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Squamish named 2010 volunteer hub

Squamish has been handed an official role for the 2010 Winter Olympics. To coincide with the two-year countdown Tuesday (Feb.

Squamish has been handed an official role for the 2010 Winter Olympics. To coincide with the two-year countdown Tuesday (Feb. 12), and the launch of the call for volunteers, Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee (VANOC) representatives announced that Squamish will be home to the new Sea-to-Sky Volunteer Centre."Squamish is located in the heart of the Olympic and Paralympic theatre and with only two years remaining until the 2010 Winter Games, we are pleased to confirm the excellent location of the volunteer centre that will serve volunteers in the Sea-to-Sky corridor," said Donna Wilson, VANOC executive vice president, Workforce and Sustainability. The 2010 Olympics mascots were also scheduled to appear in Squamish Tuesday afternoon, but skipped the appearance, opting to head straight to Whistler instead.Meanwhile, Mayor Ian Sutherland, Wilson and VANOC's Dick Vollet and Terry Wright opened the doors to the centre, located at the Spectacle building on Tantalus road.An extensive review throughout the Sea-to-Sky Corridor assessing space and amenity requirements resulted in the location's selection, according to a VANOC news release. The venue, which provides 5,000 square feet of space, was chosen for its high visibility from Highway 99, accessibility by public transit, and is accessibility to persons with disabilities. The centre will serve as the primary regional hub for recruitment, deployment and training for volunteers residing in the Sea-to-Sky, according to a VANOC news release. "Along with the athletes, volunteers are vital to the success of the Games and the residents of Whistler, Squamish, Pemberton and the surrounding communities will play an important role in making the 2010 Winter Games a success," said Wilson. The facility will also host numerous workforce planning activities in the lead up to the 2010 Winter Games. Over 5,000 volunteers are expected to go through the Sea-to-Sky Volunteer Centre between mid-2008 and 2010. Approximately 10,000 volunteers will be required in the Sea-to-Sky corridor at Games-time filling hundreds of different roles."Squamish is an enthusiastic community with committed volunteers. Having the centre here makes it very convenient for our citizens to get actively involved," said Mayor Ian Sutherland. "We welcome the opportunity to host the thousands of volunteers from throughout the Sea-to-Sky corridor as they prepare to do their part to ensure spectacular Winter Games in 2010."Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed also expressed his support for the centre. "Success in 2010 will take the combined efforts and support of all Sea-to-Sky residents and the volunteer centre in Squamish will be the gateway to an extraordinary experience for our volunteers."VANOC also launched the nationwide call for volunteers "seeking 25,000 exceptional Canadians who are ready to put their hearts into creating an event that will inspire the world," stated the news release. Aspiring volunteers can apply online at Applicants without Internet access at home are encouraged to visit locations such as B.C. libraries, the 2010 Information Centre in Whistler or Internet cafés.

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