artists, Activists, Business Leaders and Athletes to Vancouver Streets
What will Vancouver be like during the three weeks of the Olympics? What are we in for, really, those of us who stay in town and ride the international wave? It's hard to imagine for me, so I asked kris krug. He's been to the Olympics in Turin and Bejing, so I figure he knows what's coming. What's coming, he says, are some of the world's brightest and most dynamic artists, performers, activists, politicians, business people. And they're coming to our neighborhoods and blocks.
"If you hear three guys speaking Russian in a restaurant, they're probably visiting dignitaries," the web strategist and photographer said over lunch yesterday at the Water Street Cafe. "The guy who runs the coolest ad agency in Croatia is going to be here, the president of the National Council of Arts for Sweden and everyone from the best artists and anarchists."
"People are just starting to wake up to 'Oh, my God it's only five months away.' Your favourite restaurants are going to close down. Vancouver is going to start looking a little different. The security guys are going to be activated, wearing their uniforms and shields. They're here, but right now they're watching a video maybe on how to hold a shield. Soon, you'll see them with the shields."
"The mayors from all over the world will be here. Each country will be showing off at their house. Everybody's beautiful, wealthy and has something going on that they're showing off, whether they're an academic studying the sociological and cultural aspect of the Olympics or an artist showing off their latest work."
Krug has been working on two Olympics-related projects, The True North Media House and the W2 community media arts centre in Vancouver's DTES (Downtown Eastside). W2 features a 200-capacity performance space, community TV studio, FM radio station, gallery, social enterprise café, letterpress studio, telepresence and mobile media programs, and more. W2 has now expanded to a space across the street from the Woodwards building which will house a gallery and be a training ground for Bladerunner apprentices, a media arts apprenticeship program. Training will take place in mobile technology, locative media, web 2.0, social media, web sites, VJing, telepresence, live screens, and open source. The apprentices are between 19 and 30 years old, daily lunch is provided, and Aboriginal youth, women, and youth of colour were encouraged to apply.
They will play a role in W2 in its emergence as a world-class crossmedia centre. Following a challenging five month apprenticeship program, Krug said participants will receive regular employment with W2 or its partner employers from the local digital media/Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.