Olympics win gets Vancouver IT firms in the Games

Vancouver’s winning bid to host the 2010 Olympics Wednesday was a cause for celebration at two Canadian technology companies.

Vancouver-based Destiny Media Technologies Inc. and Telus Corp. both said they played key roles in helping the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corp. impress and win over the members of the International Olympic Committee in Prague to bring the games to Canada.

Destiny Media Technologies provided its Clipstream technology to the committee, which used it in a video e-mail campaign and powered a video that was made available to partners of the Bid Corp. to use. Steve Vestergaard, CEO and president of Destiny Media Technologies, said that his company became involved in the bidding process because it was seen as something good for the city.

“”It was a project we really wanted to support,”” he said.

Clipstream is a streaming video technology that Vestergaard described as an alternative to solutions such as Windows Media Player and Quick Time.

While certain restrictions were imposed on the committee in terms of advertising before the bid and not influencing the judges, Vestergaard said he hopes to work more closely with the committee as preparations for the event begin.

“”We’re going to help them use Clipstream as a communication tool,”” he said. “”Now that we’ve got the bid we can be more open with the video.””

Telus Corp.’s executive vice-president of corporate strategy and chief marketing officer, Chris Carty, watched the live results of the vote in the early hours of the day at Vancouver’s GM Place. Shortly after the announcement, Telus broadcast a message of congratulations to the province from British Columbia’s premier Gordon Campbell using its ADSL newtork.

“”This has been a historical moment — it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s great for Vancouver, Whistler, British Columbia, Western Canada and Canada on a whole. I’m super, super pleased,”” he said.

Telus was the first premier founding supporter of the Vancouver bid, and has committed three million dollars in cash and in-kind services to the bid, including the development of the Vancouver 2010 Web site. Telus also provided the technology network design for the 2010 bid book and spearheaded the “”Pass the Torch”” Web campaign, which Carty said has received tens of thousands of visitors.

“”Going forward we hope to be a sponsor for the Olympics, and we’re looking forward to providing telecommunications services,”” he said.

While Carty admitted that some infrastructure would need to be added in order to accommodate the Games, he said that they’ve got a good foundation to build upon.

“”We’ve already got a very extensive network with full redundancy and Web hosting centres, so we’ve got a lot of stuff in place. We have to do more, but we’re definitely not starting from scratch. We’ve been a telephone company here for the last 100 years, so we’ve already got quite the operation,”” he said.

According to the Vancouver Bid Book’s technology chapter, which was written by Telus, the company plans for build-out of their network including high-speed wireless services along the Sea to Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler. The chapter also states that all telecommunications providers and partners are planning infrastructure modifications to support the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games at their own cost.

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